11 October 2010

Farm Sanctuary hopes President Obama will help Thanksgiving turkeys

For the last 40 years, the President of the United States has chosen two turkeys destined for holiday slaughter and pardoned their lives. Hoping that their request will be third time lucky, Farm Sanctuary is once again petitioning the White House to send the pardoned Thanksgiving turkeys to their shelter in Watkins Glen, New York rather than to a farm in a Disney theme park where many of their predecessors have not lived beyond a year.

“We are offering the Obama administration an opportunity to distinguish themselves from past administrations by starting a new, compassionate Thanksgiving tradition that is more in-step with Americans’ growing concern about the welfare of animals raised for food,” says Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. “By sending the pardoned birds to Farm Sanctuary’s renowned shelter in Watkins Glen, N.Y., the Obama Administration can show that it cares about the humane treatment of animals, and ensure that the turkeys get the expert care they need to thrive.”

Due to the conditions and demands of commercial farming, turkeys can be de-beaked and de-toed to curb wounding another animal, fed a specialized diet to make them gain weight abnormally fast, and be raised in unnatural environments often never seeing daylight.

A wild turkey can live up to ten years while farmed turkeys are slaughtered between 9 and 26 weeks. Those who manage to evade slaughter are destined to endure serious health issues due to selective breeding. That being considered, Farm Sanctuary has access to expert resources and veterinary care to enable the turkeys to have comfort for the rest of their lives.

Farm Sanctuary has two decades of experience in rescuing turkeys, and since 1986 has saved the lives of many animals through its Adopt-A-Turkey Project which educates the public on the horrors of factory farming. This year, vegan and animal welfare advocate Ellen DeGeneres is heading the campaign.

For more information on Adopt-A-Turkey, and to sign the petition, please visit www.adoptaturkey.org

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto