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22 Facts That Might Make You Pass on Turkey This Year

The following article was written by Liam Cronin.

It’s 2013, and yet there are no laws protecting turkeys in the United States (at all). That’s ridiculous.

The following points are extremely NSFW. If you can’t handle them, there is a cartoon version here.

1. Three hundred million turkeys are killed in the U.S. each year, many for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Wild Turkeys

2. Baby turkeys are hatched in large incubators such as this one.

turkey-chicks

3. They will never see their mothers. Here, they huddle around a heat lamp for warmth.

turkeys-heat-lamp

4. After only a few weeks, turkeys are moved to large, windowless sheds …

outside-turkey-farm

5. … which they share with thousands of other turkeys.

turkey-warehouse

6. They’ll all spend the rest of their lives there.

really-crowded

7. At many farms, workers can treat birds however they wish.

beat-with-rod

8. And they do.

turkey-stomp

9. To keep turkeys from killing each other, parts of their toes and beaks are cut off—without painkillers.

beak-clip

10. Turkeys are bred, drugged, and genetically manipulated to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible.

crippled-turkey

11. In 1970, the average turkey raised for meat weighed 17 pounds. Today, turkeys average 28 pounds.

crowded

12. Because of this artificial manipulation, turkeys’ legs often break beneath them.

crippled-turkey

13. At 5 to 6 months old, turkeys are sent to the slaughterhouse. In the wild, they can live to be 10 years old.

turkey-truck

14. The trucks that take them to slaughter sometimes crash.

turkey-truck-accident

15. When that happens, the turkeys who aren’t already dead are loaded onto another truck.

reload-truck-crash

16. When they get to the slaughterhouse, turkeys are hung upside down by their legs, which often break during the process.

shackle

17. Then their heads are dunked into electrified water …

electrified-water

18. … before their throats are slit.

throat-slit

19. Then they are dunked in scalding-hot water to defeather them.

52gcm

20. Many turkeys aren’t stunned properly and are scalded to death.

scalding-tank

21. Then they are turned into this:

22. But not before this:

turkey-slaughter

Give turkeys something to be thankful for this holiday season. Pledge not to eat turkeys on Thanksgiving—or any other day!

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