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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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind