You knew it was coming, dincha? ;)
None of my friends and family IRL escape this, and dear reader, neither will you.
Excerpted from Turkeys: Factory-Farmed Torture on the Holiday Table:
More than 40 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving, more than 20 million are slaughtered at Christmas, and another 19 million die for Easter dinners. Before ending up as holiday centerpieces, these gentle birds spend five to six months on factory farms where thousands of them are packed into dark sheds with no more than 3.5 square feet of space per bird. To keep the overcrowded birds from scratching and pecking each other to death, workers cut off portions of the birds’ toes and upper beaks with hot blades and de-snood the males (the snood is the flap of skin that runs from the beak to the chest). No pain relievers are used during any of these procedures.Okay, I'm done.
Genetic manipulation and antibiotics enable farmers to produce heavily muscled birds who can weigh 35 pounds in as little as five months, and “their internal organs are noticeably crammed together in the little bit of space remaining for the body cavity,” according to The Washington Post. An industry magazine said, “[T]urkey breeders have created birds with huge, unnatural, outsized breasts, since white breast meat is where the money is.” Another turkey breeder complained that birds “are bred to grow fast just to live to 16 weeks [and then] they die,” usually from organ failure, and some suffer from broken legs because their bones are not able to support their weight. A 12-year study of turkey farmers in Iowa (one of the nation’s top turkey-producing states) revealed that leg problems and aneurysms were among the top three health problems in turkey flocks. Factory-farmed turkeys are so large that they cannot even perform normal reproductive behaviors, so all turkeys raised for food are the products of artificial insemination.
Millions of turkeys don’t even make it past the first few weeks before succumbing to “starve-out,” a stress-induced condition that causes young birds to simply stop eating. Catching and transportation are particularly stressful processes for birds, and yet they are repeatedly moved during their short lives—from hatchery to the brooding area to the growing area and finally to the slaughterhouse.
At the slaughterhouse, turkeys are hung upside-down by their weak and twisted legs before their heads are dragged through an electrified “stunning tank,” which immobilizes them but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and, therefore, are fully conscious when their throats are slit. If the knife fails to properly slit the birds’ throats, they are scalded alive in the tank of hot water used for feather removal.
Consider a nice tofurky, or some mashed potatoes?
United Poultry Concerns
Listening to: Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia