9 Things The Turkey Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

It’s no secret that traditions change over time. Many things that used to be celebrated and were once considered acceptable by the majority are now generally frowned upon in today’s society. As we learn and grow, we make adjustments to our thinking.

Nowadays, we’ve learned the truth about what happens to turkeys raised for food, so why do we continue to harm them in the name of “tradition”? The meat industry would like us to remain misinformed and stuck in our old ways, but it’s time for a change of heart.

Here’s what the turkey industry doesn’t want you to know: 

1. Turkeys are curious and sensitive animals with unique personalities who are often compared to cats. They can feel fear, pain, happiness, and sadness. Despite this, turkeys have no federal protections against abuse.

2. Nearly 300 million turkeys are killed for food in the U.S. each year. To put things into perspective, that’s almost 10 turkeys slaughtered per SECOND. 

3. Turkeys raised on commercial farms never get to meet their moms, let alone do any of the natural things that make them happy. They’re typically forced to languish in disgusting, overcrowded sheds.

4. Some companies put meaningless labels on their packaging to dupe customers into buying more turkey meat, but the truth is that the majority of turkeys live in these horrific environments that no reasonable person would consider “humane.” 

5. The stress of such overcrowding can cause the birds to partake in unnatural behaviors such as pecking or clawing each other and even killing one another. Rather than improve the animals’ environment to prevent this, it’s standard practice for farmers to cut off part of the birds’ sensitive beaks, toes and snoods (the skin that hangs over the birds’ faces) while they’re babies. This is done without any anesthetics. 

6. At the beginning of 2019, Animal Equality UK documented turkeys on an “award-winning” farm pecking and literally eating other birds alive who were unable to walk. These behaviors are rarely seen in natural environments and are brought on by psychological distress. 

7. Investigators also witnessed dead birds left to rot alongside the living, birds with severely infected wounds going untreated, and other scenes of neglect — all on this prestigious farm that supplied meat to high-end stores and butchers. 

8. In the U.S., nearly one million turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive every year in slaughterhouses, where fast-moving lines often fail to kill the birds before they are dropped into the scalding tank.

9. All of this suffering and death is unnecessary. Humans can live healthy and happy lives without eating animals!

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So now that you know the truth, what will you do? Pain, suffering, and death should never be celebrated. Why not start a new tradition of compassion this holiday season by leaving these amazing animals off your plate? Try a plant-based “turkey” or roast instead!