12 Great Turkey Information That Will Make Your Thanksgiving a Vegan One

Fall marks the season of consolation with its colourful foliage, warming fall flavors, and comfortable sweaters. Nevertheless, sadly, this season shouldn’t be heat and fuzzy for everybody. Yearly, near 46 million turkeys are slaughtered for Thanksgiving alone. We all know these social birds are excess of a centerpiece at a vacation desk—they’re sentient beings that should reside out their pure lives to the fullest. Listed below are 12 info about turkeys to heat your coronary heart and make your omnivore household assume twice about what’s for dinner. However first, let’s take a better take a look at what actually occurs within the turkey farming trade within the lead as much as Thanksgiving.

Are turkeys manufacturing facility farmed?

Yearly, forward of Thanksgiving, one or two turkeys are pardoned by the President of the US. They often look wholesome, they’ve candy endearing names (like Peanut Butter and Jelly), and the entire ceremony is light-hearted and jovial. However whereas this custom makes mild of turkey farming, and might make it appear to be all turkeys on farms reside comfortable, wholesome lives, this isn’t the truth.

Ruth Caron

Within the US, 99 p.c of all farmed animals reside on manufacturing facility farms, in response to one 2019 evaluation, which evaluated information from the USDA Census of Agriculture. The identical examine famous that one concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) can maintain roughly 55,000 turkeys. On these industrialized manufacturing facility farms, the birds are packed in tightly along with little room to maneuver round or specific any pure behaviors.

Is turkey farming merciless?

Turkeys on manufacturing facility farms are sometimes stored in sheds with out home windows. Any such setting shouldn’t be supportive of their pure behaviors and instincts; within the wild, turkeys are playful, they’re curious, they usually wish to discover and forage. On industrialized farms, none of that is doable. 

This setting can result in turkeys changing into bodily and mentally unwell. They’ve been identified to grow to be aggressive in direction of one another due to the stress, pecking out feathers, for instance. Due to this, many farmers select to interact in beak tipping, which is when the turkey’s beak is lower in an try to scale back harm. Animal rights group Viva! calls beak tipping a “wholly insufficient and merciless administration technique.”

VegNews.TurkeyMarkOlsen.UnsplashMark Olsen

Turkeys are additionally bred to develop as huge as doable, as rapidly as doable, so that individuals can purchase huge turkeys for his or her vacation desk. Due to their unnatural dimension, their legs can break beneath them, they usually can die from organ failure at an early age. 

What number of turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving?

Turkey isn’t simply eaten at Thanksgiving, however all 12 months spherical. Which means that roughly 245 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered yearly within the US. However, in fact, they attain peak reputation at Thanksgiving, which is why greater than 46 million turkeys die within the lead as much as the vacation.


However there are methods to get pleasure from a Thanksgiving feast with out consuming turkey. For concepts, see our information to The Finest Vegan Roasts For Your Plant-Based mostly Thanksgiving or attempt one among these 18 vegan eating places that may cook dinner your Thanksgiving dinner for you. 

Leaving turkey off your plate is a compassionate Thanksgiving selection. They’re clever, compassionate, and delicate animals, they usually have a wealthy and attention-grabbing historical past, significantly within the US. 

Turkey info

To rejoice them, get pleasure from studying these 12 fantastic turkey info. (And maybe maintain them in your again pocket for the lead as much as Thanksgiving—for anybody who wants a bit of further convincing in the case of embracing scrumptious turkey alternate options.)

VegNews.Turkey.SuzyBrooks.UnsplashSuzy Brooks

1 Turkeys had been revered in historical Mexican cultures.

In 300 B.C., turkeys had been extra than simply the centerpiece meal on the desk. The truth is, Mayan non secular imagery depicts turkeys as representations of God, and they’re worshiped as symbols of energy and status. On Thanksgiving, we give thanks for reside turkeys—not those filled with breadcrumbs.

2 The American turkey is known as after the nation Turkey as a result of a case of mistaken id.

An African chicken known as the guinea fowl (which resembles the American turkey) was delivered to Europe by way of Turkish lands by the Portuguese. Europeans known as these birds ‘turkish rooster’ or ‘turkey cock.’ When Europeans noticed a similar-looking chicken in North America, they thought it was the identical fowl and the identify turkey cock—later shortened to turkey—remained.

