20.5 C
Byron Shire
March 24, 2023

Spare a thought for the Christmas turkeys

Latest News

Janelle’s four year road to the 2023 vote

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Janelle Saffin's win in the seat of Lismore and with not a minute to celebrate, Saffin spoke to The Echo about the 2023 campaign.

Other News

Nationals and Labor didn’t sign Clarence anti-mining pledge

The Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) have been seeking the support of all candidates running for the seat of Clarence...

Lismore incumbent – Janelle Saffin MP

With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

 Uki Refugee Project and Mt St Pat’s join forces for refugees

The Mount Saint Patrick College in Murwillumbah held an assembly of 850 students, teaching staff and members of the Uki Refugee Project to officially open their new sports house called Romero House – in honour of Saint Romero.

Scientists call for urgent groundwater management

Groundwater provides almost one-third of the nation’s water and is worth more than $34 billion to the economy, but results from a recent major review have prompted scientists to call for urgent and better appraisal of groundwater and how we manage it.

New rugby joint venture rearing to go

The newly-formed joint venture that combines Bangalow and Byron Bay rugby teams is already paying dividends with big training...

Nicola Levi supports a ban on mining in the Clarence

Independent Nicola Levi supports banning mining in The Clarance catchment and does not support a thermal waste incinerator at...

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw had one of his characters make this observation over a century ago, and it remains true.

Christmas is supposed to be the season of peace and goodwill to all. What a shame that it doesn’t extend to the holiday table. This year, the majority of families around Australia will again slip on their paper hats, pull a Christmas cracker and then tear into a roasted turkey who was cruelly killed for nothing more than a fleeting taste of flesh.

More than 56 billion animals are killed for our tables every year. Globally, more than six million die in abattoirs every single hour. In Australia, some 5 million turkeys are slaughtered annually, most at Christmastime.

Turkeys, like all other animals, experience pain and fear.

They’re also capable of affection, sitting for hours while their feathers are stroked. They’re gentle beings but will protect other turkeys with whom they’ve bonded.

And don’t believe the popular misconception: turkeys are actually remarkably intelligent and, like cats and dogs, playful individuals with their own personalities who can recognise one another by their chirping and gobbling.

In the wild, young turkeys stay with their mothers for four to five months. Their natural life span is 10 years.

There’s nothing natural or pleasant about the lives of turkeys raised for slaughter.

Turkeys on farms are often crammed by the tens of thousands into a single broiler shed that provides no light and little ventilation.

The young birds have their beaks trimmed, and often their toes are clipped, too – the ends are amputated – without anaesthetics in order to prevent them from pecking or clawing at one another as they scramble for water and food.

Their diet is very caloric so as to fatten them up quickly to twice the weight of their wild cousins, but unable to support the excess weight, some have to drag themselves around the filthy floor by their wings.

At 20 weeks old, the terrified birds are shoved into crates and hauled off to abattoirs, where they’re hung upside down by their legs on a moving line.

The pain they experience as their heavy (up to 30 kg) bodies hang in shackles is considerable, made even worse by the diseased hip joints that many of them suffer from.

Next, they’re run through an electrically charged stun bath that leaves them unconscious – but not always – before their throats are finally cut. Those who don’t bleed to death are boiled to death in the scalding tank used to remove their feathers.

If Christmas is all about kindness and compassion, why do we celebrate it by piling our plates high with the corpses of animals forced to endure such terrible suffering? The mass killing that goes on year in and year out is incompatible with a holiday message of tolerance and generosity.

This Christmas, let’s choose to be kind. It costs us nothing to leave animals off our plates and instead enjoy tasty, nutritious and easy-to-prepare vegan meals. Have yourself a merry little Christmas feast, without the cruelty.

Jason Baker, director of campaigns, PETA Australia



Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Not everyone eats turkey Jason. Some of us omnivores eat chicken, duck and ham as well.
    All the above can be bought or obtained, free range , organic and humanly killed..
    Human kind has always been omnivorous since we fell out of a tree. We are designed to be like that.
    You are lucky to have the privilege of choosing what you eat. Billions of people don’t.
    Your article is emotional and sensational, picking out the very worst of an industry.
    Personally I get really tired of folks like you and rabid vegans pushing your agendas on me .
    I don’t tell you how bad your eating habits are or what you should eat and I wish you wouldn’t tell me
    Happy Xmas


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Political Cosplay for Fun and Profit

Costume play is not just for Trekkies and Disney fans. If you want to get anywhere in Australian politics, cosplay needs to become a vital part of your skillset.

Nationals and Labor didn’t sign Clarence anti-mining pledge

The Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) have been seeking the support of all candidates running for the seat of Clarence to physically or digitally sign...

Not a ‘bonanza for developers and land bankers’ as local councils lose planning controls?

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment were quick to respond to the article ‘A bonanza for developers and land bankers?’ published on 21 March 2023 on The Echo online ‘to correct the inaccuracies contained in your article’.

Appeal to locate woman missing from Tweed Heads

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a woman, Kara Symington, missing from Tweed Heads since Tuesday.