Make it a Happy Thanksgiving for Turkeys!

The Animal Ethics Project would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! We know that you will be thinking of Turkeys so we would like to acknowledge the important work of organizations such as Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals (CETFA) Here is what they have to say about the lives of farmed turkeys in Canada:

In 2012, Canadians consumed 142.0 million kg of turkey.

Modern turkeys have been genetically selected for high growth rate, and they are now only 3-4 months old when slaughtered. But because their bone structure has not been able to adapt to their massive bodies, painful and crippling leg disorders are common in the birds.

Most of the birds undergo elective surgeries without anaesthetics or analgesics. Young turkeys often have the ends of their toes cut or microwaved off (although we’ve seen entire digits missing). The males may have their snoods cut off with a regular pair of scissors; and all have partial beak amputation.

Debeaking has been shown to be incredibly painful as turkey’s beaks contain more nerve endings than our finger tips. The debeaked birds suffer phantom pain and some develop tumours of the beak as the nerve endings attempt to regenerate. Many countries now recognizing the cruelty of such practices and have banned the practice of debeaking.

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