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I’m Dreaming Of A Green Christmas And A Humane New Year

I’m Dreaming Of A Green Christmas And A Humane New Year

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!

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12 comments

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4:44AM PST on Dec 28, 2008

Thanks for your insight! I think the more people are made aware of how animals in factory farms, etc are treated the more changes will be made. Unless we speak about them, people will not even be in the know.... ignorance is bliss. I never used to eat consciously until I found out how some of the food that got to my table....changed my habits quick..It was from the Jon Robbins (sp)??) movie on factory farming, etc years ago that changed my mind.. So, I say...Thanks so much for sharing!!

10:47AM PST on Dec 27, 2008

Tofurkys (a faux-turkey product) are on sale at lots of stores, like Whole Foods, right now ... give one a try! Don't expect it to taste exactly like the "real thing," but they are very tasty. And knowing that they are an excellent source of protein that doesn't include an ounce of suffering makes them 100 times better than killing a turkey. It's never too late to start a new holiday tradition ... :)

5:34AM PST on Dec 27, 2008

Some habits along with traditions really are screaming along with the turkeys to be broken. I am eight years younger than my husband who is a meat man. Thanks to a loving vegan we both enjoyed a wonderful vegan Christmas meal, which is now our new tradition. Can I hear a happy scream for that. Peace on earth and good will towards all living species.

2:39AM PST on Dec 27, 2008

I raised turkeys in my backyard, and they were free to run around and eat grass as they pleased. We sent them to the butcher. I was wondering if this was humane enough? Not trying to be sarcastic or anything, but I was genuinely curious.

Thanks,
Tessa

12:45AM PST on Dec 27, 2008

The first time in the human being it´s possible that (when we want it really) can life organic.Why not?! It brings a lot of jobs and haelthy.

1:27PM PST on Dec 26, 2008

A humane new year would be nice. Improvements are happening if only very slowly.

5:23AM PST on Dec 26, 2008

I agree with you too no dead animals on our Christmas table and non necessary, there are plenty of tasty and healthy alternatives to killing animals for our celebrations. I hope this next year sees a dramatic improvement in the treatment of animals but I'm not holding my breath. Still the fight goes on.

8:47AM PST on Dec 25, 2008

Thank you for the beautiful article, Heather. I am a vegan too. (Wish I could write like that...)

5:12AM PST on Dec 25, 2008

unfortunately the human being is native "omnivore" (in my language, I don't know how say in English), not vegetarian. It is perfectly right how about to protest, but it is a industry, the food industry! It will be better to fight against those pre-preparing methods. See, EU ammend and observe the ancestral methods for killing own-farmes eat-destinated-domestic animals in my country (Romania), but no one says about industrial killing you write above, what have place in all the country in the world; how about killing whales on the coasts of Danemark, how about killing snakes and dogs in South Asian countries, how about killing seals in North lands from Alaska, Canada, Russia, Norway or Japan!??
I think the man has right to eat but has no right to make suffering other being on the Earth... It is a great philosophy here, no place to made a conference...

5:10AM PST on Dec 25, 2008

unfortunately the human being is native "omnivore" (in my language, I don't know how say in English), not vegetarian. It is perfectly right how about to protest, but it is a industry, the food industry! It will be better to fight against those pre-preparing methods. See, EU ammend and observe the ancestral methods for killing own-farmes eat-destinated-domestic animals in my country (Romania), but no one says about industrial killing you write above, what have place in all the country in the world; how about killing whales on the coasts of Danemark, how about killing snakes and dogs in South Asian countries, how about killing seals in North lands from Alaska, Canada, Russia, Norway or Japan!??
I think the man has right to eat but has no right to make suffering other being on the Earth... It is a great philosophy here, no place to made a conference...

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