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Meet Darla the Turkey

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Posted November 21, 2007 by Rachelle Owen

In the summer of 2002, I worked at a farmed animal sanctuary near my hometown in Western Pennsylvania. My day consisted of feeding the animals in the morning, and working on a larger project in the afternoon such as painting the barn a new coat of red, or mending a broken fence.

During my lunch break, one of my own decided duties was to hang out with the rescued turkeys. There was one turkey in particular with whom I took a special liking to. Her name was Darla. Darla had come to the sanctuary after falling off a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. She was quite the lucky turkey indeed.turkey.jpg

Darla loved to bask in the sun, search for bugs, investigate what the rabbits were doing in the next enclosure, and eat her favorite treat—grapes. She also loved to be pet. Every time I stroked under her beak, she would fall asleep—sometimes even standing up!

Throughout the summer, I noticed Darla starting to change. She would wheeze when she breathed, and would spend more of her days lying down in the barn.

Darla got worse as the weeks wore on. She was becoming crippled under the weight of her genetically manipulated and drugged body. She was not intended to have lived beyond her date with the slaughterhouse. Her legs were giving out, and her lungs were being crushed by her ever-growing body.

One morning, I came into work and heard that Darla had to be euthanized the night before. I wasn’t surprised at the news, because I saw the amount of pain that she was in, and knew her time had come. I was still sad though, and remember her especially during this time of year.

Even if you haven’t had the great opportunity to be-friend a turkey, it is clear that they are smart, gentle, and feeling beings that deserve not to be used as a holiday dinner!

So for Darla and all turkeys, go cold turkey this Thanksgiving, and opt for some Tofurky instead!

xoxo-Lara

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  • 2785 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    OMG that is sad enough to make me cry. Bu at least she is no longer in pain

  • 2801 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Awwwww, that turkey looks so friendly. :] Too bad she had to die like that tho. >wAwwwww, that turkey looks so friendly. :] Too bad she had to die like that tho. >w< I went to Wal-mart recently and saw frozen Butter-ball turkeys and I looked at it and like picked a leg up and just let it drop on the rest of them. Poor turkeys. :[ Man I hate Butterball. D<

  • 2801 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    omg..i once had a pet turkey named almorosa and he was my best friend, i loved him with all my being and kept my dad from killing him. But as he got older he got sick and died and i lost my best friend!

  • 2802 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Darla is so beautiful. It is sad that humans have messed up animals to the point they are un able to support thier own bodies. I hope someday people will come to realize the amount of love and “soul” inside these animals and see the wrongdoings of the human race and change their ways.

  • 2802 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    aww she is so cute!
    Now people should realize that turkeys are too cute to kill.
    I will never eat another piece of meat in my entire life.
    I LOVE U DARLA!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^_^

  • 2805 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Aww poor Darla. She’s adorable. Tofurkey is one of the more, um, disgusting vegetarian foods I’ve tried. I had it last year for the first time and I did not like it at all. So this year I had pizza instead. Of course my family still had turkey. Those people…

  • 2805 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    It would hurt like hell losing that poor little turkey. But think about it Darla could of being slaughtered & suffered so much more pain.
    Apart from her ever growing body, the last few weeks of her life, she had love & kindness given to her.
    good on you for taking care of her

  • 2805 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I’m real sure that Darla is in a better place. but I wonder why the guy didn’t think of saving Darla? I don’t know about him, but if I even heard the turkey I’m friends with is suffering, I’d steal my turkey friend away and take him/her to an animal hospital where the animal doctors hopefully can find a cure to sick turkeys.

  • 2806 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i had a turkey friend like that too. her name was agro, and she would follow me around the yard. she was bred to grow very large also, and grew so big that she couldn’t walk, and would be kicking the ground to try to get up. it was so sad and she ended up freezing in the snow =(

  • 2806 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    aww what a shame sorry to hear that. that’s so cute how when you scratch her chin she falls asleep!!! aww!!!

  • 2807 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    omg.
    i bet u were reall close with darla.
    at least shes in a better place now.
    and im sorry for your lose.

  • 2807 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    That’s sad. Cute freaking turkey. That’s sad. Cute freaking turkey. <33

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