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Bless the Food: A Turkey Story

Nov 10, 2011

by Danielle Tsi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

To be honest, the Thanksgiving holiday is a little puzzling to us non-Americans. I can understand the significance of giving thanks and have, over time, come to appreciate the value of an annual opportunity to stop and reflect on the good things that have happened in the year. What I don’t understand is the turkey. Apart from its symbolism, is it truly necessary? Friends say that the true delight of a Thanksgiving turkey is in creating new dishes out of its leftovers. I’m still not convinced, but perhaps I just haven’t tasted a really good one.

Which brings us to the turkey producer. Paul Hain is a simple man who was happily cultivating walnuts in the small town of Hollister, just an hour’s drive south of Silicon Valley, when he unexpectedly fell into poultry farming in 2002. His neighbor, Joe Morris, found it difficult to source good quality pasture-raised chickens locally, and ran the idea of rearing chickens past his son, Joe; when he didn’t show any interest, he brought his idea to Paul.

Danielle Tsi

Paul Hain with one of his Bard Rock hens and a basket of freshly-laid pastured eggs.

As Paul remembers it, “Back then we had only been doing walnuts, with little livestock experience. I decided to try things out with 100 chickens, which worked out pretty well, and then we raised another 100 that year, and the next year, we tripled the quantity to 600 chickens. We’ve been doing it ever since.”

Now his farm, Hain Ranch Organics, supplies local farmers’ markets with pastured eggs and poultry between May and October; at a high point he was producing 5,000 chickens and 50 turkeys. He’s now scaled back to 4,000 chickens annually, and this year he’s decided to only raise 10 Bronze turkeys for Thanksgiving, all of which comfortably reside in a mobile coop: a 10-by-10 foot floorless structure of wood, metal sheets and fencing wire to contain and protect the birds from predators (he loses about one percent of his flock to skunks and foxes). Each structure is equipped with water, shelter, and wheels, allowing a daily rotation of new pastures for grazing.

Paul’s turkeys in their mobile coop within the walnut orchard.

“I always invite my customers to come visit ‘Paul’s gym of the outdoors,’” he quipped, when I asked about the frequency of visitors to his ranch. “They’re welcome to help harvest and process their turkeys too, if they’re up to it, but not everyone takes me up on the offer.”

On my last visit to the 30-acre ranch, Wes and Kelly, a father and daughter who lived a few miles away, were harvesting turkeys that Kelly had raised as part of her participation in the University of California’s 4-H Youth Development program.

It was my first experience witnessing the process that would transform a live animal into meat, and I was a little nervous about it. But I recognized that, as a meat-eater, it would be irresponsible of me not to witness or participate in this process at least once in my lifetime.

Danielle Tsi

Curious Bronze turkeys posing for the camera.

The whole process is done entirely by hand – from slitting the neck to scalding the bird, removing the feathers, the entrails and packing it. It took the whole morning and the better part of an afternoon before all eight turkeys were properly packed and weighed, with the largest bird weighing in at 45 pounds.

We were almost done with processing all the birds when Paul remarked, “We forgot to bless the birds!”

We looked at him quizzically. I replied, trying to be helpful, “Well, you still have them in the tub over there…,” referring to the “cooling tub” where cleaned and dressed birds are stored at a lower temperature before they’re packed.

“It’s more for us than for the birds, really,” Paul said. “Before processing my chickens I often say a short prayer, thanking them for coming to our farm, for sacrificing their life for our nourishment and hoping that they had a good stay in their short life.”

He looked down, and there was a short pause, before the quiet bustle of feather-plucking and cleaning resumed.

Danielle Tsi

It was significant that my first meat harvesting experience was a batch of turkeys destined for the Thanksgiving table. In confronting my own discomfort about that process of the food chain that we’re so immune to — the part where an animal becomes dinner – I gained a deeper appreciation not only for the food on my table, but also for the work that went into its production and its preparation. Amid the demands of a busy life, it becomes too easy to take our food for granted, regardless of our relationships with the people who produce them. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to “bless the food” before tucking in.

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Thanksgiving Turkey - Stuffed - Prim
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7 Featured Comments

  • franz66

    franz66 said 4 years ago Featured

    Articles like this one are so ludicrous to me in their attempt to make us feel better about killing. This (these) bird (birds) didn't "sacrifice" their lives... they had absolutely no choice in the matter. And the glaring and cowardly absence of both text and image of descriptions of the birds' fear and pain makes it even more superficial with its glossy sentiment. Yes, we humans certainly do have a lot to be grateful for (primaril for not being born a turkey/cow/pig/chicken, etc...) but this story is pure comfort fantasy.

  • jobajec

    jobajec said 4 years ago Featured

    What a great story! I went vegetarian about 12 years ago and swore that I would never eat meat again until I myself had a farm quite similar to this one. It's good to know that such places can still exist in such a modern world as ours with all the mass farming that is so rampant. Perhaps, since I do not have my farm yet and it looks like its a long way off, I can get MY turkey from Paul Hain next year and have turkey for the first time since I was a teen.

