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5 Reasons to Skip Turkey this Thanksgiving

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It’s almost impossible to think about Thanksgiving, without thinking about eating turkey. Many of us have fond memories of sitting around the table with loved ones, enjoying a shared food experience. But, if there is a turkey on your table, there is violence on your plate. 264 million turkeys are killed for their flesh every year in the United States. 

This year, reconsider this harmful tradition and choose a kinder option. Below are 5 reasons to leave turkey off your table this Thanksgiving.

  1. Turkeys are bred to grow quickly and are so overfed that their bones are often too weak to carry their own weight. This can result in leg injuries. If a human child grew at the same rate, they would weigh 280 pounds in 2 years!
  2. Most turkeys raised for slaughter live in cramped and unsanitary sheds, with no outdoor access. This often causes birds to suffer from respiratory diseases.
  3. Female turkeys are artificially inseminated up to twice a week for a year. This is an invasive, painful process.
    Once their egg production declines, they are useless to the industry and are slaughtered.
  4. Though mother turkeys will lay about 100 eggs a year, they are never allowed to care for the chicks. As soon as the egg is laid, it is removed. The eggs are sent to a hatchery, where the chicks will hatch under an incubator.
  5. Turkeys are killed at 5-7 months old. If allowed to live their full lifespan, turkeys used in “food” production live 2-5 years. Because they are bred to grow quickly, so they can be killed young, turkeys who live past slaughter age, often die of heart failure or severe arthritis.

Try a turkey-free Thanksgiving! From the classic Tofurky, to Field Roast, there are incredible plant-based options to choose from. These alternatives provide a familiar holiday feeling, without supporting the cruelty of turkey farming. Time to start a new tradition! (While you’re at it, add the stuffing recipe on pg 7 to your Thanksgiving menu!)

 Our Favorite Plant-Based Alternatives:

  • Tofurky Roast 
  • Gardein Stuffed Turkey 
  • Field Roast Celebration Roast 
  • Trader Joe’s Turkeyless Stuffed Roast 




12 Responses so far.

  1. Marta Suvaco says:

    After seeing and learning how these poor Turkeys and also chickens are suffering in pain and isolated from the Sun and dirt I recommend do not eat turkey on Thanksgiving Or any other time
    same goes for chickens and don’t forget Pigs, they are slaughtered very painfully and suffer watching their brothers & sisters being butchered. I would save them if I had the Power.
    They are all Gods children.

  2. Cynthia says:

    I’m 62 yrs old ago there are Years of Turkey for Thanksgiving. It’s a hard thing to break simply because of memories..and low priced meat. My question is..If they stopped using Any and All animals for food, what would happen to the millions of all animals world wide? Would people keep them as pets? Would farms keep them indefinitely until their life span is over? I see the sense of their lives ARE precious and they have personality and sense of caring for their young, etc. It’s a tightrope walk. I’m all for leaving all animals to live their lives. Is there a solution? GOD gave us meat to eat thousands of Years ago. And HE also had HIS LAWS on how animals were to be treated while alive and LAWS on how to slaughter. This is the problem today..like animals being artificially inseminated…and made to grow fast..and how they are treated so inhumanely! Sheep kicked beatened and punched while being sheared…on and on for all animals. People who own and or care for these animals are the ones who need to be held accountable. Not that it changes the issues of eat meat or not. We eat very little meat anymore. 3 times a week or maybe 4 sometimes.. I would love to see all animals spared of the slaughter!! I LOVE ALL ANIMALS..AND I SAY A THANK YOU PRAYER TO THE ANIMALS AND TO GOD FOR THE MEAT. Does that make it ok to eat meat? That’s a matter of conscience I think. The farmers first need to be accountable as I mentioned before. It’s a horrible reality. Absolutely HORRIBLE. To me like many issues worldwide..only God can fix. I’m very SAD for all the wildlife killed on the roads each year too!! I say PRAYERS for those poor ones too.
    Thank you

    • Claire C says:

      Thank you for your comment Cynthia! Sanctuaries for farmed animals provide loving homes for these sentient beings, and many private homes also care for animals that they will allow to live out their full lives! It is likely that the shift away from eating meat will be gradual, and because of that we will not have millions of animals at once to provide homes for. Thank you for cutting down on your meat intake! Every time you opt for a veggie option, you are saving a life! Thanks, Claire

  3. Crystal Cabot says:

    I stopped eating meat years ago. I started with red meat first deleted, then poultry. If people knew how animals suffered, they would stop eating them.

    I can no longer eat animals, but I do eat fish, which do not have a central nervous system like animals, so do not feel pain.

    I have noticed that I am different than most people now, and that the behavior of people who eat meat can be violent and aggressive.

    I have not missed meat at all, and now have no taste or desire to eat it. I enjoy vegetables, dairy products, and fish. I am a very mellow person without a temper. I think meat eaters can be quite violent. Very strange, but we are what we eat. There are many gourmet foods, plants, nuts, fruits, and cheeses or dairy foods that provide a healthy diet.

    • Claire C says:

      Thank you for removing red meat and poultry from your diet! You’ve saved so many animals by doing that!

      I’d like to provide a resource on fish, and their ability to feel pain: https://fishpain.com/

      Thank you for your support! – Claire

  4. I applaud Animal Place for this educational article. I myself am a vegan because I do it for the animals. They are my friends not food. I consider them a someone not a something. Please have compassion & kindness this holiday season & choose a plant based meal instead. Turkeys will be grateful.

  5. Pamela McDonald says:

    Thank you for printing this, I have not eaten any meat or seafood in 28 years! I love all animals and never would harm or eat any of thern, I also rescue and foster animals. I wish I could convince other family members and friends to do the same but they get upset with me. Thank you for caring and sharing!!


    • Taylor says:

      In school, my daughter is doing an essay about how turkey should be treated and this article was very helpful. We have read your article and wrote a whole entire essay based on all the information you told us. Can you believe that turkeys have been treated that way? They don’t deserve that just so they can decorate a home and be eating for dinner the next day it’s not fair and I agree with your point of you if I could do something about it I would but we can’t change the law and you can’t control what other people think people still eat turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time they eat turkey. I just want to say thank you for trying and believing that everyone can change and everyone can but you can’t do it by yourself so that’s why I made this comment so that people that read this article and my comment understand that this cause is important. Love me and my daughter.