These Thanksgiving Icons Are Victims of Research

The Rise for Animals Team, November 21, 2023

Most turkeys do not have much to be grateful for this (or any time) of year, as they find themselves victims of not only the agricultural industry, but also (concomitantly and tragically) the animal research industry

Just like other farmed animals, researchers use turkeys as experimental subjects to maintain and increase the profitability of their own confinement, breeding, and slaughter for human “food”

The U.S. is the world’s largest “producer” and second largest exporter of turkeys, reaping approximately $6 billion in revenue each year from the incarceration, exploitation, and slaughter of approximately 300 million of these gentle and gregarious birds. 

Turkeys are bred and killed en masse for human consumption. Here, countless turkeys fill a single facility. (Getty)

At the same time, researchers experiment on turkeys to maintain and increase industry profits by “‘improv[ing] production’”. To do this, they incarcerate them, manipulate everything from their genetics to their reproduction, mutilate their physical bodies, and kill them. 

And, just like other farmed animals, turkeys are complex, sentient, intelligent, and emotional beings with distinct personalities . . . who need us to keep fighting for their freedom, and their rights. 

Opposing the commodification and subjugation of other-than-human animals is critical everyday, though it can feel even more so on days like Thanksgiving, which encourage us to celebrate (and reward the industries responsible for) their exploitation, suffering, and slaughter. 

Fortunately, each and every one of us can refuse to participate in discrimination and violence against anyone else by enjoying a vegan holiday. And that’s something for which all of us, feathered or not, can give thanks.

To help spread the word about what turkeys endure across the U.S., please share this article with your network.

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