“One of the best things modern animal agriculture has going for it is that most people… haven’t a clue how animals are raised and processed…For modern animal agriculture, the less the consumer knows about what’s happing before the meat hits the plate, the better.” (Peter R. Cheeke, Ph.D., Editor, Journal of Animal Science; Professor of Animal Science, Oregon State University)
This article will only touch on the sensitive nature of this subject matter, although the hopes are that it will encourage you to look further into food as a business in this country. More importantly, the hope is that it will encourage you to become more informed of what you put into your body as well as the growing bodies of your children.
Let’s talk turkey. There are two primary reasons we need to rethink our Thanksgiving meals.
- Inhumane, torturous treatment of turkeys prior to slaughter.
- Unsafe, chemically-laden fallout in our own bodies from consumption of their meat.
Over 280 million turkeys are slaughtered in this country annually, 45 million for Thanksgiving alone. There are currently no laws protecting turkeys being raised commercially. They are abused, mutilated, grossly overcrowded and forced to grow in a very rapid and unnatural manner.
These animals are genetically-engineered to grow to obscene sizes, which cripples even basic functions such as preening, flying, walking and even standing. The toes of these birds are severed, their beaks are amputated and the vast majority are stuffed full of antibiotics, hormones and steroids. This creates illness, disease, deformities and pain that they must endure throughout their lives.
Turkeys, naturally, are omnivores. They eat grasses, insects, nuts and berries. Their bodies require meat AND vegetable protein just like we do. However, on commercialized farms, they are fed a diet of primarily corn and soy. Genetically modified corn and soy to be exact. What this means is that the seed is injected with bacterium, viruses and even pesticides prior to planting. Tests have concluded that these “additives” do show up in the plant matter. Tests are also showing that these altered-organic and chemical cocktails show up in the bodies of the animals and people who consume them.
The US is the leading producer of GM food products. In 2009, GM varieties accounted for 85% of maize & 91% of soya bean plantings (GM patented seed sales equaled $7.5 billion). Several countries have banned the use of GMOs sighting severe health risks and environmental damage caused during the production process.
These super-sized, genetically altered turkeys are kept in inhumane conditions, the antibiotics and other chemicals fed to them damages local water supplies and the meat from these animals is severely deficient in appropriate vitamins and minerals. The chemical fall-out from the pesticide-ridden feed has been shown to bio-accumulate in our own bodies, causing damage to our health. (Scientists report 80% of cancers are caused by environmental & food carcinogens.)
Raising turkeys for consumption, sure, no problem, turkey sandwiches are delicious. We are omnivores after all. Torture these birds their entire lives prior to slaughter and feed them a chemically-ridden diet that causes disease for those who consume them … not cool.
Currently, commercial agricultural corporations have no laws to adhere to concerning safety tests of their genetically modified food products, also they have lobbied viciously and successfully to keep from having to label GM foods in this country. In addition, concerning turkeys specifically, commercial farms have no standards of humane care that they have to live up to prior to slaughter.
As consumers, we have a right to know where our food comes from. We also have the ability to speak out and demand that our government allows us a fair choice of which foods we want in our bodies and which types of farming practices we would like to support
Please obtain more knowledge on these subjects, reach your own informed conclusions. There are reputable, privately owned farming operations which tend to practice cruelty-free methods of animal care, do your research. Not only are these facilities healthier (and more humane) for the animals, they provide food that is healthier for our bodies and most of all, healthier for the world we share.
Be sure to watch the video above and visit the links located throughout this article to become more informed on these issues. Embrace your right to know.
The following links will help you find your cruelty-free Thanksgiving Turkey:
Nature’s Harmony Farm
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