3 Wild turkeys had been on the brink of extinction.

Within the early 1900s, the inhabitants of untamed turkeys hit a document low of practically 30,000 birds on account of pervasive searching. Thankfully, efficient restoration applications had been launched and the populations recovered. If solely all turkeys had been allowed to run wild.

VegNews.Turkey1JonathanCooper.UnsplashJonathon Cooper

4 You possibly can inform a Turkey’s temper by taking a look at them.

The power to alter shade shouldn’t be distinctive to chameleons and octopi—turkeys actually present their true colours, too. The pores and skin on a turkey’s head (the snood) and the pores and skin beneath their throat (the wattle) can change between shades of pink, white, and blue relying on how careworn, agitated, calm, or excited they’re. 

5 Particular person turkeys have a novel voice and a variety of vocalizations.

For those who assume all turkeys sound the identical, science (and the turkeys) beg to vary. Turkeys are in a position to determine people by their voice which is how they acknowledge each other. Apparently, not all gobbles sound the identical in turkey speak. Turkeys have elaborate vocal expertise and might exhibit over 20 totally different vocalizations. Every has a definite which means starting from a cordial greeting to a warning of hazard. 

6 Wild turkeys can fly quick distances however most domesticated turkeys can’t. 

Descendants of the wild turkey have been bred into the big, domesticated birds that we see in the present day with the intention to enhance meat yield for human consumption. This unnaturally giant dimension shouldn’t be conducive for flight. Trim turkeys left to roam and forage on their very own are lighter which permits them to take to the air—if just for lower than 100 yards. 

VegNews.Turkey.TylerDonaghy.UnsplashTyler Donaghy

7 Male turkeys put up an elaborate spectacle to draw a mate.

In the case of attracting a feminine, male turkeys placed on fairly a present! Typically known as Toms or Gobblers, male turkeys puff up their our bodies and unfold their tail feathers in a grand show, concurrently strutting to the sound of their very own grunts and gobbles. The extra outlandish the presentation, the extra irresistible they appear! 

8 One can inform a turkey’s gender by their poop form.

Maybe save this truth for after dinner, however it’s attention-grabbing nonetheless. Feminine droppings have a spiral form whereas these of males are ‘J’ formed. This has to do with the distinction in reproductive anatomy of the cloaca—a one-stop exit for reproductive and digestive functions. Who is aware of, this truth might come in useful in an obscure on-line trivia recreation. 

9 Benjamin Franklin thought turkeys had been extra majestic than eagles. 

If Ben Franklin had his approach, America’s nationwide chicken is perhaps the turkey. In a letter he wrote to his daughter in 1784, Franklin praised the turkey as “a way more respectable chicken” and “a real authentic native of America.” Quite the opposite, he wrote that the eagle was “a chicken of dangerous ethical character,” “doesn’t get his residing truthfully,” and is “too lazy to fish for himself.” 

VegNews.TurkeyMikkelBergmann.UnsplashMikkel Bergmann

10 Turkeys swallow stones to assist digestion. 

Anybody who has seen Moana might recall her sidekick, Hei Hei, trying to eat a big stone. Whereas the writers exaggerated the attribute for comedic impact, there’s truly some fact to it. Turkeys don’t have enamel, in order that they swallow small stones to assist grind up meals of their first abdomen—the gizzard. Bonus truth: turkeys have two stomachs. 

11 Turkeys are very smart and delicate birds. 

Owing to their intelligence, turkeys can keep in mind exact particulars of an space even after a 12 months of absence. Turkeys even have unbelievable emotional intelligence. They specific empathy for different birds, type lasting social bonds, show affection, and even purr after they really feel content material and comforted. 

VegNews.Turkey.JonathanCooper.UnsplashJonathon Cooper

12Turkeys have superpowers. 

Turkeys have eager listening to despite the fact that they lack exterior ears. As a substitute, they’ve small holes behind their eyes and might precisely find sounds as much as a few mile away. The position of their eyes allows a 270-degree visual view in comparison with people’ 180 levels. As well as, turkeys have superior shade imaginative and prescient and might see UV mild!

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