I was touched to view the inspired drawing of a happy turkey roaming free at a sanctuary, gracing the cover of the Holiday Guide [Nov. 20 Xpress]. I was further moved by the poignant words of 6-year-old artist Noah Salzman, who described his creation as “A turkey roaming free, and not for dinner!” Bravo, Noah!
Children come into this world with a natural love and affinity for animals. If more kids knew the truths that young Mr. Salzman obviously knows regarding the extreme cruelty routinely inflicted upon over 250 million turkeys raised for slaughter annually in the United States, they’d have to be dragged to the holiday dinner table kicking and screaming.
Imagine just how disturbed most children would be to discover that turkeys raised for slaughter are typically crammed into overcrowded warehouses, unable to move comfortably … toes and beaks cut off—without anesthesia. Genetically altered to grow twice as fast and double the weight of their kin from yesteryear, these obese animals often suffer painful debilitations of their legs … .
At a mere 14 weeks of age or so, the young birds are transported to slaughter in all temperature extremes … roughly handled and crammed into crates … legally allowed to be transported up to 36 hours without water, food or rest.
At the slaughterhouse, turkeys and chickens … often are improperly stunned, resulting in many birds having their throats slit or being scalded alive in feather-removal tanks, all while still fully conscious … . Some slaughterhouses don’t even try to stun these animals, as turkeys and other poultry are specifically excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act!
Go to www.MercyForAnimals.org and see for yourself the hideous hidden truth of the poultry industry … in Raeford, N.C., at [the House of Raeford]—the seventh-largest poultry-processing plant in the nation.
Start a new holiday tradition by helping provide care for a rescued turkey at Farm Sanctuary rather than eating one. Simply call 1-888-SPONSOR or visit www.AdoptATurkey.org for details.
— Kayla Rae Worden
WNC Regional Coordinator
Mercy For Animals