Gobbling without the Gobblers

If you visit this blog, you may be vegan. If you’re not, check out an article on turkey living (and dying) conditions here. Anyway, I hope you have decided to have a compassionate holiday this year, and gobble your food without the gobbling turkeys on your table.

I recently bought “The Inner World of Farm Animals” by Amy Hatkoff, and am blown away. Complete with beautiful full color photos, clear and concise writing, and stories about individual animals, this book is a wonderful addition to your shelf, to say the least. It is a message; farm animals do indeed have feelings, feel pain, and large social and intellectual capacities. There are even studies to back it all up! The book covers chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, and goats. Each species of animal has unique behavior and characteristics.

Receiving the book so near to Thanksgiving, I jumped to turkeys section of the book and read eagerly. If you have met turkeys before, I am jealous, because I have never really met one. Turkeys are so amazing! I knew they had lots of vocalizations, could recognize each other, etc. but seeing it in print was very gratifying. I enjoyed reading that a turkeys snood, which hangs down from her forehead, changes color according to mood. They know the lay of the land they live on, are extremely curious, and their memory is impeccable. They also apply their knowledge and change themselves accordingly. I want to include a couple quotes about turkeys from the book. Again, I recommend you purchase it, you’ll be glad you did.

“If I had to sum up my experience with the wild turkey, the most profound thing I discovered is that they are so much more complex in their intelligence, their behavior, and their problem solving ability than I ever imagined. They are sentient beings. By every measure and definition of intelligence, in their environment and in their world, they were without question so much more intelligent than I was. The time I spent with them was this wonderful kind of humiliation. We are not superior beings, we are just different beings. We are not more interesting creatures.”

-Joe Hutto

“Turkeys display immense affection towards humans. They love to be caressed, and people often remark that they respond like their own dogs and cats. Turkeys even make a purring sound when they are content.

Some turkeys are more affectionate then others, climbing into your lap and making themselves comfortable as can be. At Farm Sanctuary in California, a particularly friendly turkey named Lydia became known for propensity of a hug. As soon as you crouched down, she would run over to you, press her body against yours, and crane her head over your shoulders, clucking all the while. It’s amazing how so generous a hug can be given my something with no arms.”

-Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, founder of Compassionate Cooks

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