Video: ‘Happy’ Turkeys Suffer on 12-Hour Slaughterhouse Trek

PETA Finds Injured Birds at Ranch: Martha Stewart–Approved 'Heritage' Turkeys Sold for $200-Plus

For Immediate Release:
November 16, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Lindsborg, Kan. – New PETA eyewitness video footage captured at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch—a facility near Lindsborg owned and operated by a nationally known “heritage poultry farm” raising “happy” turkeys who’ve been featured by Vogue and Martha Stewart—shows turkeys suffering and dying and workers roughly shoving 1,400 of them into filthy, cramped cages on a slaughterhouse-bound truck.

After a 12-hour journey to Ohio with no food or water, the turkeys are shackled upside down and their throats slit—the same way turkeys are killed for Butterball. But these are sold for exorbitant prices. In the video, workers joke about the “rich, dumb people in New York [who] pay $300 for” these turkeys, whose carcasses are distributed by New York–based Heritage Foods USA and served on Thanksgiving by restaurants such as Le Coq Rico New York (for $90 per plate).

“A ‘humanely raised’ claim means nothing to the bird who faces the same 12-hour trip and slaughterhouse knife as any other turkey used for food,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges consumers to recognize that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA’s video also shows a man jabbing a turkey with a stick and workers grabbing and yanking the birds by the neck, a wing, or a leg. One turkey with an apparently broken leg was gasping for breath, and she was left on the ground to die. Another had lost her left eyeball, prompting a worker to call her a “pirate.”

Heritage Foods—which distributes “endangered species of livestock” and claims that “the only way to save these animals is to eat them”—sells these turkeys for up to $219 to individual customers and to 130 restaurants across the U.S.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat.” For more information, please visit

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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