Forty-six million turkeys die for Thanksgiving alone every year, and the President pardons only one.
This is done to appeal to the animal rights activists, but the gesture is not always received well.
The first ceremony took place in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. He had received a turkey with a sign reading “Good Eatin’, Mr. President!” However, instead of eating the turkey, he sent the turkey back to the farm and, later, to a petting zoo.
Every year roughly 300 million turkeys die for their meat. They are raised for fifteen months, then killed to be sold for profit by the farmer. Most never see the outside life of a cage while on the farm.
In the wild, turkeys can live up to ten years, however; their lives are quickly cut short on the farms because of the abuse they endure from the farmers and breeding problems.
The genetic modification that farmers use on the turkeys they raise would equal a human child weighing 1500 pounds by the age of eighteen weeks. Because of the fast-growing genetics, the turkeys are contracting bone diseases, lowered immune performance, muscle disease and heart disease.
After birth, the turkeys are sent to grower houses, where each bird is so closely confined together with one another that the farmers cut off parts of their beaks and toes without anesthesia to make room for the turkeys.
During winter, the farmers close the vents causing the ammonia levels to reach past 200 parts per million. If humans were breathing the same amount of ammonia, it would cause coughing, bronchospasm, eye irritation and chest pain.
The rapid deterioration of air quality, bacteria build up and polluted air filled with ammonia, dust, and fungal spores are created by the inadequate space given to the turkeys in the growing houses.
During the slaughtering process, the birds are rarely stunned before being killed, so many of them end up getting boiled alive by the workers. The birds are then processed and sold to the public in stores for Thanksgiving.
Before buying a turkey this year or celebrating the continued life of only one, think about all the birds that suffered physically and psychologically throughout their short lives only to die a painful death so that there could be turkey on the table for Thanksgiving.