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Don’t be Jerk-ey, Stop Eating Turkey

The great Frederick Douglass once wrote that, “No man (or woman) fails, or can fail, who so grandly gives himself and all he has to a righteous cause.” These words provide great comfort to me when I think about the billions of people around the world who continue to ignore the moral, health, and ecological implications of eating animal products. These populations continue with their destructive habits, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence showing that the consumption of meat, dairy and egg products will on average, shorten a person’s lifespan by 12-14 years, cause unimaginable harm to animals, create a lifetime dependency on prescription drugs, and accelerate the continued ravaging of our only planet. 
Don’t get me wrong. We are all flawed, and I remain a work in progress as well. Just 15 years ago, after being a vegetarian for 15 years, I thought that I needed to eat more protein. As a result, I believed that I was doing chickens and turkeys a solid by consuming only “humanely raised poultry”, while I also continued to gobble down organic dairy yogurt and cheese. I was dead wrong, and sick, and I didn’t recover until I took out the remaining animal products in my diet once and for all. I don’t blame anyone, as the countless misinformation campaigns peddled by the “profits over people” industries are overwhelming and criminal, and stem from a broken “healthcare” or sick-care system, the for profit meat, dairy and egg industries, corrupt politicians and so-called “health” organizations, corporate greed/media, and a deceitful pharmaceutical industry that is completely out of control too (nearly 90% of Americans over the age of 65 are taking at least one prescription drug). Wow.
Okay, so let’s talk turkey. It will soon be Thanksgiving once again in the United States, and more than 46 million fascinating and intelligent turkeys will be slaughtered, with their dead bodies being proudly showcased on dinner tables across the country. According to PETA, “When not forced to live on filthy factory farms, turkeys spend their days caring for their young, building nests, foraging for food, taking dust baths, preening themselves, and roosting high in trees…Turkeys are intelligent animals who enjoy having their feathers stroked and who like listening to music, with which they’ll often loudly sing along. In nature, they can fly 55 miles an hour, run 35 miles an hour, and live up to 10 years. But the story is very different for turkeys on factory farms: They’ll be killed when they’re only 3 to 5 months old and, during their short lives, will be denied even the simplest pleasures, such as running, building nests, and raising their young. Like chickens, the estimated 245 million turkeys raised and killed for their flesh every year in the U.S. have no federal legal protection. More than 46 million of them are killed each year at Thanksgiving alone, and more than 22 million die at Christmas. Before ending up as holiday centerpieces, these gentle, intelligent birds spend their short lives on factory farms, where thousands of them are packed into dark sheds with no more than 3.5 square feet of space per bird. They’re genetically bred to grow as quickly as possible, and they often become crippled under their own weight…To keep the crowded birds from scratching and pecking each other to death, workers cut off portions of their toes and upper beaks with hot blades and de-snood the males (the snood is the flap of skin that runs from the beak to the chest). No pain relievers are used during any of these procedures…Turkeys don’t have the opportunity to breathe fresh air or feel the sun on their backs until they’re shoved onto trucks bound for slaughter. They’re transported for hours without food or water through all weather extremes, and many may die on this nightmarish journey…At the slaughterhouse, the survivors are hung upside down by their weak and crippled legs before their heads are dragged through an electrified “stunning tank,” which immobilizes but doesn’t kill them…” And well, you get the picture.
“If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the Civil War, don’t look at where you stand on slavery today. Look at where you stand on animal rights.” – Paul Watson
If you are still content to eat animal products, despite everything we know about the terror, misery and suffering that all animals experience in animal factories, then you would have most likely been okay with American Slavery too. I know that nobody wants to hear that, but I believe it. Please consider being on the right side of history by heeding the words of Frederick Douglass, and many others, by being a voice for the voiceless, and adopting a delicious plant-based diet.
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