Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
17 November 1999 Issue

Thanksgiving Vigil For Turkeys
Friday, November 19th, 7:30 to 8:30 Bethesda MD

The vigil will take place between Giant Foods and Boston Market at the intersection of Bethesda Avenue and Arlington Rd in Bethesda, Maryland.

Over forty-million innocent beings are inhumanely slaughtered for a holiday that is supposed to signify gratitude, not a brutal ritual.

Mourners will hold candles, signs and distribute literature. Karen Davis from United Poultry Concerns in Machipongo, Virginia will be in attendance, as will social activists from all around the area. The purpose is to honor the memory of all those beings who were never given names, much less affection. The event also kicks off the many vegetarian feasts at farm animal sanctuaries around the nation.

Surprisingly, turkeys are quite affectionate. To witness this, visit Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Poolsville, Maryland and meet Alice, a turkey found stray in Frederick. She casually walks about mingling with guests, whenever there is an open house. She is no rare exception, as her predecessor, Nathan was just as extroverted, although preferring the company of folks his own height, (children). Don't let their odd appearance and small heads fool you. If head size were the only parameter of intelligence, then humans would be less intelligent than elephants and cows. These vertebrates pack a lot of emotional, social and problem-solving abilities into their compact skulls. Alice will even join her human friends in dancing if the music is right.

Then there are the turkeys that don't have names. Their lives begin after their mothers are raped, via a process of artificial insemination. They will never see their mothers and fathers, who themselves will be killed before they reach a year of age. Assembly line workers debeak the baby birds without anesthesia. In the past one hundred years these birds have been genetically altered so severely that they begin to outgrow their skeletons and hearts in about three months. Thousands of birds are "grown" in crowded filthy buildings. Many suffer pulmonary infections, broken legs and heart failure. At 3-6 months the birds are loaded into trucks like bags of garbage. At the "processing plant" they are strung upside down on fast-moving conveyer belts. The horrified turkeys are pulled through an electrifying spray before someone cuts their throats. An "acceptable number" reach the scalding station fully conscious. There are no laws in the United States, (as in other nations), to regulate the raising, transport or slaughter of poultry. This is a lot of suffering for a product with more cholesterol, saturated fat and Salmonella than taste. Thanksgiving feasts are just as wholesome and delicious in vegetarian homes. (E.g. dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, breads, sweet potatoes, lentil casserole, Meat of Wheat turkey, green beans, pumpkin pie and vegan ice cream)

For more information please call Jamey Lee West at 301-990-0593 or [email protected]

For information on Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary call Teresa Cummings at 301-605-0120

United Poultry Concerns is an official sponsor of this event, (contact Dr. Karen Davis 757-678-7875, United Poultry Concerns

Source: [email protected]

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