This year for Thanksgiving, I managed to convince the mother dear to purchase a local, organic, free-range turkey for the annual meal. It cost about a dollar more per pound, but it was worth every penny to switch to an ethically-raised turkey from our usual Butterball.
- Turkeys on factory farms are killed by six months of age – in the wild, they usually live up to 10 years.
- Factory farms allow turkeys no more than three or four square feet of space each – in the wild, they love running.
- On a factory farm, turkeys are packed inside dark sheds and many do not see daylight – in the wild, turkeys roam around and build their own nests.
- Since turkeys are genetically bred to grow at faster rates, they can’t handle the vast amount of extra weight and deformities – in the wild, this would certainly not be the norm.
- Most turkeys have to suffer their beaks and toes being sliced off without anaesthesia in factory farms – in the wild, they need their beaks and toes to live well.
- In factory farms, turkeys are often still conscious when their throats are slit and when they are thrust into vats of boiling water – generally when turkeys are raised on a free-range farm, they’re killed in a much more ethical way.
And yes. All of this happens in Butterball factory farms.
Besides all of this, turkeys such as Butterball are often injected with all kinds of things such as emulsifiers, oils, sodium-phosphate, colors, artificial flavourings and more. And real turkey tastes a whole lot better than all of that crap.
Even if you bought a Butterball (or other factory-farmed) turkey for Thanksgiving this year, you can choose to make your next purchase a more ethical one. Buy a free-range turkey for Christmas in December and go from there. Vote with your food dollar.