Compassionate Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2011 by Webmaster


As Thanksgiving approaches, here at IDA, we like to give thanks for the amazing bird, the turkey. Forty-five million “Broad Breasted Whites” as they are known will be eaten by U.S. citizens this coming holiday, but few of those people will ever know the suffering these birds endured to reach their tables.

These beautiful birds have been genetically manipulated over the years to grow rapidly and have enlarged and unnaturally exaggerated breasts. The result is a multitude of health and mobility issues including inability to fly or to breed (they must be artificially inseminated, or the males would crush the females) and, in some cases, to even walk. Turkeys are raised in high-density, indoor confinement containing thousands of birds to a building and often have their toes cut off to prevent injury if there is fighting in the tight overcrowding. These windowless warehouses where the birds must live in day in and day out have poor sanitation and can have an overwhelming stench of ammonia.  

As society is becoming more aware of the plight of factory farmed turkeys, some people are buying “humane” or “organic” turkeys. While this is an honorable pursuit, most people don’t realize that these farms are not much better than a factory farm. The turkeys might have access to the outside, but they are still overcrowded and may also be left outside in extremes of weather with no shelter. They still come from the same inhumane industrial hatchery where they never knew their mothers, and go to the same frightening slaughterhouse for a bloody and brutal death as a factory-farmed turkey. Birds are exempt from the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act so there are no regulations to ease their suffering.

If we want to truly give thanks, we should thank the earth for the life, resources, and delicious plant food it provides. It takes approximately 10 pounds of vegetables to make 1 pound of turkey, so we are wasting precious water, land, and fossil fuels and creating greenhouse gasses by eating meat. If we are sincerely grateful for the abundant and excessive amount of food available to us, we should eat a plant-based Thanksgiving meal, as a greater number of people could be fed with the grain that we feed the animals. Of course there are numerous faux meat options such as Tofurky and Field Roast. And any customary Thanksgiving dessert recipe can be easily veganized with a few substitutions.

Please show your gratitude to the earth, your health, and the turkeys this year and start a new tradition of compassion with a vegan Thanksgiving

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13 Responses to “Compassionate Thanksgiving”

  1. March 23, 2013 at 2:53 am, parfum pas cher said:

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  2. March 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm, hcttdpibs said:


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  3. November 26, 2011 at 7:57 am, mary said:

    I am thankful that one year ago I went vegetarian! Well, still eat wild fish, but have tried to cut out all milk and eggs (except the ones with the “certified humane” label at whole foods….working my way to semi-vegan….

    I am cooking a semi-vegan meal. We did buy a small turkey breast :( for the people who aren’t vegetarians, but 1/2 of us are, so didn’t have to buy a whole turkey. Got a free-range one, so hopefully a little bit better. Still, as I am the hostess, I should be able to do a to-furkey instead? Is that rude?


  4. November 24, 2011 at 3:25 am, Anne said:

    as a vegetarian I do not eat poultry so you do not have to be a vegan to abstain from eating Poutry…I gave up eating poultry meat and fish over 44 years ago after I read the book “Siddartha by Herman Hesse; in the book saying how not eating meat or poultry can “raise one’s consciousness; a type of enlightenment; so I stopped eating Turkey on thankgiving 44 years ago…how do you think that makde my parents feel when I wouold not eat any Turkey ? however; when you be a vegetarian (or Vegan) you will make people wonder; after a time I began cooking vegetarian meals for my parents once a week…pretty soon my parents began to look forward to my “vegetarian dishes!!

    ps there are people in India who have been Vegetarians their hwole lives ! Anne


  5. November 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm, Heidi Liebwein said:

    I am so happy I have my Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y. Why be a part of the genocide when you have this?


  6. November 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm, iris lambka said:

    we are doing vegitarian dinner with other folks at a park in Boca Raton Florida


  7. November 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm, Valraven said:

    The mass mentality is one of denial. We grow up believing in the happily ever after fairy tale where we can do whatever and all will turn out okay in the end. The truth is – in every fairy tale there is a moral to the story. Act compassionately and appropriately and you will have a good reward. People forget about the ‘middle, the body’ of every human venture because we are trained from childhood to forget the hard work ‘of the middle part’ and believe in happy endings. Majority of people believe their Thanksgiving turkey was clucking and scratching in a big green field with one or two other turkeys, a vast healthy sunny space.

    The only way to stop this mass slaughter is to expose it in a very radical way, the way PETA chooses – show the blood, the horror in advertisements, in posters and billboards. Bombard people with these images until they realize the slaughterhouses are not a sustainable industry and this cruelty is the result of human denial and stupidity, unevolved and sad.


  8. November 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm, Michelle Storace said:

    Abuse of animals is on the rampage.They just passed a bill to have Horse Slaughter plant’s back in the USA.They do the same thing to chicken’s to have their breast’s so large they cannot stand up.I agree have a wonderful green dinner.


  9. November 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm, marina said:

    We thank all of those who follow the tradition of turkey/Thanksgiving in the XXI xentury by realizing that it was turkey that our elders had to eat a long time ago. This is why it is entirely backward to repeat their recipes today. Or dress like them now. Or think the way they thought in our present time. Honoring Thanksgiving today takes allowing all sentient being them to stay alive. On this lovely date and in the future.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all compassionate fellows, enjoy your green dinner!


  10. November 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm, Mika Ashley-Hollinger said:

    Aloha from Hawaii; I would like to suggest that next year a petition be circulated to have our President of the USA to pardon a factory farmed turkey…right out of Butterballs house of horrors. People need to see what these pathetic creatures look like.
    Thank you IDA for all you do for the ones that can’t talk.


    • November 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm, Molly McGuire said:

      I think that being a true Christian is not easy.
      It includes having compassion for all of God’s creatures, great and small, human and animal all the way to the most humble of God’s creations.
      Being a vegetarian is – to me- recognizing that participating in the culture that raises, feeds, treats and kills animals in a cruel process is wrong and that we must not support the process.

      Animals are sentient beings. They feel pain, fear, loss of family .
      It was not that long ago that blacks and women were not considered fully human and entitled to compassionate treatment.

      Unless we individually accept responsibility for inhumane treatment of animals raised for food, agribusiness will continue to treat animals cruely. We are the only voice that these animals have.


  11. November 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm, DIANE M. KASTEL said:

    As a semi-vegan, who, once in a while, eats cheese, I have learned a new expression that I should have been using a long time ago: wishing my friends a Happy and Turkey-Free Thanksgiving!


    • November 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm, Marguerite white said:

      I wish no one ate Turkey always feel sorry for them and other animals,they do not have much of a life,I am glad I am a vegetarian…


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