Why I Heart Turkeys (and Don't Eat Them)

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Posted November 10, 2010 by Rachelle Owen

Even though I was a vegan and had just been hired at PETA, my first trip to an animal sanctuary surprised me. While there (and enjoying an all vegan Thanksgiving feast!), I met a couple of turkeys named Amelia and Aubrey—who had been rescued from slaughter and who had unique personalities, and who, above all else, just wanted some love.

Amelia just wanted everyone to pet her—and she even fell asleep while one PETA staffer did so. And Aubrey had the biggest personality at the farm, following everyone and demanding attention. I left the sanctuary that day knowing a lot more about turkeys—and it broke my heart to think that so many people regard them as little more than dead Thanksgiving mascots.

Did you know

  • 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, and roosting high in trees.
  • In nature, turkeys stay with their moms for the first five months of their lives!
  • The natural lifespan of the turkey is up to 10 years, but on factory farms they are slaughtered when they’re just 5 months old.
  • Erik Marcus, the author of Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, has spent a considerable amount of time with turkeys on farm sanctuaries. He reports, “Turkeys remember your face and they will sit closer to you with each day you revisit. Come back day after day and, before long, a few birds will pick you out as their favorite and they will come running up to you whenever you arrive.”

So if the thought of eating a corpse isn’t enough to persuade you to skip turkey this Thanksgiving, maybe the thought of eating an animal as unique, friendly, and cute as your dog or cat might do the trick. If you still need help convincing your fam—check this out!



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  • 1272 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    A turkey deserves to live as much as I do. No animal deserves to be raised to be killed. To think that people raise thousands of these animals and then kill them just because of ‘blood’ money, and the people who buy them all wrapped up have no thought about what that animal went through. They need to see the truth. They need to watch the slaughter and then decide if they still want that for supper. I do have a heart for animals, and I don’t care who knows it.

  • 1276 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    People must stop mistreat animals. Turkeys and other animals must live in peace. Animals are living with us!!!

  • 1278 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    D: Omg. I want to go to an animal sanctuary!
    :[ wanna save a turkey too.
    : turkey isnt even good, like food wise >_>
    I never liked eating it.
    and alot of people say they dont even eat turkey but other things…although theyre still meat
    there should be a petition to end the killing and sale of turkey!
    I’m sure lots of people would sign it…becasue many people dont even enjoy eating it.
    :[

  • 1278 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    J,aime les animaux beaucoup, donc je suis vegeterienne les decades deja. Il y a beaucoup de plats vegeteriennes, tres delicieux! Nous ne necessons pas mange les dindes! Pourqpoi?

  • 1279 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i will never eat turkeys because they are sweet, intelligent animals who feel fear and pain. as sure as i won’t be eating my dog for dinner, i will not be eating turkey ever.

  • 1649 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I love that I just found out how sweet turkeys are right before the holidays. I’m not eating turkey for dinner next thursday. This is my first step to quitting with meat eating. (:

  • 1655 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    That is adorable. It is so so so cute.

  • 1655 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I <3 turkeys too!

  • 1655 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Yay* for a Cruelty Free Thanksgiving!<3

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