Tag Archives: turkeys

China is leading the way on climate change, and the U.S. should be ashamed

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Rosalie’s kitchen table this a.m.: More corn please! pic:R.T.

By Jennifer Bates

China will soon surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy.

And now it is poised to overtake this country by yet another metric: environmental protection.

In an unexpected development, China – known for its choking urban pollution and notorious Three Gorges Dam – has introduced new dietary guidelines that seek to cut its meat consumption in half.

If this sounds familiar, it might be because you remember similar guidelines proposed in the U.S. in 2015 — which were promptly rejected by officials on the grounds that dietary guidelines aren’t an “appropriate vehicle” for addressing sustainability concerns.

But what we eat is directly tied to the environment, and large-scale animal agriculture is destroying our planet. You probably know that this industry spews climate-changing greenhouse gases into the air, but animal agriculture’s adverse effects don’t end there. Because the industry relies on water-intensive crops and uses enormous amounts of water to clean out filthy enclosures, provide animals with drinking water and more, the average meat-eater indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day more than someone who just eats plant-based foods.

One pig produces as much fecal matter as 10 humans, and that waste has to go somewhere. Often, the toxic stew finds its way into our rivers and oceans, poisoning aquatic life. Meanwhile, countless acres of rainforest are cut down every day to create more grazing lands or to plant crops intended solely to feed farmed animals.

This industry is also hell on the animals raised for human consumption, who are violently abused and traumatized from birth to death. Male pigs and cattle are castrated without painkillers. Farmed fish are kept in crowded, filthy enclosures full of their own waste. And each year, nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are still alive and conscious when they’re immersed in the scalding-hot water of feather-removal tanks.

The average Chinese citizen consumes about 128 pounds of animal flesh each year. But the average American? Two hundred and sixty-four pounds, more than twice the amount of our Eastern competitors.

By cutting its meat consumption, China will spare billions of sentient beings a terrifying death. Cutting back on meat will also be a tremendous boon to public health, because it will reduce not only air pollution but also diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and obesity. China seems to understand what the U.S. refuses to acknowledge — that the health of our planet and the health of our citizens are irrevocably linked.

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol — the world’s first concerted effort to tackle climate change — with the argument that it was unfair to expect Western nations to curb emissions while exempting China. But now that China has fully signed on to the new Paris Agreement and has taken this important first step toward reducing its meat consumption, what’s holding back the U.S.?

It is a travesty that China acts while we sit on the sidelines refusing to address the most pressing issue of our time. Rather than bickering over “appropriate vehicles” while the planet melts and burns around us, we must respond. The only way to reclaim our status as world leader is by going beyond China’s measures.

First, the U.S. should drop federal subsidies for the animal-agriculture industry in favor of subsidies for plant-based foods. Next, we must lead on the development of in vitro meat, which generates 96 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and whose production requires up to 99 percent less land, 96 percent less water and 45 percent less energy than “traditional” meat. Finally, we must all do our part as Americans by curbing our crippling addiction to animal flesh.

Go vegan, and the health of our environment — not to mention our status as a world leader — will follow.

Why this feminist would ‘rather go naked’

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Ingrid

By Ingrid Newkirk
 
Is it odd that a feminist like me, from back in the bra-burning ’60s, champions racy protests featuring women wearing little more than body-paint markings that mimic a butcher’s diagram? Some might raise an eyebrow, but this March, National Women’s History Month, let me explain why I believe that supporting women’s rights and stripping for a cause go together like Gloria Steinem and miniskirts.
 
With feminism, as with all social movements, each generation has its own battles to fight, and while respect is certainly owed those who helped society evolve to this point, today is a new day with new issues to grapple with. I relate best now to the third-wave feminists who are sick of second-wave feminists—ever so ironically taking the place of repressive fathers and husbands—demanding that women cover ourselves up and “behave.” How dare we expose our bodies to prying eyes! But dare we do, with more feminists daring to do something more important: to challenge the idea that breasts are to be kept covered like a dirty magazine.
 
At PETA, which is awash with “uppity women” like me, we’d rather go naked than wear not only fur but leather or wool—any skin. We see animal liberation as a logical part of a philosophy that rejects violence to, and the exploitation of, those who are not exactly like oneself in some way or another. We reject prejudice on the basis of any arbitrary factor such as skin color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or species. For surely there is something fundamentally wrong with moaning about freedom for yourself while denying it to others.
 
We are all of us composed of flesh and blood. We have faces and feelings and a beating heart, as did the pigs and chickens and other animals who were killed and decapitated for nothing more than a fleeting taste. What is done to them would be the same if it were done to us. And that’s the point of provocative PETA campaigns such as our “All Animals Have the Same Parts” protests featuring those aforementioned butcher’s diagrams. The scantily clad women who stand out in the cold know that people will stop and stare and that many of them will have never thought about animal rights before. That’s the power of their protest.  
 