  • MeadowPath

    MeadowPath said 4 years ago Featured

    Good story, I'm glad to learn about Mr. Hains and his operation. He obviously cares about his livestock and treats them well. Excellent points, MidnightGypsy. Most people don't realize poultry are omnivores, like humans. On multiple occasions I have seen my own flock of chickens dispatch a mouse or frog with gusto. Why should people be placed in a different category of eaters? As an aside, the chicken Mr. Hains is holding in the photo is a 'Barred Rock". Not a Shakespearean hen. ;)

  • FizixVixen86

    FizixVixen86 said 4 years ago Featured

    I respect that not everyone chooses to have meat in their diet, but killing an animal for food is not murder. I've got news for you: the world was populated by hunter-gatherers... yes, they gathered plants but they also hunted animals. And these family farms are not like commercial meat producers... they take care of their animals, and treat them with dignity to and through the end. I am an animal lover, but I also eat meat. If an animal is killed, I feel it must be done swiftly and humanely, and it should only be done if the entire animal can be used. Example: if someone hunts a deer, but doesn't want the meat, the meat should be provided to a shelter. Anyway, I am grateful for every animal that has sustained me, and I hope that its life was good, its death painless, and its purpose served.

  • wmalexalvarez

    wmalexalvarez said 4 years ago Featured

    I appreciate midnightgypsy and co.'s posts. great article. i too respect all's dietary wishes, but a majority of the animal activist vegan standpoints are glamorized with anthropomorphism and based more on personal emotion than facts. I've worked with animals my whole life- farm and none the likes... and i've traveled all over the world for conservation efforts- i am incredibly sympathetic towards animals. but I eat them too- and while ill enjoy a vegan or veggie delight here and there, i am not so naive as to think that the efforts and processing involved in making many vegetarian alternatives and organic products arent without harm to the planet as they are presented to be.

  • smeastman

    smeastman said 4 years ago Featured

    A very, very passionate subject and both "sides" have articulated their viewpoints well. There are certainly points to be made for and against. I recently decided to give up meat, but am still a fan of poultry and fish. No particular logic to it I know, but one glimpse at the intellect of the pigs on "Beekman Boys" was enough to change my mind. But I respect both sides and think we all should champion humane, clean, compassionate, and caring practices for raising and processing (not a very nice word) animals. Perhaps the most important part of this story is the gratitude? Whether we're grateful to eat or not to eat an animal, being grateful that we are able to be free - conceptually and financially - to make the choice is a very significant blessing. Hope that everyone has a healthy and loving Thanksgiving!

  • andiespecialtysweets

    andiespecialtysweets said 4 years ago Featured

    Thanks for doing a great job kind of foreshadowing the future and bringing awareness to everything we are able to do, to sustain our own lives. It's great to know we can move away from the corporate slaughter houses, power our appliances with a bicycle, grow our own gardens and preserve our own food, without tyranny and maintaining the freedom to choose. It's great to be aware of the options, all the while supporting small business and a sustainable life. Thanks for the variety!

144 comments

  • good4you

    good4you said 4 years ago

    we are raising turkeys too ! i named them slidey and goopy ... one was sick when it was a baby, but we raised it back to health .

  • DevineCollectible

    DevineCollectible said 4 years ago

    nice!

  • scarletbegonia11

    scarletbegonia11 said 4 years ago

    great article!

  • OffTheHooks

    OffTheHooks said 4 years ago

    I think something every meat-eater should do at least once is to see how an animal is killed and processed for consumption. I can't do it so I don't eat meat!

  • NobleTextiles

    NobleTextiles said 4 years ago

    Love this story!

  • lulusnest

    lulusnest said 4 years ago

    Great story! Truly wonderful to see the whole process take place and understand the sacrifice that goes into each meal that we eat. As Americans, we don't fully grip what it takes to make our world go around! Thanks for highlighting it here.

  • anopossum

    anopossum said 4 years ago

    Wouldn't it make more sense to forgo the turkey, given that we have that choice? Why not give thanks for food that didn't require sacrificing an unknowing animal's life?

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 4 years ago

    Great read! Thank you M~

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 4 years ago

    Thanks for the eye-opening story!

  • lltownleyceramic

    lltownleyceramic said 4 years ago

    My mom orders turkeys from a local turkey farm. One year my cousin provided a turkey that his daughters had raised. I make Thanksgiving haggis (yup, "that stuff") from lamb that I get from a local lamb farmer. It's always fun to visit with him and buy a dozen farm-fresh eggs while we're there.

  • franstradingpost

    franstradingpost said 4 years ago

    Enjoyed the story...reminds me of childhood and getting chickens ready for meals:)

  • fairyrealm

    fairyrealm said 4 years ago

    Go Vegan then the animals would have something to be grateful for.

  • krize

    krize said 4 years ago

    I wish these Turkeys can enjoy their lifes as all we do. I hope the world will change someday!

  • franz66

    franz66 said 4 years ago Featured

    Articles like this one are so ludicrous to me in their attempt to make us feel better about killing. This (these) bird (birds) didn't "sacrifice" their lives... they had absolutely no choice in the matter. And the glaring and cowardly absence of both text and image of descriptions of the birds' fear and pain makes it even more superficial with its glossy sentiment. Yes, we humans certainly do have a lot to be grateful for (primaril for not being born a turkey/cow/pig/chicken, etc...) but this story is pure comfort fantasy.

  • MidnightGypsy

    MidnightGypsy said 4 years ago

    Sadly, animals will always die in order to be food for someone or some thing else, whether it be at the hands of humans or other animals. I respect everyone's personal choices as far as what they choose to consume themselves, but this idea that somehow if the human race stopped eating meat that animals would no longer be a food item just puzzles me. I grew up on a farm eating homegrown beef, pork, lamb, & poultry. I am married to a butcher & we raise our own grass fattened beef, we also raise our own pork & poultry & the occasional lamb. I have as much distaste as anyone else for the corporate farms out there where animals are caged or kept in deplorable conditions, along with a very sharp distaste for corporate processing facilities - but the human race all shunning meat consumption would certainly not halt the death of animals. There are animal products found in numerous products we use daily, from cosmetics to clothing, in addition to providing food for us. I have great respect fro producers like this gentleman who raise animals as they SHOULD be raised, free-range as opposed to caged up, & who care enough to make sure that death is as humane as possible when the time comes. The same way my family raises ours. The greatest way that individuals can help the welfare of food animals is by buying LOCALLY from small farms as opposed to shopping for meat in the grocery store where meat is from animals that were often times fed-out on corporate farms. Even people living in urban areas can find locally raised produce, eggs, meat, etc. Just call your state or local agricultural extension office & they can usually put you in touch with producers or markets.

