Industrial Turkeys

One need not look hard to find evidence of the brokenness of our food culture.  I’ve blogged about much of that evidence, of course, and will continue to do so.

Today, as we enter Fall and move toward Thanksgiving, I thought I’d mention the weird and disturbing way turkeys are raised in this country.

When we think of a turkey, an image like this beautiful wild turkey usually comes to mind.

But over 99% of the turkey meat eaten by Americans comes from an animal called the broad-breasted white.

Broad breasted whites are genetically contrived mutants, incapable of surviving in nature.  Their unnatural body mass creates respiratory and muscular problems.  They cannot fly and almost always die of sickness and poor health by the time they reach full adulthood.  They are unable to reproduce naturally and every single one of them is a product of artificial insemination.

Just let that fact sink in.

No Pilgrim and no Indian ever ate such an animal.

Every year politicians “pardon” a turkey at Thanksgiving.  But it’s just a show of course.  Those animals die shortly after their “pardon.”  Last year one fell off a poultry truck passing through town and someone took it to the humane society, where they naively decided to keep it as a pet.  But of course it died soon.  These things just aren’t designed to live.  They are engineered to grow rapidly on a cheap “food to meat conversion ratio.”  They are designed to get as big as possible, as quickly as possibly and as cheaply as possible.  They are frankenfood.  And like all industrial farm animals, American turkeys are raised in hellish CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations).

For those who want to have a turkey at Thanksgiving this year (and remember there is nothing about the holiday that makes turkey meat necessary) I recommend you go to localharvest.org and locate a farm raising natural heritage breed turkeys.

Just say no to industrial turkeys.