Sunday, November 16, 2008


Disclaimer, 7/30/12: I am aware that this article does not address turkeys sourced from humane, organic, free-range farms (or hunted in the wild). I plan to update this post or write a new post with an addendum. Thank you for your patience.

Let me first give thanks to all you herbivores out there! The essence of today's blog, however, is to bring about some questioning of how your Thanksgiving will truly play out in this nation and beyond. What will your role be this holiday season?

The trend of Americans cutting down on red meat has been increasing the demand for poultry (chickens, turkeys) to be raised for food, especially in factory farms. An annual average of 250 million [or more] turkeys (that's one quarter of a billion) have been raised for food in the U.S., only to be placed in small spaces of less than 3 square feet with their clipped-off (and non-anesthetized) beaks and claws. One-fifth of those 250 million turkeys are for Thanksgiving ALONE!!

Turkeys are genetically modified to gain more weight and grow larger breasts, which also takes away their ability to reproduce in a natural fashion. Yes, that means your Thanksgiving centerpiece was the product of artificial insemination. Now, imagine eating that genetically altered turkey meat, and thus consuming all foreign chemicals from that animal. Those chemicals were given to the turkey to make him get really fat really quick! You're eating those same chemicals! No wonder so many Americans are overweight!

The Humane Slaughter Act states that animals must be "stunned" (inducing unconsciousness) prior to the preparation of the animals to be killed. Did you know that this Act excludes turkeys [and chickens]? Even so, farms that do choose to stun the animals tend to set the electrical current below that of national requirements, because the farms don't want to "damage" the meat [or render it unpalatable] in any way. Therefore, many of the "stunned" turkeys are still conscious and feel the pain of being slashed through the throat right away. Those who are still mobile after the attempt at stunning are not successfully throat-slashed because they are struggling so sporadically that the machine to slash the throats misses them entirely and throws them directly into the boiling pot to be boiled alive. Ouchie.

Other than the obvious torture reasons to not eat a turkey this holiday, there is also the environmental factor: farming of animals produces about 130 times more environmental waste than humans do. (Human waste includes any environmental harm humans are responsible for, excluding factory farming in this case.) Here is a shocking example from

"Even groundwater, which takes thousands of years to restore, is being contaminated. For example, the aquifer under the San Bernadino Dairy Preserve in southern California contains more nitrates and other pollutants than water coming from sewage treatment plants."

If worldly factors are not enough of a persuasion, then think about your health. Thousands of Americans die each year from contaminated meat. Instead of working backwards to clean up this mess, the USDA and other agribusiness affiliates recommend you overcook the meat and consume an unearthly amount of antibiotics. That said, the antibiotics are only effective in reducing a small amount of viruses and bacteria transferred through meat consumption. One newer discovery includes that of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is an example of a bacterium that antibiotics have not been successful in destroying. For more info, click here. Other than chemicals, just plain-old plant eating is the healthiest diet there is. Whether one wants to maintain a healthy weight, steer clear of 85% of diseases [including cancer, cardiovascular/ coronary artery disease, osteoperosis, kidney disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus], have a strong immune system, a smooth digestive tract, or clean arteries... a plant-based diet is the healthiest lifestyle one can have. AND being an herbivore has NEVER been easier! Have you tried a Tofurkey Roast? Do you like rice pilaf? Tasty stuffing? Do you not like tofu? Guess what! Tofurkey doesn't even TASTE like tofu, nor does it even come close to having the same texture as tofu... My omnivorous sister even likes Tofurkey Roast more than actual turkey meat...

With all the undeniable reasons to not eat a turkey this Thanksgiving, why would you? Why would anybody? I know I won't ever again...