  • MidnightGypsy

    MidnightGypsy said 4 years ago

    And as for pain & fear in the eyes of animals before they die - well, I can honestly say that I'd much prefer either my neck on a chopping block or a captive bolt stun-gun to the head like these animals experience over the torturous & terrifying death dealt at the hands of mother nature in the form of predatory animals. Just my .02. I hate massive corporate processing facilities, and anyone with a heart who ever had a peek inside one would as well - so purchase your meat from local producers when at all possible.

  • veganinfurz

    veganinfurz said 4 years ago

    i'm in complete agreement with franz66.

  • thecottagemarket

    thecottagemarket said 4 years ago

    interesting story...bottom line...very happy that i am a vegetarian.

  • CREEPYSTUFF

    CREEPYSTUFF said 4 years ago

    Why not just buy a Tofurkey ???

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 4 years ago

    I make this simple in my life. First, we don't eat much meat. Second, we kill most of our own meat. It's bloody, but fast and we have control. This works for us as we to live in this world.

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

    Agreed offthehooks. If we're going to eat meat, we should all be aware just how it got to be that way. Most people don't even think about the how, what, where, etc..

  • ClickityClack

    ClickityClack said 4 years ago

    I have raised and butchered poultry all my life or at least from the time I was tall enough to stand on a chair and help pluck the birds. When the time comes to kill my chickens, I handle each one gently and calmly. They are not terrified and the end is quick and clean. My chickens are free range and if I don't keep the doors closed they will come in the house too. Ron constantly has to shoo them out of the workshop because he likes to keep the door open in the summer for the ventilation and they like to scratch in the sawdust. Do we have favorites? Of course we do. We have a cross bred little hen that is part Polish (with top hat) and part Chochin bantam (with pantiloons and feathered feet) that has to be at least 10 years old. I always say there is not enough meat on her to bother with and what there is would take hours in the pressure cooker before you could chew it. The truth is, she is just a friendly, goofy looking bird and we like her. We have three Araucana roosters that are also getting pretty old, but they are so beautiful, full of personality and non aggressive that they will probably die of old age rather than the chopping block. People coming to our yard sale are always taking pictures of our colorful flock. Ron keeps popcorn on hand for the "tourists". He will tell them to guess how many chickens are under the big lilac bush.............then he tosses out the popcorn. It is like the bush explodes! Sometimes there is only 10 or 12 in the lilacs, but in the heat of the summer day, sometimes 50 or 60 come charging out! Yes, it is a huge lilac bush! We raise a flock of between 25 and 50 chickens for meat and eggs. Young roosters become fryers. Old hens that are no longer laying eggs become chicken soup. It is the cycle of life.

  • manicarteest

    manicarteest said 4 years ago

    I agree people need to be more thankful, you never know when natural disaster or something of that nature happens and everything you once had is gone. Good article. It's good with all the processed foods and substitutions and machines we still have people that carry on the traditions to put food on our table.

  • donver

    donver said 4 years ago

    Nice story.!

  • andiespecialtysweets

    andiespecialtysweets said 4 years ago

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the integrity of Paul Hains livelihood! This is definitely a story for meat eaters : ) I'm so glad people are able to make a living, doing what they enjoy, doing it well, and serving a population that cares about these practices. Thanks for sharing!

  • jobajec

    jobajec said 4 years ago Featured

    What a great story! I went vegetarian about 12 years ago and swore that I would never eat meat again until I myself had a farm quite similar to this one. It's good to know that such places can still exist in such a modern world as ours with all the mass farming that is so rampant. Perhaps, since I do not have my farm yet and it looks like its a long way off, I can get MY turkey from Paul Hain next year and have turkey for the first time since I was a teen.

  • SeatOfMyPants

    SeatOfMyPants said 4 years ago

    I like poultry. I attempted vegetarianism once, but the turkey beckoned! That said, it is pretty much impossible for me to eat an animal without thinking about how it was alive relatively recently. It really is a moment for gratitude. I am happy to have two local poultry growers that I buy from regularly.

  • calitatum

    calitatum said 4 years ago

    More animals are killed by eating a salad than ever were by eating meat. Sorry Veggie only people. Your farm land that raises veggies kills truck loads of animals. GREAT story. I love eating turkey, chicken and various other meats on four legs. YUM!

  • HarringtonCrafts

    HarringtonCrafts said 4 years ago

    I'm raising 3 White Holland turkeys which are very rare heritage turkey breed. They too will end up on our Thanksgiving table as I just scheduled their special trip to their original home with the original breeder. She is helping me process them since this is my first time. It was a very rewarding year raising them since they were 10 days old. They all turned out to be Toms (no Jennys) so we endured lots of gobbling as they roamed in a fenced acre of our 10 acre property. I'm really excited to share our hard work with our family and we will definitely bless our birds. I'm also really excited to get more baby turkeys from the breeder in the Spring so we can start all over again.

