Video: Rich New Yorkers Mocked As ‘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

Norfolk, Va. – New PETA eyewitness video captured at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch—a nationally known Kansas “heritage” poultry farm raising “happy” turkeys that supplies birds to New York–based Heritage Foods USA and has 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. In the video, workers joke about the “rich, dumb people in New York [who] pay $300” for one of these turkeys, whose carcasses are served on Thanksgiving by restaurants such as Le Coq Rico New York (for $90 per person).

PETA points out that after a 12-hour journey to Ohio with no food or water, the birds are shackled upside down and their throats slit—just like turkeys killed for Butterball. But these are sold for exorbitant prices.

“A ‘humanely raised’ claim means nothing to the bird who faces the same 12-hour journey 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 air, 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 USA—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 as well as 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