The Terrible Thanksgiving

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The Terrible Thanksgiving "The same questions are bothering me today as they did fifty years ago. Why is one born? Why does one suffer? In my case, the suffering of animals also makes me very sad. I’m a vegetarian, you know. When I see how little attention people pay to animals, and how easily they make peace with man being allowed to do with animals whatever he wants because he keeps a knife or a gun, it gives me a feeling of misery and sometimes anger with the Almighty. I say ‘Do you need your glory to be connected with so much suffering of creatures without glory, just innocent creatures who would like to pass a few years in peace?’ I feel that animals are as bewildered as we are except that they have no words for it. I would say that all life is asking: ‘What am I doing here?' " The word sentient is a
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A vivid description of what thanksgiving is, and what it means, from the viewpoint of non-human animals, especially turkeys.

Transcript of The Terrible Thanksgiving

The Terrible Thanksgiving"The same questions are bothering me today as they did fifty years ago. Why is one born? Why does one suffer? In my case, the suffering of animals also makes me very sad. Im a vegetarian, you know. When I see how little attention people pay to animals, and how easily they make peace with man being allowed to do with animals whatever he wants because he keeps a knife or a gun, it gives me a feeling of misery and sometimes anger with the Almighty. I say Do you need your glory to be connected with so much suffering of creatures without glory, just innocent creatures who would like to pass a few years in peace? I feel that animals are as bewildered as we are except that they have no words for it. I would say that all life is asking: What am I doing here?' " The word sentient is a very important word when we consider our relationship to animals. Sentience refers to consciousness, experiencing, and feeling. This is something that can be attributed to all living and thinking life, as well as to human beings. It is a word that describes the ability of animals, as well as humans to love, to form relationships, to have cherished memories, to experience pain and sorrow, or happiness and joy, to have ones own individual viewpoint on the world. The word sentience, when applied to any kind of living being, refers to an individual consciousness that can never be replaced, and which experiences everything in a body and in a life that is uniquely their own. This is an experience that can never be denied for any living being. All life can be united through sentience, as the ability to think, feel, love, experience, and enjoy things cannot ever be limited to one living being. My concern for animals is not based off any kind of vapid or superficial affection or like of them. I do not have a petty, pathetic, or stupid reason for caring about animals or wanting them not to suffer, nor do I have a pitiful or moronic reason for every justifying why others would want them to suffer. I only ever have a fundamental, deep, meaningful, purposeful, or intense reason for loving and showing compassion, care, and respect for animals or any other forms of life. Stupidity, lack of a depth of thought, or shallowness when it comes to considering what one thinks of any shape or form of life is for those who do not truly respect exactly what life is. It is because of the spirit and sentience within all types of life forms and living beings that I stand up for their rights, and want them to receive respect, dignity, and consideration for as long as they live, whether that be a short or a long time. It is simply empathy and love for them, and a respect for them as conscious and feeling creatures with their own experiences, memories, likes and dislikes, friends and family members, relationships, and unique individuality that drives me to be a voice for them, and nothing more or less. In particular, RIGHT NOW, the very creatures whose basic rights and fundamental needs I want to talk about right now are turkeys, who, at this time, are being mercilessly massacred by the millions to be placed upon thanksgiving tables. Here are some facts about turkeys, and what they are like as sentient beings. Wonderful Loving Mothers and Parents-Turkeys, like the vast majority of birds, have extremely loving and devoted mothers, and huddle close to their mothers for warmth and shelter. Turkeys mothers in the wild will roost up in high branches with their babies nestled under their wings in protection. They are very alert to any potential dangers and fiercely defend their young chicks whenever the need arises. Form Lifelong Bonds-Many bird species form lifelong bonds with other members of their own species, and even outside of the realms of their own species quite often. This is not only with romantic or mating partners, but also friends of their own species or others, including humans, and also family members, like brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins. It is common to frequently or nearly always see a turkey with one particular other turkey, who is likely a friend. They will eat, sleep, and bathe together and are often never more than a few feet apart from each other. Excellent Memory-Turkeys will remember the faces of people or animals who continuously visit them, and come to behave more friendly towards them the more they are approached. Highly Aware of their Surroundings-Turkeys, as well as chickens, like many birds do, are often very well aware of their surroundings, and alert other turkeys with distinctly pitched warning calls when they notice something unusual in their environments. Incredibly Short Domestic Lifespan-The turkeys raised in farms, especially during