Butterball, one of the US’s main producers of Thanksgiving turkeys, has announced a 50% drop in turkeys 16 pounds and up. Thank goodness I ordered that heritage turkey.
Now, I’m a pretty skeptical girl. It is not lost on me that when the company that most stands to gain from a run on turkeys makes a “supplies are limited” claim, it may just be them going all infomercial on us. But here’s the part that concerns me: the company released this statement, “We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys.”
A decline in weight gains? Like… a turkey hunger strike? Something that made them sick? Unhappy? I know after a bad break-up I go off my food. Are turkey love lives at risk? Based on the fact that commercial turkey farms have bred the dinner turkey to have such an unnaturally large breast that it can’t mate on its own, I wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t know that I’d consider my life worth living either.
I see it as part of the larger story of the unsustainability of our modern way of life. When you need to factory-produce things like livestock, breed them so far from what would naturally occur in the wild and keep the food source so far away from the consumer, it’s bound to cause problems. And, I know many people might laugh, but I think the happiness of the animal while it is living makes a difference in the quality of the sustenance it provides. If the turkeys are failing to put on weight, I think we should wonder why.
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