Families gather over a fest of pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, rolls and turkey. The spotlight of Thanksgiving, the “true American originals”, also known as turkey, steals the show of the holiday. However, millions of Americans eat Thanksgiving turkey without thinking about the process of preparing the turkey.
According to Mint Press News, more than 45 million turkeys get slaughtered for a Thanksgiving dinner alone. In addition to that, 22 million are killed for Christmas creating a total of 300 million in a year. Most of the turkeys eaten for Thanksgiving are raised, in a three and half a square feet area, for five to six months until they are of the appropriate size. However, the female turkeys may be kept to be artificially inseminated multiple times.
Recently, Americans report preferring organic and free-ranged turkeys rather than factory-farmed turkeys, according to Mint Press News. Nevertheless, financial costs stir up a problem because many of the factory- farmed turkeys are around $40 cheaper than organic turkeys and around $75 cheaper than Tofurky, the vegan and vegetarian option. Thus, showing a possible reason for more people opting for a traditional turkey for the holidays.
Where exactly do these turkeys come from though? According to Kuck Farms Website, each product is made
to meet all the USDA requirements under the careful and watchful eyes of the members of Kuck Farms family.
Local farms and butchers were contacted to get more information about the turkeys people use for the holiday. However, none of them responded back or had no comment. The places contacted included Meyer Hatchery, Bowman & Landes, White Feather Farms, Tea Hill Farms and Kuck Farms.
“I think that turkeys are a symbol for Thanksgiving, but I don’t really feel like eating turkeys speci cally goes hand-in-hand with Thanksgiving more just food in general,” senior Georgia Barnes said.
The US History Bradford’s journals, reprinted in 1856, found an amenable audience who wanted Thanksgiving turned into a national holiday. In his journals, Bradford wrote of how the colonists hunted wild turkeys in the fall of 1621.
After former President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, turkey soon became popular as the Thanksgiving entree for a great deal of Americans. Hundreds of years later Americans still celebrate it annually with a heaping turkey in the middle of their dinner table.
However, in current times people have more options to choose a new star for their Thanksgiving meal. With more people turning to a meat-free life, more places have grown to accommodate their needs.
“We are a non-pro t farm and animal rescue that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes abused, neglected and abandoned farm animals,” administration and fundraising assistant from Happy Trails, an animal farm sanctuary, Shawnna Lemerise said.
Every year since 2008 or 2009 Happy Trails, located in Ravenna, Ohio, has gathered all the local animal lovers to share a Compassionate Thanksgiving. As years passed, Happy Trails has shaped this event to what it is today after first starting Compassionate Thanksgiving with 25 people in attendance.
“The goals [for Compassionate Thanksgiving] are to offer an amazing traditional vegan meal, raise funds, socialize and network and raise awareness to animal issues and also our mission,” Lemerise said.
This year the event took place on Nov. 12 with an expectancy total of 250 people. The Compassionate Thanksgiving included a vegan Thanksgiving specially catered by Todaro’s Party Center.
According to, Lemerise this year Happy Trails will also be featuring two turkeys that were designated for slaughter around this time last year but were sent to their facilities and now live happily on the farm.