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Posted 5 December 2011
Have you ever stopped to wonder why Christmas - a time to spread peace on Earth and goodwill - is celebrated with the mass suffering and killing of turkeys (and other animals)? The festive season provides an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the treatment of our fellow sentient beings and start living a more compassionate lifestyle. So this Christmas, spare a life and have a meat-free feast instead.
Whether factory farmed, free-range or organic, all farmed animals experience pain, fear and distress and have their lives brutally taken from them at the slaughterhouse. During their short existence, they are treated as inanimate units of production and processed by an industry whose sole purpose is to make money from their body parts. Animal Aid and other animal protection groups have filmed undercover in animal farms across the UK. This is what we found in some of the UK’s turkey farms:
‘The birds were in a sorry state with a high rate of feather damage, walking disorders, deformed feet with many unable to raise themselves off the filthy floor. Long dead birds were on top of the feed bins. The birds here are a reflection of their squalid, filthy and depressing surroundings.’
Animal Aid investigator (randomly chosen turkey farm)
‘I tried to alleviate some of the turkeys’ suffering by offering them water, but many were already dying as their injuries prevented them from getting to the food and drinkers. Other birds were dragging themselves around on painful, swollen and very often, deformed joints.’
Hillside Animal Sanctuary investigator (Freedom Food farm)
‘It is a world of cost efficiency where nothing is natural and everything is unreal - no daylight, no fresh air, the constant hum of ventilators, artificial light and the stench of stale excreta and ammonia. It is hard to describe the feeling when you stand among thousands of sick, dying and frustrated animals, but it isn’t a pleasant one.’
Viva! investigator (Bernard Matthews farm)
For a traditional-style Christmas lunch try Redwood’s Celebration Roast - faux roast turkey with meat-free sausages wrapped in veggie bacon. Or choose from their slices of faux ‘chicken’, ‘beef’, ‘turkey’ or ‘ham’, accompanied by all the usual Christmas trimmings. But why not try something different, such as the delicious recipes featured in our FREE Compassionate Christmas booklet? How does savoury Christmas strudel and port wine sauce take your fancy?