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  • Writer's pictureNashville Animal Advocacy

Choose A Compassionate Holiday

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Why should we change our beloved tradition of serving up a turkey as the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving feast, you ask? The most obvious answer is because turkeys are complex and emotional, sentient individuals who value their own lives and have no desire to be a part our rituals. As a purported civilized society, we routinely hold up extremely barbaric actions as justifiable traditions, revealing our moral inconsistencies in our stated values of respecting life. We can change that.

"To understand the complex suffering of turkeys raised for food, one should begin by knowing that in nature, young turkeys stay close to their mothers for four or five months after hatching. Turkeys raised for food, however, never see their mothers." - United Poultry Concerns

In industrial farms, turkeys are subjected to painful mutilations such as debeaking and cutting off their snoods and toes. This is done as a means to reduce the injuries caused by aggression that stems from boredom and their high stress environmental conditions. Nonetheless, infighting continues. Turkeys aren't even afforded federal animal welfare protections.

Image Credit: Omer Shoshan/We Animals Media

Did you know that factory farmed turkeys are fed antibiotics to promote artificial growth [fatten 'em up and kill 'em young] and as an attempt to control the transmissible diseases they carry due to a weakened immune systems from filthy and stressful confinement? Antibiotic resistant superbugs, anyone?

"Of all antibiotics sold in the United States, approximately 80% are sold for use in animal agriculture... Antibiotics are administered to animals in feed to marginally improve growth rates and to prevent infections... There is growing evidence that antibiotic resistance in humans is promoted by the widespread use of nontherapeutic antibiotics in animals." - National Center for Biotechnology Information

Turkeys are still babies, 4-5 months of age, when they are violently packed onto transport trucks headed for slaughter. They are forced into tiny crates, even during extreme heat and inclement weather, for hundreds of miles. Turkeys endure pure misery and violence for their entire short lives simply so we can enjoy a few moments devouring their flesh.

"Slaughter transport of male turkeys is often carried out using crates that are 40 cm or less in height where it is not possible for them to stand up." -National Center for Biotechnology Information

Image Courtesy Amy Pruett

Start A NEW TRADITION for Thanksgiving, and every day by adopting a plant-based diet and choosing compassion for animals. A variety of vegan holiday roasts are widely available at most grocers, they usually begin popping up on the shelves in October through December.

Turkey Day

Recipes for The Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Eat Turkey For Thanksgiving

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