You can celebrate without taking a life

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Don’t get your kids out of the room. We’ve got a message to tune in ahead of your holiday meal.

At least 40 million turkeys will be sold this Thanksgiving – turkeys whose lives ended in 12- 14 weeks. Before that indignity, their lives took a dive after being hatched in an incubator on a huge factory farm.  Days later, they had their upper beaks and toenails snipped off. With altered beaks, they were left to gorge on an antibiotic infused corn-based mash – an unnatural diet designed to make them overweight as quickly as possible. They lived unable to move around in a windowless barn to produce lots of white breast meat for consumer demand.

Because of their monotonous diet, a turkey’s coveted flesh is so bland processors inject them with a saline solution and vegetable oil, to add more weight, increase their shelf life and improve flavor.

In nature, native turkeys typically spend their lives outdoors, exploring, climbing, socializing and breeding. In contrast, domesticated turkeys live among ammonia fumes so intense; they’d burn your eyes.

Even organic turkeys are not killed humanely.  As we saw in an infamous 2008 video at a turkey farm in which Alaska’s Sarah Palin held an interview before Thanksgiving to “pardon” a turkey, behind her, the bird was put in a cone upside down.  With a sharp instrument its jugular was severed-but not the esophagus, so it continued to breathe before it died. You’d think that would take Palin’s breath away.

Everyone considering a turkey meal should see Sarah Palin’s interview.  I’ve posted it on my Facebook page.

The truth is, one in 10 Americans say they don’t eat meat.  If everyone had what I’m making as a main dish — Butternut Squash and Mushroom Wellington — or some other such vegan main course this Thanksgiving, 40 million birds would be spared.  We’d also keep nearly 2 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Environmental columnist and author George Monbiot warns us, “There are just two actions needed to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown:  leave fossil fuels in the ground and stop farming animals.”

Turkey and other livestock farming accounts for between 16.5% and 28% of all greenhouse gas pollution. Animal farming is also the greatest source of methane released by human activities, Monbiot says. And organic farmers can’t argue that their animals are better for the environment because, aside from pollution, deforested grasslands used to raise animals should be returned to forestland to draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

If government leaders around the world won’t address animal farming, it’s up to us. Please consider plant based, vegan meals for children and adults that are healthful, delicious and respectful of animals and the lives we cherish.  I’ve authored two vegan cookbooks and am able to help anyone transition their meal for you and the turkeys.


Priscilla Feral

President, Friends of Animals




9 responses to “You can celebrate without taking a life”

  1. John O’Neill

    Let me see if I understand what’s being written above and look at it from a slightly different slant:
    While it’s incredibly inhumane to treat Turkeys in this manner, it’s okay to abort an unborn child at 32 weeks and not feel bad about it as a society?
    Call me crazy, but I don’t agree.

  2. Mike Murray

    Don’t go for the store bought full of hormones. Wild turkey are abundant in many areas. I have a flock constantly in the woods and field behind my new house. The two biggest ones will be dinner guests next Thursday.

  3. Mary Ellen Flaherty-Ludwig

    Butternut squash and Wellington mushrooms sound wonderful. And a kindness to the earth!

  4. Fran Di Meglio

    This column makes me sick. Save a life? Wow! How about the lives of the millions unborn?

  5. Tonia Falconer Barringer

    Agreed Pricilla- I’ll be making a spinach pie. Salmon and side dishes. The pilgrims ate venison and duck, shellfish and root vegetables, non yeast bread. Turkey is a dry old bird anyway that was popularized in the 2950’s. Nothing to do with the original thanksgiving and a cruel tradition.

  6. Johnny cardamone

    I appreciate Mike and Frans above comments which reminds us once again of the great American Holocaust the 60 million babies we have killed by legalize abortion since 1973😩🙏🏼🐣

  7. Tysen Canevari

    @Priscilla. Sounds like you should move to the Amish country and live off the land. If you put Lancaster PA into Waze it will take you there and you can live happily ever after. Leave fossill fuel in the ground? Did you drive a car this week or turn your heat on at home? Cmon. You sound like the silly ordinance committee in Norwalk that says blowers shouldnt be allowed to save the birds and bees. What is this world coming too? Biden made a great decision to cut off the pipeline in America when he entered office. Now home heating oil is $6 a gallon. Maybe he should live off the land too. I wonder if Air Force One can land in Lancaster where Priscilla can pick him up in the Amish Beast.!!

  8. Jessica Garnett

    @John O’Neill you need to turn off Faux news. Fetuses aren’t being aborted at 32 weeks. Yes, crazy would be a good word to describe yourself.

  9. John O’Neill

    Jessica; While I appreciate your kind words I certainly disagree. Didn’t legislation pushed by your very own Chuck Schumer this spring allow for abortion up until birth?.I think I caught that on msnbc, do it must be the truth…Call me crazy but I prefer sharing Turkey dinner with my non-aborted children sitting at the table on Thanksgiving.

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