This holiday season, the Fort Worth Police Department in Texas decided to spread some good cheer to motorists who were pulled over for minor traffic infractions. Instead of giving the offenders tickets, officers handed out frozen turkeys. When PETA got wind of the stunt, we thought of a way to make it better—instead of turkeys, the officers could give away vegan Tofurkys, which PETA offered to provide for free in a letter to the police chief.
“We’d like to help you serve (up a vegan holiday dinner) and protect (residents’ health) by donating delicious, cholesterol-free vegan Tofurky roasts for you to hand out to drivers—including those who do not eat meat during the holidays for religious, ethical, or environmental reasons or because they know how cruel factory farming and the slaughter of turkeys really are,” wrote PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo.
Apparently, the letter—which pointed out that turkeys are smart, sensitive birds who are often slaughtered while fully conscious—was pretty persuasive, because the department enthusiastically took us up on our offer. We were even asked to join the officers in handing out the cruelty-free feasts outside busy Sundance Square, right next to the city’s giant Christmas tree. The roasts were so popular, all 78 had been given away in a matter of minutes.
Why are Tofurky roasts superior to frozen bird carcasses? For starters, they taste great—and they’re free of saturated animal fat and cholesterol, which should be especially appealing to the growing numbers of Texans who are going vegan to protect their health, save animals, and help the environment.
Tofurky and other vegan roasts also don’t contribute to the cruelty of today’s factory farms, where turkeys are crammed by the thousands into windowless sheds and parts of their beaks, toes, and snoods are amputated without painkillers. During slaughter, fully conscious birds are shackled upside down and their heads are dragged through an electrified stun bath, in which currents shoot through their bodies, causing spasms, burns, and fractures. Many are stunned improperly and are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re immersed in scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.
Even if you don’t live in Fort Worth, you can still embrace the compassionate spirit of the holidays by serving a turkey-free vegan feast. Check out the variety of faux-turkey options here, and find mouth-watering recipes for other main dishes and fixin’s here.