  • lotusheart01

    lotusheart01 said 4 years ago

    Another here who agrees with franz66. The concept that an animal would willingly sacrifice it's life for our food is just plain silly. We aren't that important to them. I also especially agree with the statement ; "this story is pure comfort fantasy." (And isn't it just!) A way to make ourselves feel better. Maybe Americans could give thanks to the turkeys this year and refrain from eating meat even for just this one meal? (Just a thought) I know the animals would certainly be thankful!

  • lotusheart01

    lotusheart01 said 4 years ago

    @ calitatum that is simply ludicrous and very misinformed. If you trace that "theory" back to it's origins I'm sure you will find it originated on some meat producing farm somewhere. And "yum" really? Very deep and profound. I respect meat eaters more when they look a bit deeper inside of themselves than "yum" but you know, to each their own.

  • devotchkax

    devotchkax said 4 years ago

    As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together. —Isaac Bashevis Singer

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 4 years ago

    I am for pumpkins at Thanksgiving, too. Long live the turkey!

  • MeadowPath

    MeadowPath said 4 years ago Featured

    Good story, I'm glad to learn about Mr. Hains and his operation. He obviously cares about his livestock and treats them well. Excellent points, MidnightGypsy. Most people don't realize poultry are omnivores, like humans. On multiple occasions I have seen my own flock of chickens dispatch a mouse or frog with gusto. Why should people be placed in a different category of eaters? As an aside, the chicken Mr. Hains is holding in the photo is a 'Barred Rock". Not a Shakespearean hen. ;)

  • GrowingPhasesFarm

    GrowingPhasesFarm said 4 years ago

    Great article ... my hats off to Mr. Hains. I believe the Bronze is a heritage breed and we should all strive to keep these lines going along with heirloom seeds for our future generations.

  • CREEPYSTUFF

    CREEPYSTUFF said 4 years ago

    Seems to me to be a romanticized fairy tale...with a deadly ending. Yum...

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 4 years ago

    We have chickens now, but just for eggs. Years ago we got two baby turkeys at a swap meet. We did not name them because they were going to be eaten. Well, it never happened. They ended up being named "Mr. and Mrs. Lucky." :-)

  • amberalexander

    amberalexander said 4 years ago

    i'm with FRANZ66 . Thank you for putting into words what I am not able to do.

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 4 years ago

    high five to you for going to see how the turkey is put on our table! I'm a meat eater too but I think i'd have a hard time ever eating turkey again if i saw the uncensored process. I have a hard time eating eggs sometimes! haha... i just think of little baby chicks and then get waffles instead. great article!

  • doudoudesign

    doudoudesign said 4 years ago

    franz66 says: Articles like this one are so ludicrous to me in their attempt to make us feel better about killing. This (these) bird (birds) didn't "sacrifice" their lives... they had absolutely no choice in the matter. And the glaring and cowardly absence of both text and image of descriptions of the birds' fear and pain makes it even more superficial with its glossy sentiment. Yes, we humans certainly do have a lot to be grateful for (primaril for not being born a turkey/cow/pig/chicken, etc...) but this story is pure comfort fantasy. ================================================== EXACTLY! I find this story very disturbing. I have two little birds and their cage is bigger than the cage all of those turkeys are crammed into. Put up a damn fence, at least let them roam around. Why is this story on Etsy anyway?!?!?!?! PS My bird cage is ALWAYS open, the birds only go in there a night to sleep.

  • christyfbrown

    christyfbrown said 4 years ago

    We'll be celebrating Thanks Living in my home. Turkies are such beautiful graceful creatures.

  • christyfbrown

    christyfbrown said 4 years ago

    Oops I mispelled Turkeys. :

  • christyfbrown

    christyfbrown said 4 years ago

    Funny I saw this blog entry just as I was about to search for vegan foods here on Etsy! I saw some neato vegan deserts on here recently.

  • foxdreams

    foxdreams said 4 years ago

    Another for Franz66. Nuff said.

  • FeatherMagic

    FeatherMagic said 4 years ago

    Turkeys are meant to be eaten. We are human beings. Get over it, already, so sick and tired of political correct leftists who look at animals, as people. And by the way, I let bees and spiders go out of my place, and don't smash them, knowing how important they are to other animals' food chain. Time to go cook that chicken, and make that gravy with the drippings, can't wait!

  • treasurehuntvintage

    treasurehuntvintage said 4 years ago

    nice story. relevant to a handmade artisan / vintage site???? not seeing that.

  • naturepoet

    naturepoet said 4 years ago

    I was brought up on a farm during the 1950s and it was everyone's job from the youngest to the oldest to help harvest animals and poultry for the table. Grandma also took poultry to the farmer's market to supplement the farm income. It's all part of life and the way God meant it to be.

  • lv2cr8

    lv2cr8 said 4 years ago

    Can't wait for all the turkey left overs recipes here real soon.

  • dreamfiber

    dreamfiber said 4 years ago

    I think that people should be grateful for every meal and give thanks and reflect on it daily, rather than just doing it once a year over turkey!!

  • fivelittlegems

    fivelittlegems said 4 years ago

    mmmmmm, turkey! :)

  • UrbanArmory

    UrbanArmory said 4 years ago

    Ethical arguments aside, I, too, fail to see how this story is relevant to this site? Some of the comments it is prompting are quite offensive, to say the least.

  • KilnGoddess

    KilnGoddess said 4 years ago

    Thanksgiving is Mashed Potato Day...not turkey day... ...its also Pumpkin Pie Day...

