As published in The Sydney Morning Herald
Hard to swallow
While consumers fight for space in car parks and shopping centres this weekend, how many will spare a thought for the hapless turkey, likewise fighting for space (‘‘Shoppers set to splurge $12b this week’’, December 13).
Right now in Australia, up to 5 million of them are fighting for space to move in stinking, gloomy, sunless, suffocating sheds that seem to grow increasingly smaller as the birds grow larger. Many are in chronic pain caused by debeaking; many are crippled, their legs unable to bear the weight of their abnormally heavy bodies; lame and sick birds are dying a slow painful death from thirst and starvation.
The brutal and violent climax of this suffering will, of course, be their terrifying slaughter shortly before Christmas.
If Christmas is meant to be a time of peace and goodwill, how on earth has this cruelty to turkeys become synonymous with Christmas?
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