The tips of turkeys’ sensitive beaks are cut off with a hot blade and without the use of painkillers.
Ben Franklin called turkeys “true American originals.” He had tremendous respect for their resourcefulness, agility, and beauty. Turkeys are intelligent animals who enjoy having their feathers stroked and listening to music, with which they will often sing quite loudly. In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour, run 25 miles an hour, and live up to four years. Learn more about the intelligence of turkeys.
But the story’s very different for turkeys on factory farms: They will be killed when they are only 5 or 6 months old, and during their short lives, they will be denied even the simplest pleasures, like running, building nests, and raising their young.
Like chickens, the 300 million turkeys raised and killed for their flesh every year in the United States have no federal legal protection. Thousands of turkeys are crammed into filthy sheds after their beaks and toes are burned off with a hot blade. Many suffer heart failure or debilitating leg pain, often becoming crippled under the weight of their genetically manipulated and drugged bodies. When the time comes for slaughter, they are thrown into transport trucks, and when they arrive at the slaughterhouse, their throats are cut and their feathers burned off—often while they are still fully conscious.