Cheese platter appetizer (smoked gouda, goat cheese, havarti with figs, pears & grapes)
Butternut Squash Lasagna (Squash from our garden)
Spinach salad w/red onions and pomegrante
Baked mashed potatoes (too sinful to divulge ingredients)
Turkey Facts: More than 273 million turkeys are raised for food every year in the U.S.; about 79 million of them are slaughtered and eaten for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.(8,9) Before ending up as holiday centerpieces, these gentle birds spend five to six months on factory farms, where thousands of turkeys are packed into dark sheds with no more than 3.5 square feet of space per bird.(10) To keep the extremely crowded birds from scratching and pecking each other to death, workers cut off portions of the birds’ toes and upper beaks with hot blades and desnood the males (the snood is the flap of skin that runs from the beak to the chest).(11) No painkillers are used during these procedures.
Genetic manipulation and antibiotics enable farmers to produce heavily muscled birds who can weigh 35 pounds in as little as five months, and “their internal organs are noticeably crammed together in the little bit of space remaining for the body cavity,” according to The Washington Post.(12) An industry magazine said, “[T]urkey breeders have created birds with huge, unnatural, outsized breasts, since white breast meat is where the money is.”(13) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms that the average turkey destined for today’s dinner table weighs a whopping 57 percent more than his or her peers did in 1965.(14) Factory-farmed turkeys are so large that they can barely walk, are unable to fly like their wild cousins, and cannot even engage in normal reproductive behavior, so all turkeys raised for food are conceived by artificial insemination.(15)
Millions of turkeys don’t even make it past their first few weeks before succumbing to “starve-out,” a stress-induced condition that causes young birds to simply stop eating.(16) Catching and transportation are particularly stressful processes for birds, yet they are repeatedly moved during their short lives—from the hatchery to the brooding area to the growing area and finally to the slaughterhouse.(17)
At the slaughterhouse, turkeys are hung upside down by their weak and crippled legs before their heads are dragged through an electrified “stunning tank,” which immobilizes the animals but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and, therefore, are still conscious when their throats are cut. If the knife fails to properly cut the birds’ throats, they are scalded to death in boiling-hot defeathering tanks.
Investigations Reveal Intentional Cruelty
In 2006, undercover PETA investigators worked at a Butterball plant in Arkansas and observed that live birds were being slammed against transport trucks and walls, punched and kicked, hung by their broken legs, used as a punching bag, and even sexually assaulted. One worker was seen crushing a live turkey’s head under his shoe until her skull exploded, and another swung a bird against a handrail so hard that her spine was exposed. For more information about this investigation, please visit ButterballCruelty.com.
A PETA investigation of Minnesota-based Crestview Farm revealed that the farm’s manager repeatedly used a metal pipe to bludgeon 12-week-old turkeys who were lame, injured, ill, or otherwise unsuitable for slaughter and consumption. Injured birds were thrown onto piles of dead and dying birds, then tossed into a wheelbarrow for disposal. Birds who were overlooked were kicked or beaten with pliers or had their necks wrung—all in full view of other terrified birds. When the Minnesota Turkey Growers came to the defense of the farmer, the local district attorney refused to prosecute. More details and photos from this case are available at www.peta.org/feat/nc/case.html.