  • FizixVixen86

    FizixVixen86 said 4 years ago Featured

    I respect that not everyone chooses to have meat in their diet, but killing an animal for food is not murder. I've got news for you: the world was populated by hunter-gatherers... yes, they gathered plants but they also hunted animals. And these family farms are not like commercial meat producers... they take care of their animals, and treat them with dignity to and through the end. I am an animal lover, but I also eat meat. If an animal is killed, I feel it must be done swiftly and humanely, and it should only be done if the entire animal can be used. Example: if someone hunts a deer, but doesn't want the meat, the meat should be provided to a shelter. Anyway, I am grateful for every animal that has sustained me, and I hope that its life was good, its death painless, and its purpose served.

  • lotusheart01

    lotusheart01 said 4 years ago

    @FeatherMagic it isn't about political correctness and i certainly don't consider animals as people, it's not that simple and I don't want to get over it. I just like animals, believe they have as much right to life as we do, and I personally choose not to eat them. But really though, I don't expect to be having the ethical argument here on etsy of all places! I do find it funny however, all of these "mmmm yummy" comments, it's like arguing with a room full of teenage boys.

  • katrinaalana

    katrinaalana said 4 years ago

    Seems like a great holiday

  • kgarnerdesigns

    kgarnerdesigns said 4 years ago

    Great article! I feel fortunate to live, and to have grown up, surrounded by farming. I doubt this article is an "attempt to make us feel better about killing". It's a fact of life and this article is the matter of fact description of one poultry grower sustaining himself while conscientiously providing us with food.

  • rome24

    rome24 said 4 years ago

    Hello people there is other food to stuff you face with????????

  • labellefairy

    labellefairy said 4 years ago

    I raise turkeys & chickens! Yup, I make corsets too!

  • MaverickCreations

    MaverickCreations said 4 years ago

    Interesting article, but I am very glad to be vegetarian. I can't help but to imagine myself in the turkey's place on the chopping block, & if I don't like that idea, why would they?

  • rome24

    rome24 said 4 years ago

    To Danielle, next time do me a favor use you camera in something that need more brain.

  • rome24

    rome24 said 4 years ago

    Very disturbing!!!!!!!

  • wmalexalvarez

    wmalexalvarez said 4 years ago Featured

    I appreciate midnightgypsy and co.'s posts. great article. i too respect all's dietary wishes, but a majority of the animal activist vegan standpoints are glamorized with anthropomorphism and based more on personal emotion than facts. I've worked with animals my whole life- farm and none the likes... and i've traveled all over the world for conservation efforts- i am incredibly sympathetic towards animals. but I eat them too- and while ill enjoy a vegan or veggie delight here and there, i am not so naive as to think that the efforts and processing involved in making many vegetarian alternatives and organic products arent without harm to the planet as they are presented to be.

  • ArtByJacy

    ArtByJacy said 4 years ago

    Great article!

  • GraceFilledHands

    GraceFilledHands said 4 years ago

    Something must die for another to have life. It is a part of this world. Whether it be plant life, sea life or wildlife, nothing can have life without death. I am thankfull for every meal that I am able to feed my family with. We pray over all our food with thanks giving and praise our Lord Jesus who supplies us with everything we need to exsist. We truly live in a very blessed country.

  • scandivintage

    scandivintage said 4 years ago

    I am happy to be a vegetarian, too.

  • gertuine

    gertuine said 4 years ago

    I quite agree with Midnight Gypsy, and her comments really reminded me of Michael Pollan's excellent commentary/analysis in "The Omnivore's Dilemma" which I think is a helpful perspective, even for those who are vegetarian/vegan. I wish to say that I have no negative feelings towards the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, and quite enjoy vegan cooking when I can try it (I am but a terrible chef!) but I hope they'll remember the reality of life "in the real world" for many animals which are not raised by humans (of course, I do acknowledge that many humans raise many animals in absolutely horrid conditions, and I do wish that was not a reality).

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    I do think theres a real gap between us and food, even though I'm leaning more towards vegetarianism these days if an animal has had a happy life then thats a good thing no matter how short since there are some folks out there who really do have no respect for animal welfare.

  • Gluehwuermchen

    Gluehwuermchen said 4 years ago

    Please don't succumb to the illusion of hand-processed meat on your dinner tables! Most turkeys are scooped up by machines from their 1-square-foot-per-turkey stables, hung upside down by their feet and have their throats slit open by another machine! The killing and processing of animals for meat production is one of the most respectless things in our world. I have worked in a factory that processes pork, beef, poultry and fish and believe me, there is nothing "caring" or "loving" about the production process. And let's be honest: 10 x 10 feet for "grazing"? A turkey is a big animal, they can just about move around in that cage!

  • smeastman

    smeastman said 4 years ago Featured

    A very, very passionate subject and both "sides" have articulated their viewpoints well. There are certainly points to be made for and against. I recently decided to give up meat, but am still a fan of poultry and fish. No particular logic to it I know, but one glimpse at the intellect of the pigs on "Beekman Boys" was enough to change my mind. But I respect both sides and think we all should champion humane, clean, compassionate, and caring practices for raising and processing (not a very nice word) animals. Perhaps the most important part of this story is the gratitude? Whether we're grateful to eat or not to eat an animal, being grateful that we are able to be free - conceptually and financially - to make the choice is a very significant blessing. Hope that everyone has a healthy and loving Thanksgiving!

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    ShoeClipsOnly said 4 years ago

    Happy Veterans Day everyone!

