Thanksgiving Day is coming up this year on 28th November. While it is a North American tradition it is illustrative of how traditional celebrations can hide great suffering due to the large numbers of people and animals involved and the pressures and temptations for making money. Thanksgiving is a day for peace and giving thanks. However behind the scenes the factory farming of turkeys comes at an enormous cost.
According to the National Turkey Federation (US), the average American consumes 17 pounds of turkey meat per year resulting in the slaughter of between 250 to 300 million turkeys every year, with more than 46 million killed during the Thanksgiving holiday period alone. Turkeys suffer at every step of the process – from being factory farmed in overcrowded conditions, genetically manipulated to grow extremely fast making it painful to walk, transported on trucks with no protection from the elements, hung shackled by their feet before slaughter, and often being fully conscious when killed.
There are many ways to make Thanksgiving a time to celebrate life rather than contributing to the end of it. Help your family and friends take on a meat-free meal, share the message with others, search for veg-options. For a Buddhist interpretation, follow this link to our partner Enlightenment for the Dear Animals.