“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Interesting Thanksgiving and Turkey Trivia
Turkey flesh is low in fat and high in protein value and contains more protein per gram than even chicken or beef.
A still young America had pushed for a ‘national day of prayer’ since the days of Thomas Jefferson, but he felt it was the government’s place only to ‘recommend and not prescribe’ such an overtly religious activity.
The Wild Turkey was almost America’s national bird. It lost over the Bald Eagle by only one senatorial vote.
It wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation following a long civil war that the precedent for a ‘national day of Thanksgiving’ was set for the last Thursday of November of every year.
Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — was created by retailers for the sole purpose of boosting consumerism for the impending Christmas holiday season in America.
Wild turkeys can fly short distances up to 55 mph and can run up to 20 mph.
There is no documented proof that the first Thanksgiving featured a wild turkey in its meal. It’s more likely the natives and colonists consumed lobster, a goose or swan, and/or deer with locally grown seasonal fruits (squash, berries, potatoes).
Turkeys — like us — can see in color. They have excellent vision and are difficult to hunt in the wild given their excellent senses and evasion methods.
Disturbing Trends, Thanksgiving Today
More than 90% of Americans will eat from a turkey carcass on Thanksgiving Day.
Domesticated turkeys have been genetically modified over the decades to have such large breasts and to grow so quickly in just a few months that they have difficulty even walking.
Factory-grown turkeys are the only poultry that grow sicker with every week they mature.
Americans have increased their per capita intake of turkey by 4 times since the 1960’s, making CAFO (confined animal feeding operations) the most efficient way to ‘grow’ turkeys for the masses.
Turkey poults (baby turkeys) will have the tips of their beaks burned off and the tips of the toes cut off — all without anesthesia — as a standard practice to protect other birds as they grow in confined quarters together.
Minnesota tops other states at 46 million (2012 data) turkeys annually. Somewhere around 50 million turkeys will be consumed on a single day — Thanksgiving.
In 1920, U.S. turkey growers produced one turkey for every 29 persons in America. Around 250 million turkey are raised in America each year — roughly one turkey for every person.
An ‘all natural turkey’ label assures no artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient.’ It says nothing of the breeding, raising, or slaughter methods.
The AHC (American Humane Certified) seal on turkey carcasses sold in grocery stores assures science-based AHC standards for animal care. Although the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act requires that animals be rendered insensible prior to shackling and slaughter, the USDA (government regulation and enforcement agency) does not interpret the law as including turkeys killed for food.
- HSUS Report on [Factory] Turkey Welfare, 2008 (PDF document)
- University of Illinois Extension, Turkey Facts
- Learn how to Eviscerate Your Own Turkey
Join us as we have removed the cruel tradition of turkey
as the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving meal.
There are kinder, more compassionate options out there.
3 thoughts on “Know Your Thanksgiving Centerpiece”
Proud to be vegan and therefore among the elite 10% who were turkey-free this Thanksgiving! My parents were among the 10% as well this year. Unfortunately, in their case, it was because they opted for steak. 😦
Thanks, Uncle Guac, for keeping it real! I’d like to think of the steak as being slightly more humane than turkey. The birds raised for food (including eggs) have it the WORST.