  • VincentVanCrow

    VincentVanCrow said 4 years ago

    I will not weigh in on what is right or wrong in anyones diet. I raise chickens for eggs and they are happy chickens. At present we have two very funny roosters and 10 hens of varying ages. Only one is past her prime for laying eggs. We don't plan to kill anyone as they reach the 2 year mark but realize it is impractical to keep getting more hens to lay eggs and letting everyone live out their natural lives. I guess we will cross those bridges as we come to them. For now we thoroughly enjoy the company of our very personable and funny crew and relish their eggs that they lay so freely and give up with indifference. (unless they are broody!) My reason for posting is I wanted to share something I recently was told at the local feed store. They think I am ridiculous to keep the girls past the egg laying stage and it came up in conversation that meat birds are not "meant" to live past a year. When I asked what they meant, they told me that the modern day chicks you buy from the local feed store are not "designed" to live that long. They suffocate under the weight of their big breasts or break their spindly legs under the weight of all that meat. They have been bred to this point. They told me that even if you take extra special care and give them medical care, the best food and pampering they will still become ill and die before they hit a year. I found this shocking and disturbing. I realize I am very naive and have so much to learn about farming, but that really boggles my mind.

  • VincentVanCrow

    VincentVanCrow said 4 years ago

    Oh and I also wanted to recommend an excellent canadian national film board movie by Jason Young. It is called Animals and is absolutely beautiful. It is introspective, reflective and poignant. Well worth the trouble to find it. http://www.cmn.tv/movies/animals-a-film-by-jason-young/

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly said 4 years ago

    I wish Etsy would focus on blog articles relevant to ecommerce, independent business, art & craft, & creativity. Stories that cause animosity might be written off once or twice as poor judgement, but I'm beginning to think these articles that spark controversy are published deliberate to do so. These are your *customers* Etsy, so why do you continually offend & alienate sectors of your customer base on your blog? The Etsy demographic has a higher than ordinary percentage of vegetarians & vegans. Last time I looked, the site had absolutely nothing to do with farming & killing animals. Go post it on Reddit or something if you just want to stir the pot, & use the Etsy blog as a platform for *relevant* stories that inspire & educate rather than preach absurd, hypocritical viewpoints.

  • VincentVanCrow

    VincentVanCrow said 4 years ago

    @lotusheart, I wish I could thumbs up your comment. Especially the part about the teenage boys : ) I was thinking the same thing!

  • VincentVanCrow

    VincentVanCrow said 4 years ago

    Wise words magicjelly : ) you show too much common sense for this forum though!

  • lithiascreations

    lithiascreations said 4 years ago

    mmmmm...TURKEY! I think I'll have a Wawa Turkey Bowl for lunch today.

  • doudoudesign

    doudoudesign said 4 years ago

    @magicjelly Thank you, that is exactly how I feel.

  • gifteddesigns

    gifteddesigns said 4 years ago

    Lithia's somewhere in the Philly area...;) I now want Wawa Iced Tea...*sigh* MJ makes a very valid point. I really wish people would just accept that others may not think like they do and that goes on both sides.

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio said 4 years ago

    Mmmmm, turkey! Can we have an article about stuffing next?

  • GoddessOfJewelry

    GoddessOfJewelry said 4 years ago

    We already had Thanksgiving in Canada, and it was our first one celebrating as Vegans. And I can tell you... it felt WONDERFUL to not have that *exhausted* feeling after eating - we were all full of energy and vibrant...and wishing it was American Thanksgiving so that we could watch some football! :) Those poor Turkeys... they never see it coming. LOL :)

  • janetnykamp

    janetnykamp said 4 years ago

    " Yummy" can't wait till( turkey day ) with all it's trimmings . I fix two turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. One roasted and the other smoked. There is rarely left overs. I have my whole family over for this special day. We all look forward to the love and our time together. Thank you for providing our turkeys

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 4 years ago

    I thought it was a great blog post.

  • quiltpicks

    quiltpicks said 4 years ago

    I once worked with a woman who did not eat meat but drank milk and ate cheese. I asked her one time why she had given up eating meat. She said “Have you ever seen how they treat those veal calves?” Well, I don’t agree with the way those calves are raised or factory farming…but when I explained to her that those calves were a “by-product” of producing her milk and cheese she just stared at me. She grew up in “town” and had no idea that in order for a cow to give milk the cow first had to give birth. We really need to teach our children where and how the food they eat comes from. I think it is part of the process of teaching respect for ALL life.

  • AlisaDesign

    AlisaDesign said 4 years ago

    Great story! :)

  • TerraCantata

    TerraCantata said 4 years ago

    This article is profoundly relevant to Etsy when it leads to asking a much bigger question: “What if we were willing to fully, personally bear witness at the source of any material we consume?” Every Etsy item uses materials that have an impact on the habitats of animals, whether or not we are mindful of it (perhaps with the exception of people who buy/sell pure services). Use animal-derived materials? That’s the easiest one for people to track (so it gets the most attention). Use plant-derived materials? As one example, what if you could witness the impacts (through the eyes of the animals) of cotton pesticides and heavy metal dyes? Use synthetic/plastic materials? Some are plant derived (see above); most are petroleum derived. As an example, the Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in the misery and death of a quarter million birds. My point is not to be negative; by no means. My point is that bearing witness at the source can be a powerful experience that leads to creative rethinking and imagining. What each person will do with what they learn from bearing witness at the source of their chosen material, will vary. It is folly to think there is only ONE right path. The task of building a better world is too big for one tool. There are many right paths. Some people may become vegetarians who focus on food sources. Others might become creative upcyclers. Others might focus on ecologically growing (or sourcing) plant and animal materials. You can’t build a house with only a hammer, and you can’t change the world with only one path. Viva cultural diversity and biodiversity! Mindfulness at the source is an experience not to be underestimated. Combine that with the creativity of many, diverse makers … the potential takes my breath away. This is one reason why I honestly believe that Etsy makers/buyers are as likely to change the world as Occupy Wall Street (and that can be a valuable path also). Thanks for sharing, thanks for listening.

