On Thanksgiving, many Canadians give thanks for the wonderful things in our lives, including friends, family, and health.
But turkeys killed and eaten for Thanksgiving dinner have nothing to be thankful for. Over 18 million turkeys were killed for food last year alone—many of them destined for Thanksgiving meals. Raised in appalling conditions on Canada’s industrial turkey facilities and shipped to slaughter, their lives are bleak and filled with suffering.
Undercover footage has exposed brutal conditions, abusive transport, and botched killing in the turkey industry. In one exposé of a Kitchener, Ontario turkey farm, workers were seen punching, throwing, and kicking birds, hitting them with metal rods and shovels, and crushing their spines.
And footage from a turkey slaughterhouse in Abbotsford, British Columbia shows painful, botched killings. Multiple turkeys are improperly stunned, thus fully conscious when their throats were slit with a metal blade. Many birds missed the blade, and were then dragged vats full of boiling water to remove their feathers. This killing process is standard in the turkey industry.
Disturbingly, there are no federal regulations protecting turkeys and other farmed animals from horrific suffering while on farms. And exposés of turkey farms are under threat from dangerous new agricultural gag (“ag gag”) law—seeking to punish animal protection advocates who expose widespread animal suffering behind the closed doors of farms. Animal Justice is challenging Ontario’s ag gag law in court.
Turkeys are curious, friendly, and sensitive birds with big personalities. They can live up to 15 years, and are known to be caring parents who love to explore.
You can help turkeys this Thanksgiving by choosing to spare a bird and make a delicious plant-based meal for your family, and by speaking out against ag gag laws that aim to hide their suffering.
Banner: Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals Media