Instead of attacking the (naked) messenger, who doesn’t need anyone’s permission to strip, I ask people to  put that energy and outrage where it belongs—into taking action against those who would abuse and exploit the most vulnerable among us. Women’s rights and animal rights go hand in hand. If you reject violence against women, you can’t in good conscience eat bacon and drink milk. Why? Because mother pigs—sows, who are smart as the dickens and who love their precious babies as dearly as any human mother loves hers—are confined to metal crates so small that they can’t even turn around and they develop painful ulcers from the constant pressure of lying, nearly immobile, on the unyielding cement floor. Because terrified, crying calves are torn away from their devoted mothers right after birth so that humans can steal the milk that was meant for them. Because factory farm and slaughterhouse workers, who have grueling, dangerous, soul-crushing jobs, often take their frustrations out on female animals by sexually assaulting them—sometimes in their terrifying last moments. The video is on our website and is hard to watch.
 
I have seen slaughter, have seen pigs beaten and loaded into the trucks on their way to it, and have been disturbed by the unmistakable sorrow and fear on their faces as they rattled down a highway for the first and last time ever. It’s the same look that you or I would have. We all feel pain and fear and long for the freedom to live our lives. We’re all the same.
 
With one significant difference.
 
Unlike the pigs and turkeys and fish and cows, I have choices. I can choose to walk away from meat and eggs and dairy products and continue enjoying my life, opting instead for healthy, humane vegan foods. If you haven’t done that yet, please, come join me. Women unite for animal rights!

12 Reasons You May Never Want To Eat Turkey Again

Let’s REFORM AMERICAN FACTORY FARMS!  No more hormones, no more cramming and beating,  no more standing in filth, no more beak and claw removal WITHOUT ANESTHESIA!

When you don’t eat meat you don’t buy into the horrific suffering of cows, turkeys, chickens, calves, pigs, lambs on America’s factory farms!

Agribusiness is just that – a business.

YOU CAN  WORK WITH OUR POLITICIANS TO CHANGE THE BUSINESS! Please demand more oversight, demand LAWS that ensure a MODICUM OF HUMANITY IN A SYSTEM THAT LITERALLY DRIVES ANIMALS INSANE, A SYSTEM OF UNENDING PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN for animals.

God’s creatures, every one of them!

– Rosalie Tirella

From PETA.ORG:

Reason #2

Turkeys love to be patted! (To see the 11 other reasons. CLICK HERE!)

Many turkeys, even those who have known great cruelty at human hands, will happily sit for hours having their feathers stroked.

Loving Beatrice, a former factory farm turkey rescued by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, is a huge snugglebug despite having been mutilated by humans as a baby. And Clove the turkey hen (pictured below) loves to cuddle with her rescuers at Animal Placesanctuary.

Clover the turkey vegan thanksgiving

 

The big turkey-“gobbling” (up) holidays are here! Save a bird! Save your waistline and heart! Go veggie this holiday season!


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Paul McCartney became a vegan after he met the lovely Linda Eastman. They married, gave birth to WINGS, children and not a few veggie cookbooks! Their daughter Stella is an internationally feted fashion designer. Every piece of clothing, every shoe, sandal, purse she designs is 100% vegan – no animals killed to make her fashion.

Paul has been collaborating with PETA for years.  Learn from the cutest Beatle!

Want to speak out for turkeys, like Paul? PETA says: “Wear this “Eat No Turkey” T-shirt while you go vegan this holiday season.” (to order your T-shirt, click on blue text!)

– R.  Tirella

FROM PETA.ORG (click on blue text for more info!):

Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and, of course, food! This Thanksgiving, Paul McCartney is urging you to say “no, thanks” to turkey and “yes” to a delicious, cruelty-free holiday meal.

Paul is no stranger to the world of meat-free meals—his powerful narration of PETA’s “Glass Walls” video illustrates his notion that “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

Like chickens, the 300 million turkeys raised and killed for their flesh every year in the United States have no federal legal protection.

More than 45 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving alone, and more than 22 million die at Christmas.

Speak out for turkeys this Thanksgiving and Christmas!

(And definitely don’t eat them! – R.T.)

Top 10 reasons not to eat turkey this Thanksgiving

From PETA.ORG.       – R.T.

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Pardon me, pilgrim! This Thanksgiving, how about ditching the dead bird? In today’s farming system, beautiful, inquisitive, intelligent turkeys endure lives of suffering and painful deaths. Here are 10 good reasons to carve out a new tradition by flocking to vegan entrées, along with some scrumptious holiday cooking tips and recipes—and thankfully, none of them require stuffing anyone:

1. Personality Plus
Turkeys are “smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings,” says Oregon State University poultry scientist Tom Savage. The Atlantic article “Consider the Turkey” reports that researchers “have found that when an individual turkey is removed from his flock, even in domesticity, he’ll squawk in obvious protest until reunited with his posse.” They relish having their feathers stroked. They dance when reunited with a person they recognize. Anyone who spends time with them at farm sanctuaries quickly learns that turkeys are as varied in personality as dogs and cats.