  • doudoudesign

    doudoudesign said 4 years ago

    @TerraCantata - You make a good point

  • decembersunshine

    decembersunshine said 4 years ago

    @TerraCantata - Excellently said. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Jessica246

    Jessica246 said 4 years ago

    "What I don’t understand is the turkey. Apart from its symbolism, is it truly necessary?" You could say that about any culture's traditional celebrations/feast days' specific food components.

  • ideacabin

    ideacabin said 4 years ago

    Thanksgiving is a great reason to reflect on everything with gratitude. It's a feast for the soul! My main course starts out reflecting on all the things I love about my family. Then there are the delicious side dishes; the joy of friendship, the comfort of shelter, clothing, good health and community, and for dessert . . . a big slice of fun projects to create, topped with a dollop of creativity and imagination. How's that for an earth friendly, self sustainable meal? Bon appetit!

  • Shelby1972

    Shelby1972 said 4 years ago

    I don't celebrate Thanksgiving and I don't eat animals. But, I give thanks everyday, not just one day out of the year, for all of the blessings that I have received including the blessings of friendship that I have received from all of the animals I have rescued and all of the animals that I choose not to eat. All in all, it's a personal choice. And if you don't poke your finger in my chest, I won't poke it into yours. Live and let live. :)

  • AlinaandT

    AlinaandT said 4 years ago

    Most people have never witnessed how gas is being pumped out of earth or know little about what ecological impact that has to the surroundings yet they drive their cars no problem. most girls love wearing diamonds but few have seen how those precious gems were dug out. i do eat mean and I have seen how a chicken becomes diner, but i don't think everyone should have seen this in order to eat meat. us humans have canine teeth, nuff said.

  • therainyside

    therainyside said 4 years ago

    I agree with Franz66. I also find this an unnecessary article unrelated to ETSY. And rather offensive that it is here at all. There are enough meat-eaters in the world, why encourage it further?

  • therainyside

    therainyside said 4 years ago

    And I hope this isn't considered spam, but wanted to provide a link to a good resource from an Oregon paper about going vegan: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/going_vegan/index.html

  • ideacabin

    ideacabin said 4 years ago

    @MaverickCreations, so true!!

  • andiespecialtysweets

    andiespecialtysweets said 4 years ago Featured

    Thanks for doing a great job kind of foreshadowing the future and bringing awareness to everything we are able to do, to sustain our own lives. It's great to know we can move away from the corporate slaughter houses, power our appliances with a bicycle, grow our own gardens and preserve our own food, without tyranny and maintaining the freedom to choose. It's great to be aware of the options, all the while supporting small business and a sustainable life. Thanks for the variety!

  • therainyside

    therainyside said 4 years ago

    Hi, can I plug an Oregon thing again??? Tofurky is a vegan Thanksgiving or any time delicious main course and it's made in beautiful Hood River, Oregon!

  • therainyside

    therainyside said 4 years ago

    Humans are not obligate carnivores as many animals are. Since we have choices, why not opt not to "Eat Mean" as the interesting typo in the post above referenced.

  • mandymoomoo

    mandymoomoo said 4 years ago

    Franz66 : Articles like this one are so ludicrous to me in their attempt to make us feel better about killing. This (these) bird (birds) didn't "sacrifice" their lives... they had absolutely no choice in the matter. And the glaring and cowardly absence of both text and image of descriptions of the birds' fear and pain makes it even more superficial with its glossy sentiment. Yes, we humans certainly do have a lot to be grateful for (primaril for not being born a turkey/cow/pig/chicken, etc...) but this story is pure comfort fantasy. Sir, have you ever been involved in raising animals to consume, or the process of slaughtering and packaging them? The mass meat farms can be quite inhumane in how they treat the livestock, but small family farms generally treat their animals well, they have good lives and are treated respectfully and then they have one bad moment when they are killed. I can definitely see your aversion to eating meat from the mass market because that bothers me as well. But animals that have been raised on small scale farms have it pretty good. And it isn't a rare practice to say a blessing and give thanks for them during the slaughter, it is a reverent thing. And I'm sorry, but what did you want Danielle to say about the slaughter? I don't think it was cowardly to leave a detailed description or image out, that wasn't the point of the article. Feel free to bash the big meat market, but you should applaud Mr. Hain and Co. for raising these birds in good conditions because lets face it, us carnivores aren't going away and he is giving folks an alternative to Big Poultry.

  • mandymoomoo

    mandymoomoo said 4 years ago

    And Danielle, I think it is a lovely article, thank you.

  • FreshlyFormed

    FreshlyFormed said 4 years ago

    Thanks for writing on this topic. I appreciate that many vegans/vegetarians might find posts about the nuances of being an omnivore lacking because the lifestyle does not conform with their value systems. That said, I think one can be an omnivore and still have a nuanced and ethical approach to food choices. Food choices are not black or white... ethically, or ecologically. If we dismiss everyone that does not become a full fledged vegetarian/vegan, we forfeit further discussion on how to eat more ethically and sustainably as an omnivore. Those kinds of discussions, such as reducing one's overall meat consumption, and choosing sustainably and ethically raised animal products, are important questions that are worth taking about. This idea of gratitude and thoughtfulness regarding what we consume is not discussed enough. Taking responsibility for what we consume is what makes me want to learn to hunt. If we own our responsibility for taking another life to sustain our own, we regard food with a very different respect and sincerity. Wastefulness of such a resource is fundamentally unacceptable. Some might regard hunting as unethical or cruel. I would argue that it's a more ethical act to develop the skills to hunt a wild animal that would otherwise escape you, than simply tossing that ground chuck in your cart. A wild animal has a chance to survive, presuming responsible hunting practices, and is better sustenance because it has not been given artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. I admire Danielle for taking this step and participating in this 'processing' of her food. Holding ourselves accountable is hard, but I think it demonstrates something about our character when we can confront the moral grey areas in our decisions, and articulate why our choices do not fall along a simple "meat/no meat" dichotomy. Thank you for posting!

