Three hundred million turkeys are killed for human consumption each year. As the holidays approach, many families will reunite over the body of a turkey who was separated from her own family for her whole life, only to be slaughtered. Contrary to popular belief, turkeys are amazing, complex beings who deserve love and friendship instead of suffering and death.
1. They have unique voices
Turkeys recognize each other's voices. They also exhibit at least 30 different vocalizations, researchers have found. Males have a distinct gobble that can be heard from over a mile away. One distinct turkey sound is called "purring" which is aptly named, for it does sound similar to the purring of your cat companion!
Tofurky makes a plant-based roast with wild rice stuffing. A fantastic choice for a cruelty-free feast!
2. They form strong social bonds
Gardein offers a holiday roast with stuffing that includes cranberries! (This one is my personal favorite.)
3. They are observant of their surroundings
Turkeys can learn the exact details of areas 1,000 acres in size! In factory farms, though, they are lucky if they have room enough to spread their wings.
Field Roast's Celebration Roast will delight vegans and nonvegans alike. It includes a stuffing made of butternut squash, mushrooms, apples, and herbs.
4. They are fast
Turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour and fly up to 55 miles per hour! However, domestic turkeys are usually unable to fly at all because of being selectively bred to have huge bodies for their meat. :(
If you enjoy a traditional experience, check out Vegetarian Plus's Whole Turkey, complete with stuffing and gravy.
5. They show their emotions
A turkey's head and throat change color depending on his mood. Male turkeys also display their plumage in order to attract a mate.
Try the Breaded Turkey-less Roast at Trader Joe's for a delicious holiday experience.
6. They are great cuddlers
Turkeys are extremely affectionate and love to be petted. Even those who are survivors of cruel industries often cuddle up to human strangers. How forgiving and awe-inspiring is that?
You can always DIY your turkey-free meal, too! Here's one recipe idea.
Aren't these traits that you love in your own human friends? All of the turkeys pictured are living out the rest of their lives in freedom. They are residents of sanctuaries that treat them as the individuals that they are, instead of as commodities. Every animal deserves this kind of justice. You can do your part by trying a vegan lifestyle.