5 Reasons to choose compassion this year at Thanksgiving and leave turkeys off the plate – My new traditions is ThanksLIVING 

 1. Factory farms are horrible conditions for Turkeys.   

  • Turkeys raised for food are killed when they are only 5 or 6 months old, and during their short lives, they will be denied even the simplest pleasures, like running, building nests, and raising their young.  
  • Some can live up to 10 years old in the wild. When they’re not forced to live on filthy factory farms, turkeys spend their days caring for their young, building nests, foraging for food, taking dust baths, preening themselves, and roosting high in trees. 
  • Current factory-farm conditions, in which turkeys are drugged and bred to grow so quickly that many become crippled and die from dehydration, are breeding grounds for disease. 

2. Turkey consumption may kill you. 

  • Turkey flesh is brimming with fat and cholesterol. Just one homemade patty of ground, cooked turkey meat contains 244 mg of cholesterol, and half of its calories come from fat.  
  • Turkey flesh is also  frequently tainted with salmonella, campylobacter bacteria, and other contaminants 
  • Dosing turkeys with antibiotics to stimulate their growth and to keep them alive in filthy, disease-ridden conditions that would otherwise kill them poses even more risks for people who eat them. 
  • Leading health organizations—including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association—have warned that the farmed-animal industry is creating possible long-term risks to human health and will spread antibiotic-resistant supergerms.  
  • That’s why the use of drugs to promote growth in animals used for food has been banned for many years in Europe. 

3. There are healthy, humane alternatives

Everyone can give thanks for Tofurky, Celebration Roast, Garden Protein’s new Veggie Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing, and other animal-friendly holiday meals. You can find holiday recipes galore that will please every palate and make it easier to give up the giblets. 

4. Turkey consumption is  bad for the environment.

Turkeys and other animals raised for food produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population—all without the benefit of waste treatment systems. There are no federal guidelines to regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year. 

5. Factory-farmed turkeys have  nothing to be thankful for .

  • On factory farms, turkeys live for months in sheds where they are packed so tightly that flapping a wing or stretching a leg is nearly impossible. 
  • They stand mired in waste, and urine and ammonia fumes burn their eyes and lungs.  
  • To keep the birds from killing one another in such crowded conditions, parts of the turkeys’ toes and beaks are cut off. All this is done without any pain relievers. 

5  Facts About Turkeys 

  1. They are smart, with personality and character.  
  2. They have a keen awareness of their surroundings 
  3. They are interesting and have personalities every bit as developed as any dog or cat 
  4. Ben Franklin loved the “respectable” personality of the wild turkey and wanted to see it, instead of the bald eagle 
  5. They are social and playful and they love to cuddle and have their feathers stroked – they even love gobbling along to their favorite music.