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PETA’s Butterball Investigators’ Statements

Between April and July 2006, PETA’s investigators documented numerous acts of egregious and sadistic cruelty to animals. Below are excerpts from the investigators’ daily notes:

April 6: “Workers were cruelly slamming live birds in shackles, and one strangled a bird to death. One worker said he likes to kill birds for ‘fun,’ and pointed out one he had punched in the face.”

April 13: “One worker was inserting his finger into a turkey’s vagina [cloaca] for ‘fun’ during a break when the line was stopped. Another worker said he could paralyze birds by punching their necks in a certain way and demonstrated this on one bird.”

April 26: “One of the more experienced and revered hangers told workers to violently slam birds into the shackles rather than just setting them in there, and did this multiple times to the same bird. He also threw birds across the room onto the concrete floor.”

May 2: “One frustrated worker kicked a bird in the head and another broke a bird’s neck so that her head was touching her back. He laughed about this. Another worker was slamming birds into the shackles.”

May 3: “One worker swung a turkey like a baseball bat into the metal bar of the trailer. He did this again later, slamming a bird into a handrail. I could see the bird’s spine and there was a lot of blood. He laughed about this.”

May 8: “One worker took a live bird and stomped on her head, crushing her skull until her head exploded. He then laughed and wiped the blood from his leg. He also threw birds against the concrete and punched others.”

May 16: “A worker threw birds at the concrete wall, and he and two other workers threw dead birds at the live ones.”

June 5: “There was a live bird with only one leg and a bloody body in a shackle. A worker looked at her and started laughing—he had ripped her leg from her body when she became stuck between two coops.”

June 8: “A worker slammed turkeys into the shackles with one hand—many missed and hit the wall.”

July 13: “One worker grabbed a bird by her legs and jerked her back and forth toward another worker to tease him—the second worker grabbed her and punched her to push her back. Later, another worker grabbed the head of a live turkey poking through the coop, twisted the bird’s head around and handed it to another worker, who pulled the head while the first worker punched and kicked her neck. They were trying to decapitate her.”

July 25: “A worker violently threw birds into the shackles and grabbed one by her neck, and another worker humped a bird whose legs and head he had crammed into the shackle.”

July 26: “One worker smashed birds into the shackles. A pool of water had collected at our ankles. The guys would throw the turkeys into the water and kick them to make them splash, then kill them to make them stop splashing.”

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  • cathy says:

    This is, without a doubt, to date, the most dispicable thing I have ever heard. Granted, turkies are not fluffy and cute, nor do they have big deer eyes, but they are, none the less, living, breathing animals and to think the atrocities these poor, defenseless birds suffered is disgusting. And these employees think it’s funny? I hope it makes them feel like big men to behave like this. I wonder if they would torture the family pet? Or worse, their children. I wish people like this weren’t allowed to own pets or have children due to the high probably they would eventually abuse them, too.

  • Taking Action says:

    You can find humanely raised and slaughtered meat/fowl/fish if you search for it. There are various orgs that certify the treatment of the animals from birth to slaughter (Animal Welfare Approved, Global Animal Partnership 5 Step Animal Welfare Program, Organic Valley/CROPP Coop). You have to search and research. But don’t continue to support abusers please! Change happens because of the actions you take!

  • Midnamoon says:

    OMG my heart is pounding and breaking. This is so horrible. Where the hell are the supervisors? What kind of families did these devils come from to have been raised with such disrespect for a living being?
    All murderers and sadists of living beings be it human or animal should have the same things done to them!
    RIP poor tortured souls :*(

  • Susie says:

    This behaviour is monstrous, and perpetrated against completely defenseless animals. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if these deviants also abuse or torture their children. I would like to see these sadists named, shamed, charged and jailed if possible for the suffering they’ve caused these helpless creatures. They have no right to call themselves human as their actions prove otherwise.

  • Jodielou says:

    Doing this to a turkey is not different from doing it to someones pet kitten, you wouldnt do that would you?

  • Ffion says:

    I think its horrible the way they treat the birds. I will still eat meat, always will but i really think they should use the controlled atmosphere killing thing. It seems so much more humane ..

  • hannahdaramjee says:

    I hope eventually the world will see our weak need to be defended. Well at least there’s a few who care about the weak. Maybe they can help the weak and then the others will see that they are wrong and admit their stupidity is causing deaths

  • VegEv says:

    They say that a society can be measured by the way that they treat their weakest and most vulnerable members. If this is the way that some of the “weaker” members of our society are being treated, and people are standing back and allowing it to happen (or blindly supporting it by consuming their products), then what does it say about us as a whole? We all have to say that this is not right, and we will not stand back and allow it to happen anymore

  • Amy Goins says:

    I watched this on HBO today and I cried through the whole movie I cant belive this is what happens!