On the factory farms that supply the overwhelming majority of meat today, turkeys are crammed so tightly into dark windowless sheds that spreading a wing is nearly impossible. To prevent these extremely stressed birds from hurting each other in this unnaturally confined setting, parts of the turkeys' beaks and toes are cut off without any painkillers. And just this week, video was released from inside a turkey farm showing workers kicking birds and violently slamming them into transport trucks, abuses that have become disturbingly commonplace.
All of these acts would be considered cruelty to animals if performed on a cat or a dog. Yet under Utah law, turkeys are exempt from protection since they are being raised for "agricultural" purposes. Indeed, Utah's indefensible Ag-Gag law now makes simply filming this abuse a crime.
We can all make a compassionate choice to boycott animal cruelty this holiday season. Your supermarket carries meat alternatives available for purchase.
This Thanksgiving, I hope more Utahns will give turkeys something to be thankful for by leaving them off the dinner plate.
Salt Lake City