Published by Liam Cronin.

From the time that they’re hatched to when they’re slaughtered, turkeys go through hell. Here are twenty-two facts that will make you stop eating turkeys.

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.


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


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

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


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

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

8. And they do.

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

Turkeys being thrown on truck

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

17. Then their heads are dunked into electrified water …

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18. … before their throats are slit.

turkey throat slit

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

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

21. Then they are turned into this:

22. But not before this:

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