Turkey, stuffing, pie, and savory sauces are the most welcomed guests at our hearty Thanksgiving suppers. They bring families together. They bring young and old to a common understanding of thankfulness. They represent our pasts, our gratitude, and our deeply woven traditions.
But with our social customs aside, have you ever wondered how our food gets to the table? Do you ever think about how that beautifully roasted turkey became that centerpiece…or how that lunch meat got between your two slices of whole wheat bread? Although you are eternally grateful for the food on your table, should you truly be thankful for how it got there?
According to Turkey Farmers of Ontario most farmers grow their birds in “clean, protected environments” to allow for nutritional and developmental needs to be met. They say that barns are designed so that each turkey has enough room to move around and get enough water, food, and light.
But the story tells a different tale on a little hidden secret called ‘factory farms’. Over 300 million turkeys/year are raised and killed for meat in the US. In fact more than 45 million are killed for Thanksgiving and 22 million for Christmas! This is an enormous number of turkeys!
But before they end up on your table, these genetically bred turkeys spend 6 months on factory farms where they are packed into dark sheds and deprived of the simplest pleasures. In fact, they are bred to grow so quickly that they rapidly become “breast-heavy” and cripple under their own body weight.
On top of all that, workers were also noted to kick, punch, and throw birds against barn walls. The turkeys look scared and confused, screeching with pain as they go through the assembly lines. Workers are also known to cut off portions of the birds’ toes/feet to keep them from pecking each other to death! And if they do get sick, they are often beat to death with poles, a “standard industry practice”.
I think this is atrocious! It just makes me wonder what our world has truly come to. It makes me wonder why we do so many things without questioning them and why we choose to ignore serious problems within society! I guess it’s because we feel as though we can’t do anything….like we have no real choice. But that’s where we’re slightly wrong! Although we don’t really have much choice, we do have the choice to be informed. And, that’s one of the most powerful choices of all!
Sorry to ruin your thanksgiving supper, but you really have to check out PETA’s “Butterball’s House of Horrors” to be your own judge! All of a sudden, a slice turkey seems a lot more than I bargained for!