All Gobbled Up: End the Turkey Torture


Amanjot Bains (12th), Reporter

Every year Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated with hearty feasts, turkeys being the center of attention at the dinner table. But has anyone ever questioned how they got so popular?

The majority of turkeys that are used as food for humans are raised in factory farms, where they do not even have five square feet of personal space in their entire lives and will never have a chance to meet or even bond with their mothers.

They miss out on much more than just getting to know their mothers:

“Turkeys won’t have the opportunity to breathe fresh air or feel the sun on their backs until their shoved onto trucks bound for slaughter,” PETA said. “They are transported for hours without food or water through all weather extremes – and many will die on this nightmarish journey.”

Turkeys at these factory farms are genetically bred to grow as big as possible and as fast as possible. In less than fifty years, a turkey’s average weight has increased from seventeen pounds to twenty-eight pounds. Since turkey’s’ legs were not made to carry so much weight, many turkeys become crippled.

Some turkey’s legs break when they are hung upside down at the slaughterhouse. On top of that, their heads are dunked into electrified water, their throats are slit, they are dunked into scalding hot water, they are defeathered, and they are turned into a meal.

Every year, more than forty-five million turkeys in the United States are forced to give up their lives for Thanksgiving dinner, and more than twenty-two million for Christmas.

In the wild, a turkey is expected to live ten years. In a factory, a turkey only gets six months. In the wild, a turkey can fly up to fifty-five miles per hour. In a factory, a turkey isn’t given the chance to fly. In the wild, a turkey can run at eighteen miles per hour. In a factory, there is no space to run.

So how about this year everyone gives turkeys a chance to be thankful on Thanksgiving? Why not try a vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving dinner? Granted, it will not bring the already dead turkeys back to life but it will be a step towards the killing of less turkeys for human consumption. A step forward.