thanksgiving, live very, very, short lives. Four to three months, maybe slightly more or less, is the usual time, whereas a turkey in the wild under normal conditions could live to be up to 10 or 8 years old. Offshoot Mutant Breeds of Turkeys-Turkeys with genetics that have not been tampered or diverted away from Gods plan have feathers that are of black, white, or brown or dark colors, shades and hues. But there are genetically bred turkeys with white feathers who are very different from a non-tampered with turkey. This is not only in their unnatural, mutated appearance but in the actual hormonal behavior of their body, which grows unnaturally fast to meet market weight in a shorter amount of time. Domestic Turkeys Experience Monstrous Growth-There are many ways in which the genetics of turkeys and other birds have been morbidly and disgustingly deformed and disturbed for the sake of trivial human culinary pleasure. The white feathers are meant to make it so when the dead bodies and mutilated dead body parts of turkeys are purchased in stores, they dont have dark spots on them and have a more visually pleasing appearance to buyers. The broiler hens and roosters of the chicken industry have been selectively mutated and deformed to have purely white feathers as well for this very same reason. They grow much faster and fatter than any healthy turkey with undisturbed genetics ever would normally, often causing them to experience incredibly painful and debilitating health problems associated with their weight, including arthritis, heart conditions, and failure and degradation of their legs and feet, which often lose the power to be able to hold up the weight of their bodies. Even with already having the very genetics that make up their physical bodies deformed, sometimes they are injected or fed growth hormones in order to make them grow even faster and larger. Their flesh is often riddled with unhealthy hormones, morbid excess fat from their obesity, and many other chemical and hormonal pollutants from their short, deprived, and tormented lives. Though these facts are good to know for a better understanding of turkeys as creatures, what should simply be remembered is their personhood; their emotions, feelings, experiences, sensations, individual qualities and personality traits, and their ultimate desire for life, happiness, company, and joy. The most important thing to remember is that a turkey is a sentient being. Each and every turkey is a life, an individual, and a spirit and right now, they are experiencing horrendous death and suffering. The gravity and weight of that is something very powerful that many of us may never be able to fully comprehend, but I will try to illustrate that. This article will be all about my own illustration of the life of a thanksgiving turkey, raised and brought into existence completely and utterly controlled, from birth till death, by a species that has no thought for them as much more than food products and things to be killed, brutalized, and tormented for pleasure, taste, and convenience. The ability to express morality, love, consideration, thoughtfulness, and compassion to other forms of life within us, mankind is something highly and incredibly exclusionary to ourselves and a few domestic or physically appealing animal species. So, in a sad way, this kind of treatment of turkeys and other birds and animals in general is merely to be expected from us. The Life of a Thanksgiving Turkey Part 1: The Hatchery Turkeys raised in any kind of farm, factory or intensive farm, or a free range, farm, come from the exact same places, which are turkey hatcheries. These turkeys, along with many other birds of similar kind, are raised in small, cramped, hellholes which create and package them like commodities before they even take lifes first breath. What accounts for a dignified life in the human mind for a turkey must truly be a completely abandoned ideal. When someone thinks of a turkey or chicken, or other types of farmed or hunted birds, they likely merely think of a food product instead of a sentient creature. AND this is exactly how every industry treats them as, regardless of how kind, loving, sociable, friendly, and outgoing these birds are when allowed to express themselves In a happy and safe environment, like a sanctuary or a loving home. Can you imagine any kind of happy, loving, or beautiful life for the futures of animals treated, viewed, or raised this way? A baby turkey chick that was caught in this machinery and then left to die. He, or she, is clearly in incredible pain, and in a state of torment and suffering. This is all because someone wanted to arbitrarily and frivolously decide to eat a bird on a random holiday which originally celebrated the autumn harvest of completely vegetable and fruit based foods that grew during the fall season. This turkey is in this position because of mankinds self-absorbedness. We are masters of destroying lives and causing suffering, and yet never truly comprehending the gravity of the consequences, which this innocent bird is experiencing in this picture. This is insane! This little turkeys body was ruthlessly and brutally destroyed by the machinery she, or he was placed in for sorting. When the person filming this young turkey approached him, or her, the bird actually began peeping because this animal was still alive and fully conscious after sustaining this horrible deformation. As shocking as this seems, this is extremely common, as the careless, cold, and hard machinery cannot treat these birds with gentleness, and often ends up mutilating and disfiguring them. Just like the machines that mutilate these young birds, the people at these places cannot treat these birds with any kind of respect or gentleness, or even view them with any kind of respect, consideration, or love. Sensitive little