NYTimes, Turkey Production, "Free-range" Turkey, White House Turkey, More
November 20, 2007

Dear Boston Vegetarian Society List,
Here is a fun read about San Francisco's veg dining scene:
New York Times Travel Section
November 18, 2007
Expanding the Frontiers of the Vegetarian Plate
"Greens is the restaurant that brought vegetarian food out from sprout-infested health food stores and established it as a cuisine in America... Millennium, the other giant looming over the city's vegetarian restaurant scene, has become the gold standard of American vegan cuisine."
The owner of the above-mentioned Millennium sent us a kind note out of the blue...
Dear BVS,
Congratulations on a beautifully designed, very informative veg promoting web site. I found your web site in the process of looking for what would be available for a vegan friend who is moving to Boston. You have it all. Thank you. Now I want to move to Boston....well, can’t leave San Francisco – have to stay and keep Millennium Restaurant going.
Hugs to all you Vegans,
Ann Wheat, Principal owner of Millennium Restaurant
Now turning to the holiday ahead:
Thanksgiving gives us an occasion to learn about the bird so unfortunate to become the "symbol" of the holiday (46 million are killed for this day alone).  If you've ever wondered what happens to the "pardoned" White House turkey, what is free about "free range" turkey, how breeding has altered the noble wild turkey to become the disabled factory farm inmate, read on!
First, here are five short videos which show different aspects of turkey production.  They are a window to the abhorrent yet everyday cruelties of poultry production.
1)  See what is done to baby turkeys.
Standard Practices at a North Carolina Turkey Hatchery
"...the newly-hatched turkeys are tossed around like inanimate objects—they are sorted, sexed, de-beaked, de-toed...", "scenes of chicks gasping for air as they slowly suffocate in plastic bags."  Watch the short video at
2)  This three-minute video, narrated by actress Shirley Jones (Partridge Family), gives an excellent quick overview of turkey production.  A must-see.
3)  A new undercover video of a turkey slaughterhouse investigation shows gratuitous cruelty.
4)  A new undercover video taken at Butterball's turkey facility:
5)  A look at turkey production:
Today's turkeys have been genetically manipulated to grow twice as fast and twice as large as their wild ancestors.  This causes leg, skeletal, and cardiovascular diseases that result in acute and chronic pain.  Bred to be fleshy and have abnormally large breasts (the popular breast meat), these animals often can barely stand.  Thus spending most of their lives prone, they suffer foot-pad lesions, breast blisters, and hock burns, which are openings for bacterial infections.        
They have lost the ability to mate naturally; virtually all commercially produced turkeys are the result of artificial insemination.  Males face twice-weekly manipulation to "milk" them, and females endure forcible insemination in assembly-line style. 
Here is perhaps a first-ever video of forced breeding techniques for modern turkeys:
6)  Here is a report on the suffering that results from the pervasive practice of selective breeding for rapid growth:
7)  A sobering overview at what 46 million turkeys have endured for this one holiday meal:
8)  Compassion Over Killing Report:  Carefully documented and superbly presented.
Animal Suffering in the Turkey Industry
Covers Breeding, Housing, Mutilations, Disease, Transport and Slaughter, Breeders, Conclusion, and Citations from Industry Publications
9)  What about Free Range Turkey? 
View Inside a Free Range Turkey Farm - photos and fact sheet
10)  The Turkey - Ben Franklin's Choice for America's National Symbol
11)  Top 10 Reasons to Not Eat Turkeys
Turkeys Raised for Meat
Reviews of More Than a Meal by Mason, Phelps, Abrams
The Modern Turkey in Need of Thanksgiving Deliverance
By Karen Davis, PhD
White House Turkey Pardoning Ceremony
Where Do These Turkeys Go?
Turkeys Want to Be Friends, Not Food
United Poultry Concerns Turkey Brochure (PDF)
Hope some of this information can be useful in promoting a compassionate Thanksgiving.

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