End Turkey Suffering and Have a Tasty Meal All at the Same Time

Written by Adele Douglass, Chief Executive Officer of Humane Farm Animal Care

Each year, over 10 billion animals raised for food in the U.S. endure inhumane treatment. Most are confined such that they can’t behave naturally. Sadly, turkeys are not immune to this cruelty.

The biggest barrier is that most turkey producers don’t want to meet the space requirements in our standards, which would allow turkeys the room that they need. Producers believe that shoppers are not concerned with the manner in which their food is raised. Let’s prove them wrong.

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of farm animals by driving demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices with certification standards.

Certified Humane turkeys, like these from Ayrshire Farm, meet HFAC's Animal Care Standards such as: space requirements, the ability to engage in natural behaviors, and food free of antibiotics.

The Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label assures consumers:

* That the producer meets our standards and applies them to animals from birth, including slaughter.

* Animals have ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress.

* Ample fresh water and a healthy diet of quality feed, without added antibiotics or hormones.

* Cages, crates and tie stalls are among the forbidden practices, and animals must be free to do what comes naturally. For example, chickens are able to flap their wings and dust bathe, and pigs have the space to move around and root.

If you’re shopping for a Thanksgiving turkey, keep in mind that there are currently only a handful of producers of turkeys that meet HFAC’s standards.

The power is with you, the shopper to help get more turkeys certified.

You can buy your turkey directly from these Certified Humane producers, visit the Where to Buy page on the HFAC website or use our handy app for iPhone/iPad and Android.

Take Action

Please help us make sure that by Thanksgiving next year, 8,000,000 turkeys are raised under our Humane Farm Animal Care Standards. You can show your support and end needless turkey suffering, simply by sharing your favorite holiday recipes on Facebook.

Enter your recipe by November 30 in one of the following categories:

* Favorite Turkey Recipes
* Alternative Meat  & Seafood Mains
* Delectable Side Dishes
* Delicious Desserts
* Holiday Appetizers

Finalists will be announced on December 1, and then voting will begin. Vote throughout the month of December for your favorite recipes. Winners will receive gift baskets filled with all sorts of Humane goodies.

By voting and sharing this contest with your friends and family, you will be taking action to end animal suffering. Together, our collective voices will raise critical awareness of the plight of nearly 10 billion abused and neglected farm animals in this country. Endorsed by more than 65 humane organizations, the Certified Humane Raised and Handled program is nationally recognized as the Gold Standard for certifying animal welfare.

Adele Douglass, Chief Executive Officer, founded HFAC in 2003. Like them on Facebook here for updates.

Photo credit: Humane Farm Animal Care


Ant m.
Ant m2 years ago

Thanks ...

Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Sanja Maksimovic
Past Member 4 years ago


Valerie A.
Valerie A4 years ago


Alison A.
Alison A4 years ago

It is not always about how they are treated, it is about the slaughter. They could live the life of luxury, but it is about when it is time to go to the slaughter house. So no matter how humane they are treated, the last breath in their life was terrifying, whilst they watched other turkeys being slaughtered, life wasn't fun any more.

The majority of the poultry and lamb sold in the UK is slaughtered using the halal method, our laws had to change to incorporate this cruel and disgusting form of slaughter, but because it is so inhumane and doesn't allow the animal to be stunned before it's throat is slit and is left to bleed out (which can take up half hour) it is cheap, so even if it is not advertised as halal, it has probably been killed that way, but don't worry, a prayer was said whilst they hang bleeding to death.... so that makes it all right.

Krystal R.
Krystal R4 years ago


Richard T.
Richard T4 years ago

All Animals Including Us Should Have A Right To Live!

Betty Kelly
Betty Kelly4 years ago

All animals should be treated humanely, at the very least.

Valerie Delisle
Valerie Delisle4 years ago

I applaud the idea of Certified Humane Turkeys being raised in a humane environment, not crammed into cages, among diseased birds. I hope that these Turkeys are being labelled and displayed as such.