beings that only desire the love of a mother, safety, and protection deserve much more than that. The people at this horrible, exploitative place most likely do not care at all, as humans generally dont care about animals they have no direct relation to or shallow favoritism for. Im absolutely, totally, completely sure that even a lot of the general public would not care either. This young, helpless, motherless turkey is merely a damaged product to them, like an old shoe or a broken pair of pliers. It doesnt matter to them that its a life, because to them a life Is only a life if it is belongs to a human. For some this may include a domestic animal, like a dog, cat, or parakeet or an animal considered physically appealing or rare, like a lion, tiger, panda, or giraffe. It Is a scary thought for me to comprehend that some of these workers may have had cats and dogs they loved, or supported the protection of an endangered animal, whilst they engaged in the horrific abuse, cruelty, brutality, disrespect and neglect of these little helpless young animals right before them. They probably performed their violent, life destroying duties seeing no similarity between the young, innocent, and small turkeys and the dog or cat that may have sat on their lap or had been petted by them, or else they would not be able to kill, neglect, and torment them so easily and without remorse. "Awareness is bad for the meat business. Conscience is bad for the meat business. Sensitivity to life is bad for the meat business. DENIAL, however, the meat business finds indispensable." The above image shows turkey hatchlings being disposed of. These hatchlings are victims of a common practice in the poultry industry. They are called hatch debris, and are birds that are sent to animal testing facilities, where they will experience just another one of the brutal, revolting, and repulsive horrors that humans inflict upon animal kind for the rest of their lives or until they are killed during testing. In chicken hatcheries, the various birds are sorted between males and females, and something similar happens when the male chicks are disposed of. This is because they cannot produce eggs and are thus considered valueless to the egg industry and to the farming industry in general. This image is a perfect showcasing of how our pathetic considers other creatures worthless if they cannot materially provide something for us. This kind of meaningless, shallow, vapid, and nihilistic mentality is something I find predictable in human beings when it comes to animals. We are sad, miserable, vapid creatures. Almost a joke of Gods creation. What is pictured above: A flesh and blood being, a young and helpless one at that, is completely discarded as worthless. The reality of these atrocious, monstrosities that are turkey and chicken hatcheries are something the free-range egg industry, as well as the industries buying and selling the flesh, body parts, and bodies of turkeys and chickens, would never share with you, because it greatly benefits them not to. All chickens and turkeys come from the exact same hatcheries. NOT a single one of these hatcheries is devoted to being even slightly merciful to these infant birds. THEY are simply in existence for the sole purpose of creating and bringing new lives into the world for the pure reason of having others destroy them later on. The fact that these hatcheries will sell their chicks to the worst of factory farms without a second thought should be enough for anyone to know that they are absolutely not devoted in any way to caring about the health or happiness of any of the young hatchlings. THEY are not brought into existence to be nurtured or cared for. They are simply seen as something being raised and killed for profits by both those running these hatcheries and most of the farmers that take them. Part 2: The Farm As far as eating is concerned, humans are the most stupid animals on the planet. We kill billions of wild animals to protect the animals that we eat. We are destroying our environment to feed to the animals we eat. We spend more time, money and resources fattening up the animals that we eat, than we do feeding humans who are dying of hunger. The greatest irony is that after all the expenses of raising these animals, we eat them; and they kill us slowly... And rather than recognize this madness, we torture and murder millions of other animals trying to find cures to diseases caused by eating animals in the first place.-Mike Anderson, American Plant-Based Dietician We often label animals, especially birds and fish, as stupid, almost impulsively or instinctively while barely knowing anything about them. The truth of the matter is, the way we are treating them is a profound example of our own stupidity, cruelty, lack of intelligence and foresight, and inherent brutality and insensitivity to life and other sentient creatures. For turkeys alone, around 300 million birds are mercilessly killed every year, which is the same number as the roughly entire American population of humans. On thanksgiving day, this number is about 46 million. THE vast majority of these turkeys are housed in filthy, unclean, and poorly-managed warehouses, simply because there would be almost no space for all of these birds on open land. These animals produce a tremendous amount of waste, and because they are so callously and uncomfortably crammed and packed together, their waste often has nowhere to go but the surrounding area, whether it be into the air, upon the land, in the water, or into poorly constructed dumps or lagoons. All kinds of environmental pollutants, whether it be air, water, or soil pollution, can be rooted back to our brutal and monstrous treatment of turkeys and other innocent birds, as well as of viciously factory farmed animals in general, whether they be