On Thanksgiving I enjoy turkey alive, well and wild. I don't eat turkey at Thanksgiving or any other time and I don't miss it. These wild birds are incredibly social, intelligent and, to me, very beautiful, though getting good photographs of them can be challenging.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for having had the pleasure of giving them sanctuary and seeing their young thrive. Sadly, their domesticated brethren suffer greatly from birth to maturity. Their lives, if they can be called that, are brutal, unnatural and very brief.
There is no need for them to be farmed in this manner. The poultry industry, in their quest for bigger and better profits, has come to regard these sentient beings as "products." The number of turkeys "produced" and "consumed" each year is staggering. Reducing demand is one way to re-introduce humane farming methods, but there are many other ways to initiate much needed change in how turkeys and other farm animals are raised.
All animals, especially those raised for food, deserve to be treated with kindness, care and respect. To help spread the word about creating a more compassionate Thanksgiving, visit Farm Sanctuary. And while you're there, consider adopting a rescued turkey!