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What about Free-Range Turkeys?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the single condition for the term "free-range" is that birds have access to the outdoors. All other facets of a free-range turkey's life can be indistinguishable from the living conditions of a conventionally raised bird.

Like all other turkeys raised for food, free-range turkeys receive no protection under the law. Turkeys - all birds, in fact - are excluded from coverage under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. All animals raised for food are excluded from the Animal Welfare Act.

Free-range turkeys suffer the same inhumane transportation and slaughter processes as factory-farmed turkeys. Their flesh is also subject to many of the same contamination issues as factory-farmed turkey flesh because free-range turkeys are taken to the same slaughterhouses as factory-farmed turkeys. As line speeds in slaughterhouses increase, so does the frequency of fecal contamination.

East Bay Animal Advocates recently conducted an investigative rescue at a free-range turkey farm in Northern California. Click http://www.free-range-turkey.com/ to take a virtual tour of the farm and to learn more about the conditions on free-range turkey farms.

And here's what happens to the vast majority of turkeys:

The nearly 300 million turkeys killed each year in the U.S. spend their entire lives crammed in large sheds with little room to move. Artificially inseminated and selectively bred to gain enormous amounts of weight, they suffer heart attacks, broken limbs, lameness, and death from their genetically-induced accelerated growth rate.

Factory farm conditions are so harsh that the turkeys must be pumped full of antibiotics just to stay alive. Shortly after birth, they have their snoods and parts of their toes and beaks cut off with hot blades, without the use of anesthetic, to reduce damage from from stress-induced aggression. They are then delivered by conveyer belt to a carousel where they get a power injection, usually of an antibiotic, whacked into the back of their necks.

The rest of their lives they are forced to endure crowding, living in their own waste, and ravaging diseases. As many as 25,000 birds may be housed in a single shed. Their eyes and lungs are burned by toxic fumes emanating from their excrement. Conditions are so severe that about 9% of turkeys raised for food (or over 26 million) didn't survive long enough to make it to the slaughterhouse.

After 16 weeks of misery, they are hung on a conveyer belt, their throats are cut, and they are dumped -- sometimes still fully conscious -- into scalding water to strip their feathers.

To learn more about atrocious factory farm practices, check out PETA's undercover investigation of Butterball, click http://www.goveg.com/feat/butterball/butterball.asp

http://gentlethanksgiving.org/about/why.htm
 

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I've never heard of omnis buying free-range turkeys. Most either don't know what "free-range" even is, don't care, or both. Is this a common thing?
 

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Growing up lots of people ate free range turkeys, cept when I say free range what I rally mean is wild.

I have never even seen a free range turkey for sale in the market!

Course then again it is not as if I walk down the meat isle either.
 

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I have an omni friend who is very proud she is having free-range turkey this year. I was not impressed.

I think Food Fight's myspace page sums it up for me.


http://www.myspace.com/foodfight

(caution - there is some obsenity on this page)

ETA - I think my friend was trying to do the better thing by buying free-range. I didn't mean to sound so harsh - but it is extremely disturbing that 'free range' is marketed to sound more humane and it really isn't. Not at all.
 

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Then if an omni is trying to reduce suffering by buying a free range turkey, should you tell them it doesn't matter so just buy any?.
 

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If you look at those pictures linked in the article Irizary posted it doesn't look like any suffering has been reduced in the free-range farm situation.

They are just mis-leading people to sell more turkeys.
 

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Theres a health food store around here that says:

"Organic Free Range Turkeys on sale!

...and good for you!"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

Theres a health food store around here that says:

"Organic Free Range Turkeys on sale!

...and good for you!"
Ok, so here's my story that goes along with this:

troub and I are at the health food store on Friday night. While at the check out, we see the sign that says "organic free range turkeys" and then it says that it's "good for you." I had already noticed the sign because I go there frequently, but troub keeps pointing at the words "good for you" while laughing and shaking his head. I laughed too. Yup, them turkeys are so good for you! They almost convinced me to get one for thanksgiving.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by peace View Post

I've never heard of omnis buying free-range turkeys. Most either don't know what "free-range" even is, don't care, or both. Is this a common thing?
WTF?

Who is buying them if not omnis?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

The nearly 300 million turkeys killed each year in the U.S. spend their entire lives crammed in large sheds with little room to move. Artificially inseminated and selectively bred to gain enormous amounts of weight, they suffer heart attacks, broken limbs, lameness, and death from their genetically-induced accelerated growth rate.
So they live like humans?
 

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No one could seriously suggest there's a similarity. Whether it's a choice or not doesn't have to enter the comparison at all.
 

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My mom always buys a free-range turkey on Thanksgiving. I think she is trying to ease her guilt, since my veg family is sitting at the table. Too bad it is still such a cruel business.
 

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Hypothetical, but I'm wondering what your opinions would be about a vegetarian family who raised turkeys/chickens on a family farm to try to persuade the typical omnivorous public away from the typical factory farmed turkeys/chickens; since people will be eating meat for a LONG time, if not forever. Something about this thread made me think about that scenario for some reason.
 

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Um, no, I meant that I've never encountered anyone who said they were buying a free-range turkey. Perhaps I should have said I've never heard of PEOPLE buying free-range T-giving turkeys.
 

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They're hugely popular here in Portland. Probably a regional thing. Most people even pre-order a free-range organic turkey because stores often run out. Diestel is the most common brand I've seen around here.
 

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Quote:
Hypothetical, but I'm wondering what your opinions would be about a vegetarian family who raised turkeys/chickens on a family farm to try to persuade the typical omnivorous public away from the typical factory farmed turkeys/chickens; since people will be eating meat for a LONG time, if not forever. Something about this thread made me think about that scenario for some reason.
I wouldn't want to spend any time with said vegetarian family because I would find them disturbing.
 
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