birds, mammals, or fish. Even supposed free-ranged farms will have cramped and crowded miserable conditions for these innocent birds to walk, breathe, and spend their entire lives in, which are usually only slightly more spacious than those given to factory farmed turkeys. We talk about animals, especially birds and other animals like fish, as if they were trash or as if they were worthless all the time, and often consider being compared to an animal as almost synonymous to being treated like chattel, or like an object or a slave. There is no true respect within us for these beings. We DONT have any idea of what they are or what they deserve. So in practice, regardless of what we may say, many of us will simply treat any animal however we wish to according to what we want from them and what kind of material gain we can derive from them, no matter how grotesquely and horrifically they may suffer or die in the process. We simply dont understand what meaning they have or respect their desires for even the most basic fundamental thing another living creature would want. We are often too rooted in our own self-centered and self-absorbed mentality to even give thought, focus, or attention to it. I thoroughly believe that this is the basic essence behind the industries selling animals flesh, as well as their bodily secretions, like milk and eggs. When we buy these products, I feel that we are wholly accepting and buying into this kind of mentality, and we communicate that we feel that animals have no right to their own lives. This could not possibly be anything but a brutal, violent, careless, and inherently ugly and impure kind of mentality to hold for innocent creatures who are so loving and often have such a child-like zest for life and a unique curiosity for everything around them. Many farmed animals even have a level of mental intelligence that matches that of a human child of 3 or 5 years of age! And yet we kill them routinely like theyre worthless and like their lives are worthless! THIS kind of mentality is simply an utter abomination to imagine people in a civilized society having for any reason. "We are the lucky ones - we are not standing day after day in a tiny space, breathing the stench of our own waste, waiting only to be slaughtered. We must do everything possible for those suffering lives of pain and terror.-Matt Ball, Co-Founder of Vegan Outreach This is a male breeding turkey. His purpose in the brutal farming system is to produce sperm to fertilize female turkeys so they will give birth to children they will never be able to see, touch, care for, or spend time with, and who will likely be shipped off to hatcheries or raised separately from their mothers and without their love. To the factory farming industry, and the farming industry in general this innocent bird who would love nothing more than to play in the grass, bathe in the dust, feel the sunlight and to socialize and form relationships with others of his own kind is only to be milked for his sperm to fertilize other turkeys, who will be treated with the exact same amount of brutality, cruelty, and hard-heartedness as he is, and treated solely and utterly as commodities. He spends all his days in a lonely corner, away from any others of his kind, where he will simply be deprived of his genetic material until the day of his death. What kind of character and personality does this bird have? What is his favorite food, his favorite activity, or what does he like to do? The industry does not care, and will make sure he never gets to experience these basic fundamental aspects of an enjoyable life. He, a living, breathing, feeling, seeing creature, is just an object to them. This is the kind of experience we create into the world for other beings when we consume and demand their flesh. This is what happens to them. Whether they are turkeys, chickens, geese, ducks, cows, pigs, sheep, lambs, ewe, goats, or kids, the story is the same, though the lives, memories, and individuals are each different. Their lives are turned into an endless cycle of birth, separation, loneliness, pain, confinement and daily torment, suffering, misery, and death. One could wonder what kind of moral state we are in as a society if we are willing to let sensitive, conscious, intelligent, feeling, and sociable sentient beings experience absolutely horrendous atrocities day in and day out, year after year and decade after decade, without even a second thought as to how it affects them. More animals are killed for useless, frivolous, and decadent food products than our entire species several times over in a single year. All the while, we have animals like cats, dogs, certain rodents and birds that we treat like family members, who we would never want this to happen to. This absolutely absurd, pathetic, and ridiculous ethical failure and inconsistency could not possibly be based in any kind of logic or reason. There is no excuse for this. It is simply a disaster of colossal proportions. Part 3: Transportation Do you even know what the birds on there are experiencing? Because it is horrendous. All turkeys, free-ranged or otherwise, have the exact same quality of transportation when it comes to the time of their mercilessly imposed deaths; a cramped and crowded and filthy space, steeped in the filth and dirt of other birds, and treated like insensate objects. This is likely the first and the last time these birds will actually experience the light of the sun on their skin and feathers. No kind of normal, sane, or ethical creature would create this kind of system of oppression and brutality for other beings to endure. I would say the goal of every person, in an ideal society, at least would be to be respectful and considerate to not only other humans, but to all other kinds of living beings as a whole. All creatures have different bodies, but