I’m dreaming of a green Christmas–one where animals aren’t abused, the environment isn’t polluted and people are healthy and light. When I was young, I ate turkey every year for Christmas, but now that I know how turkeys are treated–and how meat production impacts the environment–I enjoy a festive vegan feast. ‘Tis the season for peace and goodwill, after all.
Only a Grinch could condone the treatment of turkeys in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Before they’re killed, these gentle birds spend several months packed so tightly in dark sheds that flapping a wing is nearly impossible. To keep the overcrowded birds from pecking and clawing at one another in frustration, factory workers cut off parts of the birds’ toes and a portion of their upper beaks, procedures that are known to cause chronic and acute pain.
An undercover investigator from PETA recently caught workers at Aviagen Turkeys in West Virginia gratuitously abusing turkeys. (Click here to watch the video footage and send an automated message asking the company to implement strong animal welfare guidelines.)
When turkeys reach the slaughterhouse, they are killed in bloody, violent ways. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can celebrate the season with a mouthwatering meatless meal, such as Tofurky or Celebration Roast.
By choosing vegetarian alternatives to turkey, you’ll not only help spare the birds from suffering, you’ll help reduce environmental damage. As I noted in a previous post, the meat industry largely contributes to global warming. More than one-third of all fossil fuels produced in the U.S. are reportedly used to raise animals for food. When you consider the massive amounts of water, land and grains needed to raise billions of animals, all the manure produced by these animals and all the energy-intensive stages needed to get the animals from the farm to the supermarket, you’ll understand why I’m dreaming of the day when more people will celebrate a green Christmas–a healthy, humane vegetarian one.
Wishing you a happy holiday & humane new year!