10 facts that will make you skip the turkey this year - Wholesome Culture - Blog
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Christmas is a wonderful time of the year filled with joy, gift-giving, family time, and kindness.

Sadly, it’s a terrible time for turkeys.  

Millions of these majestic birds are killed each Christmas: a miserable ending to a lifetime of suffering.

We think no animal deserves to be treated this way.

Here are 10 very good reasons to take the turkey off the table this Christmas.

  1. Turkeys are intelligent

Turkeys are intelligent

Forget the common misconception – turkeys are not stupid. These intelligent birds use 20 different vocalizations to communicate, and are also good at geography and problem-solving!

  1. They form friendships and emotional bonds

turkeys form emotional bonds and friendships

Just like cats and dogs, turkeys can develop lasting friendships and emotional connections.

Watch this short video about Hildy – a rescued turkey who loved people.

  1. Turkeys are kind and caring moms

They shelter their young under their wings during the first month to provide warmth and comfort. Because of their special bond, the youngsters (called “poults”) panic if they get separated, and give out “lost calls,” to which the mother responds by gathering them to comfort under her wing.

Tragically, most farmed turkeys never meet their mothers, because they hatch in large incubators, where they huddle around heat lamps for warmth.

  1. Turkeys enjoy a sing-along

That’s right – and many animal sanctuaries that can vouch for that! Kathy Stevens, the founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, told The Dodo about a time when a turkey named Ethel sang along in an annual event. Ethel hurried out the door as soon as she heard the music, placed herself in front of the musician, and would chime in enthusiastically every time he would pause.

Watch Ethel and Blue sing along to “You Are My Sunshine.”

  1. They are kept in shocking conditions

Like most farmed animals, throughout their short lifetime, turkeys live in horrific conditions. Thousands of turkeys are crowded together so tightly that they can’t flap wings or even stretch their legs. Many cruel things happen at turkey factory farms – and no animal deserves to be treated this way.

turkey farm - turkeys are kept in shocking conditions

  1. They are stuffed with antibiotics

Turkeys are often fed antibiotics to prevent disease because they live in such foul conditions – as well as to promote their growth.

  1. They are killed before their first birthday

Most farmed turkeys are killed when they’re about five months old – while their natural life-span is about 10 years.

  1. 22 million turkeys are killed in the US every Christmas

millions of turkeys are killed in the US every Christmas

Not a fact that gets you into the holiday spirit, right? Leaving the turkey off your plate would be a lot more festive, and humane.

  1. Slaughterhouse working conditions are appalling

Working in slaughterhouses is also very dangerous with workers’ safety being sacrificed for profits. The fast line speeds, the slippery floors and the lack of appropriate training often lead to lifelong physical injuries and put them at risk of psychological disorders.

  1. There are hundreds of delicious plant-based alternatives!

vegan Christmas dinner options

Finally, no turkey on the dinner table doesn’t mean you’ll need to stuff your face with Brussels sprouts and parsnips! There are hundreds of delicious, plant-based alternatives to turkey which the whole family will enjoy.

Check out these posts for cooking inspiration – and enjoy delicious, festive, and cruelty-free meals!

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