each and every one has their own character, spirit, nature, and individuality that makes them utterly irreplaceable and a truly sacred and precious thing to feel, touch, or experience life with in ones time on earth. An immense and profound beauty and soul is within all individuals and living beings that is so unique that it cannot be found anywhere else in the universe. An individual being simply cannot be replicated. Many of us may have experienced this truth with our own animals and pets, or with our own friends and family members. If we cannot respect and truly cherish the irreplaceability of a life and an individual in not only ourselves, but in other beings as well when it is so profoundly expressed within them, then we truly are failures in the complete sense of the word. When true, genuine acknowledgement of the preciousness of life is not extended to all beings, and excluded only to our own kind, it is not truthful and it is not just. It simply becomes another expression of our own egoism and decadence that makes us think we have a right to exploit other creatures and treat them as trash when there is such tremendous value and beauty to them just as there is in us. We have simply made the basic quality of compassion which all beings wish to be treated with into something low-minded, arbitrary, tribalistic, selfish, self-serving, narcissistic, and exclusionary to use for our own benefit and self-indulgence. This, to me, is the epitome of the ugliness of the human race. This kind of primitive, pathetic mentality, not only when it is applied to other animals, but to others in general, whether they are human beings or animals. Countless atrocities have been committed and orchestrated because of this manner of thought. It is repulsive. We think other animals are brutal, but we are the worst savages on the face of the earth. Part 4: Death I think that eating meat or fish is a denial of all ideals, even of all religions. How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood? Every kind of killing seems to me savage and I find no justification for it.-Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jewish-American Author, and Nobel Prize Winner for Literature "The best justification we have for inflicting pain, suffering and death on 10 billion animals a year is that they taste good. I regard that as moral schizophrenia.-Gary Francione, Author of Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach A dead turkey, hanging upside down on a conveyer belt, his wings splayed outward. It is almost as if this turkey is trying to stretch his wings, which is probably something he never actually got to do his entire life, and something he had a basic right for as his experience as a sentient living being. He, without a doubt, had never experienced the sunshine, light, love, or friendship his entire life. Instead he was simply brought into the world for the moment of his death and what could be done with his body afterwards. The lifeless body, truly represents what the industry thinks of each and every individual turkey; simply a senseless commodity or automaton of flesh to receive profits from buying, selling, raising, and killing. This is the same kind of viewpoint for all farmed animals, no matter where they are in the world or what kind of animal they are. However, for animals like birds, or fish in particular, this view is likely even more intense, vapid, and merciless than for other kinds of animals, given how we humans have a vapid and superficial favoritism for mammals over most other kinds of life. This is an abomination. The only answer to save all these animals from being brutally treated by mankind is love, peace, and understanding. No killing, no violence, no brutality, no abuse, and no death, for any reason. There is no way there can be peace with that In orchestration. There is simply no justification for inflicted cruelty, violence, and death, and there never will be, so please choose a compassionate lifestyle, and dont support the meat, egg, and dairy industries that value the contentment and trivial and frivolous enjoyment and pleasure of humans, over the very life, essence, soul, spirit, and breath of other living beings. Go vegan! It is not a slogan, but a choice that respects the fundamental truths of animal sentience, animal agricultures harm on the environment and on human health and food. Veganism is better for your health, the animals, and the environment, so it is the perfect choice if you care about any of these things at all and truly want to show respect and consideration towards them in a meaningful way. If you are already a vegan reading this, or have decided to become vegan, or have simply decided that you want to be a voice for animals, regardless of what you may consume I have this to say to you: Trust in yourself and know what you are doing is right, regardless of what others say to you, and just keep standing up, keep being the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Just do this for as long as you live, for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do, and you know that these animals must have a voice, otherwise there will be very few opportunities for justice for them in a world that treats them as commodities. Know and trust in yourself that this is the right thing to do. My heart bursts with pride for you, and you are making a great and profound difference for Gods creation. Where mercy, love, and pity dwell, there God is dwelling too.-William Blake, British Poet Be the voice of change that brings peace into the world for all living beings! Forever! For a list of websites concerned with the plight of farmed birds, and animals in general, and are often especially active in helping turkeys during thanksgiving, visit: United Poultry Concerns Farm Sanctuary Happy Hen Chicken Rescue!pictures/cewq