Vegan charity Viva! is urging people to ditch turkey this Christmas, in a bid to reduce animal suffering.
The organization will visit three cities this month – Swansea, Leicester and Southampton – to raise awareness about the emotional intelligence and complex behavior of turkeys.
It will also hand out free samples of vegan turkey supplied by VBites, which is owned by entrepreneur, athlete, and Viva! Patron Heather Mills.
According to Viva!, every year, two million turkeys die in the UK in December alone. “Most turkeys will never see the outdoors, instead living in cramped, dirty sheds, unable to display natural behaviors,” the charity adds.
“Mutilation is standard practice on many farms; slicing off the end of their beaks to prevent stress-induced behavior such as feather-pecking and cannibalism.”
Despite this, Viva! will focus on a positive message during its Christmas outreach events, sharing amazing facts about turkeys, like how intelligent they are, and their complex vocalization.
“Turkeys are incredibly complex, social creatures who can live for up to 10 years of age in the wild,” Juliet Gellatley, Viva! Founder and Director, told Plant Based News.
“Over 90 percent of turkeys that are bred for meat are factory farmed. Their short lives are filled with misery and pain. They are selectively bred to grow faster and bigger than their bodies can possibly sustain, and so many suffer agonizing leg disorders leaving them unable to reach food or water.
“The turkeys that survive these brutal conditions are killed at only a few months old. The farming and slaughter of turkeys goes against everything that Christmas should represent. It is a season of peace and goodwill, and so we believe there is no better way to celebrate than to extend your compassion to all animals. We are calling on consumers to go vegan and bring peace to all this Christmas.”
You can join the outreach events at the following locations:
· Southampton: 12 December 5-8pm
· Leicester: 13 December 3-6pm
· Swansea: 14 December 12-3pm
Learn more about the campaign here