United Poultry Concerns
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13 November 2013
“Article about beer-fed turkeys made me sick”
By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns.

Read more:

Karen’s letter was published in the Portsmouth Herald (New Hampshire) newspaper along with a letter by Suzie Courage Johnson who alerted UPC about this cruelty: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20131112-OPINION-311120312.

November 12, 2013

To the Editor:

Regarding "N.H. farmer: Beer-fed turkeys are tasty," by Holly Ramer, Associated Press, in the Nov. 9, edition of the Portsmouth Herald:

This article made me physically and emotionally sick. I urge readers to look at the photograph of the turkeys that accompanies the article. They clearly are not well or feeling well. Their eyes are dull and the deportment of their heads shows suffering. The sensation of beer in the stomach can be very nauseating, as many people know. Yet forcing these poor birds to drink beer in the run-up to their slaughter is treated as a joke.

It isn't funny. Year after year, I am struck by how meanly we treat our unofficial national bird. I wonder why the weeks before Thanksgiving are filled with ritual media coverage that disparages and demeans turkeys — birds who, by nature, are at home in every natural element — earth, air and water. How many readers know that turkeys not only fly, walk and run, but also swim as well as play together? That is, when they are free to be themselves.

We have taken these magnificent birds, bred them to grow so fast and so large that their bones collapse under their body weight, we mutilate their beaks, and then we have the nerve to ridicule them, feed them alcohol, and act like this is cute instead of what it is: cruel and disgusting.

We need to change our attitude and behavior toward turkeys. We do everything to make them suffer. Force-feeding them alcohol is wrong. For that matter, so is eating them. There is nothing to celebrate about treating a living creature without mercy and calling it "Thanksgiving." We can eat well, love life and give thanks without a turkey.

Karen Davis, Ph.D.

President, United Poultry Concerns

Machipongo, Va.

Turkeys forced to drink beer.


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