A Compassionate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week and I’ve been thinking a lot about turkeys and eating veg this holiday season. What really sparked it was hearing Nathan Runkle (founder of Mercy for Animals) speak at the annual Ching Thanksgiving (blog post to come!). Ever since then I’ve been trying to post on Facebook every day about how amazing turkeys are and how to have a compassionate Thanksgiving.

Sooo I decided I should do a blog post too 🙂 It’s so easy to eat compassionately for the holidays now with so much information about how factory farmed animals are really treated and so many online recipe resources.

For your convenience, I collected a few awesome websites that I’ve found over the past few days. Be sure to check them out and see if you can incorporate some recipes into your menu!

An awesome website! Recipes, instructions on how to veganize your own recipes, tips for handling with non-veg family members… they have it all!

Thanksgiving recipe round-up

VegNews holiday recipes

Mercy For Animals’ Thanksgiving meal plan

My Thanksgiving posts from previous years here and here (links to my recipes)


If you aren’t convinced yet that incorporating compassionate eating into your life makes a difference, check out the following links and images.

MFA 2011 Butterball Factory Undercover Video
Last year Mercy For Animals did an undercover investigation of a Butterball turkey factory. The below video shows what they found.

If you are planning eating turkey this year for the holidays, please watch and see what you are paying for. You are not only paying for the systematic abuse and slaughter of 45 million turkeys every Thanksgiving, but you are forcing people to do the dirty work of society. Many of the workers are just as trapped as the turkeys–they become violent and hateful as they develop types of PTSD from repeatedly doing acts that they find morally wrong. They also often become alcoholics or drug addicts as a result.

And if you think “well not all turkeys are treated like that,” think again. This is just one factory, yes, but according to Butterball they are “the largest turkey producer in the United States.”

The amount of turkeys we are demanding is directly causing this abuse. We ask for cheap food, and they provide it.


MFA 2012 Butterball Factory Undercover Video

If after watching that you’re thinking “well they’ve changed. That was a year ago, they must have arrested all of those people,” really consider why you think anything would change. This is their business, it’s how they support our demand for millions of cheap turkeys every year.

The below video is from October 2012. Same company, different factory, only one year later.


2007 House of Raeford Farms Undercover Video
Oh, and just in case you’re thinking “well that was just Butterball. I’ll just buy my turkey elsewhere,” here’s another undercover investigation–this time at the House of Raeford Farms. According to their website, House of Raeford is the 8th largest chicken producer and 9th largest in turkey in the US.


A recent article by a friend of mine
“All of these acts would be considered cruelty to animals if performed on a cat or a dog. Yet under Utah law, turkeys are exempt from protection since they are being raised for ‘agricultural’ purposes. Indeed, Utah’s indefensible Ag-Gag law now makes simply filming this abuse a crime.”


Adorable turkey at a sanctuary


And, to wrap it up, one of my favorite quotes:

“The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
– Jeremy Bentham


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