Wild Turkey

2. Let Them Give Thanks, Too
The natural life expectancy of turkeys is up to 10 years, but on factory farms, they are slaughtered when they’re just 5 months old. In nature, young turkeys stay with their mothers for the first few months of their lives. Since Thanksgiving is a time to take stock of our lives and give thanks for all that we have, let turkeys give thanks, too, by keeping them off your plate.



Read more: http://www.peta.org/living/food/top-10-reasons-eat-turkeys/#ixzz3JPvDn0J2

The amazing turkey!

By Alisa Mullins

A New Hampshire turkey farmer was in the news recently because of his unorthodox practice of giving his turkeys beer. One might naturally wonder whether this is inhumane since it could possibly make the turkeys drunk or ill, but he assures potential customers that turkeys “don’t seem to be the brightest, so they could stumble and you wouldn’t know if they drank too much or not.”

This farmer’s turkey husbandry may be out of the ordinary, but he’s pretty run-of-the-mill when it comes to insulting the birds’ intelligence. But are turkeys really that dumb? Not according to people who don’t have an interest in perpetuating the idea that they are little more than walking Thanksgiving centerpieces.

Ben Franklin called turkeys “a Bird of Courage.” He had tremendous respect for their resourcefulness and agility. So does retired Oregon State University poultry scientist Tom Savage, who says turkeys are “smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings.”

Perhaps no one has a deeper insight into the workings of a turkey’s mind than naturalist Joe Hutto, star of the remarkable PBS documentary My Life as a Turkey. Hutto raised a flock of turkeys from birth and learned how alert, affectionate and observant they are. Turkeys possess “an extraordinary intelligence characterized by true problem-solving reason, and a consciousness that was undeniable, at all times conspicuous, and for me, humbling,” says Hutto. The young turkeys were keen observers of their environment, always noticed if anything—a fallen branch or a patch of disturbed earth—had changed and, if so, would carefully examine it. Hutto also noted that they had an extensive vocabulary, with specific vocalizations for individual animals, and he identified more than 30 specific calls.

Turkeys also have excellent vision and are able to recognize and distinguish between different humans. “I found that the turkeys were in fact suspicious of other people even at a great distance and could … discriminate between me and anyone else from a quarter of a mile!” Hutto says.

One turkey, named Sweet Pea, loved to climb into Hutto’s lap and curl up like a contented puppy.

Lest you think Hutto’s turkeys were unique, people who get to know rescued turkeys at sanctuaries report that they are similarly curious and discriminating.

Erik Marcus, the author of Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, reports that turkeys “remember your face and they will sit closer to you with each day you revisit. Come back day after day and, before long, a few birds will pick you out as their favorite and they will come running up to you whenever you arrive. It’s definitely a matter of the birds choosing you rather than of you choosing the birds.”

Yet chickens and turkeys aren’t even considered animals by the federal government. They are inexplicably excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act, the only federal law that provides any protection for animals in slaughterhouses, which means that it is perfectly legal for chickens and turkeys to have their throats slit without prior stunning and to be dunked into the scalding-hot water of defeathering tanks while still conscious.

More than 210 million turkeys are killed every year in the U.S.—46 million at Thanksgiving alone. Most of them are raised on factory farms, where they are confined by the thousands to windowless sheds. They are forced to stand in their own waste, and ammonia fumes burn their eyes and lungs. In order to prevent stress-induced fighting, their upper beaks are cut off with a red-hot blade, and to make them grow abnormally large abnormally quickly, they are genetically manipulated and fed growth-promoting drugs, which leads to painful, crippled legs and heart attacks. Turkeys are slaughtered when they are still babies, just 5 to 6 months old.

It’s bad enough that all these terrible things are done to turkeys without literally adding insult to injury by belittling and demeaning them. Maybe it makes people feel better about eating these inquisitive, sensitive birds to mock them and sneer at them, but if any of us had an ounce of decency, it should make us feel infinitely worse.

 

 

The real meaning of Thanksgiving

By Lisa Towell

Turkeys are so closely associated with Thanksgiving that some people simply call the holiday “turkey day.” Thanksgiving-themed art features smiling cartoon birds in Pilgrim hats or plump roasted turkeys on platters.

But we never see the real lives of the birds who become our holiday meals. Virtually all of the 45 million turkeys consumed in the U.S. every Thanksgiving live lives of constant suffering.

Cruel conditions on factory farms frequently make the news, but I wanted to see for myself, so I recently visited a typical turkey farm.

I saw thousands of birds crowded into a vast sunless shed, most with missing feathers and raw patches of skin. Nervous and noisy, the birds ran away in fear and trampled each other when I approached. All the birds had been debeaked without being given painkillers. (Debeaking is a procedure in which the sensitive tip of a bird’s beak is cut off to prevent stress-induced fights.) The birds were living in their own accumulated waste, breathing noxious fumes 24 hours a day. Continue reading The real meaning of Thanksgiving