  • PrettyPatriots

    PrettyPatriots said 4 years ago

    Great article. I feel like sometimes we lose respect for the world around us, animal, mineral, and vegetable, when we forget where (any) of our food comes from. It just appears in your fridge or grocery store like magic. Thanksgiving always brings that to the forefront for me. That moment to appreciate all that has been given for that one moment where you gather together and express gratitude for everything. Thanks to all the people like Hain that take the time to care for their livestock in such a remarkable way.

  • calitatum

    calitatum said 4 years ago

    LOVE EATING MY TURKEY! Deep fat fry or infra red quick heat! It doesn't bother me in the least to kill any animal for food. I will eat it all. Nothing too great or too small. I have eaten it all. I am truly thankful for the freedom to eat meat that was provided by the GREAT Creator for our enjoyment. Even Jesus at meat.

  • fiveorsixgirls

    fiveorsixgirls said 4 years ago

    i am a vegan and respect all people in their choices. one of my biggest hero's is temple grandin. there is no reason to ciriticize either way of thinking. just follow your own food path and let others follow theirs.

  • PandoraCleo

    PandoraCleo said 4 years ago

    I'm an animal lover. But I eat meat, though I often have mixed feelings about it when I wonder if the animal suffered in life and/or death. But wanna know how this article benefits my Etsy shopping? I now have a list of immature Etsy vendors that I will never, ever buy from. A number of people here stated their case with respect toward those who didn't share their viewpoint. Kudos to them. But those who chose to act like immature little children don't deserve my money. In the future, it'd be great if Etsy would avoid conflict-causing topics like this. I stumbled on it by accident and kind of wish I hadn't. But once I started reading, it was kinda hard to stop. Really, this is a site for artisans and hand crafting. What's next, a political article?

  • faeryfloss

    faeryfloss said 4 years ago

    I'm sorry, but I have to say this. This free range romanticism, while it might be kind to animals and all, being promoted as a 'sustainable' solution astounds me. And I don't mean the treatment of animals specifically, just the environmental impacts alone. 30% of the entire area of the earth's land is already directly or indirectly used for producing meat. This is expected to double within a matter of decades. I'm sorry, but 60% of the earth's land dedicated to the production of meat for consumption mostly in the west? Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture? While one may argue that their animals are free range and grass fed, eliminating the need for additional land required to grow grain to feed the animals. However, if they're 'free range' you're going to get a lot less meat per unit of land than you would from high density factory farming. So the reduction in land required is minimal at most. The inconvenient, unfortunate, confronting truth on this issue is that for meat eating to be sustainable, people will have to reduce meat consumption very significantly, which might mean a large portion of the population becoming vegetarians. And might I point out, to whoever mentioned that eating salad kills more animals - well actually, meat production requires several times more plant crops than if we were to eat plants only. It sounds to me that a lot of people in this thread have some common misconceptions regarding vegetarianism and its impacts. I suggest you read Peter Singer's 'Animal Liberation'. And you can jump on me and call me a bigot all you like (Don't worry, I'll put it down to cognitive dissonance ;D), but I felt it my duty to stand up for the minority view on this thread. Likewise, I agree with 'therainyside' and 'PandoraCleo' in that I find it offensive and innapropriate that this type of thing is being published on etsy, but the sheer ignorance of some people (only a purely logical level, ethics completely aside) just makes my blood boil, really.

  • faeryfloss

    faeryfloss said 4 years ago

    Oh, and to the featured commenter .... there is no reason why a vegetarian can't eat food cooked from scratch - we don't require mock meat or 'veggie delights'.

  • faeryfloss

    faeryfloss said 4 years ago

    to whoever said that animals would suffer a worse death in the wild - if domestic animals were never brought into existence, they wouldn't suffer a worse death, because they wouldn't exist.

  • ndngirl4ever

    ndngirl4ever said 4 years ago

    I'm a proud vegan who actively works to end animal suffering, but I think that when it comes to issues like this we should all just agree to disagree. Fighting doesn't solve anything.

  • lotusheart01

    lotusheart01 said 4 years ago

    @calitatum I'm pretty sure the creator you speak of would care how his creatures were being treated by us beforehand. No matter my views on this topic, the Jesus I know would most definitely care. And If I were Jesus I'd haul you in and give you one big lesson on empathy.

  • rome24

    rome24 said 4 years ago

    @calitatum lesson101 learn how to spell "ate". Then we are going to work on your psychological issues.

  • thriftymaid

    thriftymaid said 4 years ago

    I agree with magicjelly.

  • FreshlyFormed

    FreshlyFormed said 4 years ago

    Why are people upset that this article is on Etsy? I don't think it is off topic or out of place. Etsy is adding value to this community by creating content that is unique and interesting, whether or not you agree with a given opinion. Food choices also pose ethical and political choices that everyone should take responsibility for. I would think a community of artists and buyers who are explicitly interested in bucking corporate consumerism in favor of the handmade would not shy away from this because of "controversy." This idea that etsy shouldn't post about anything "too controversial" sounds so silly to me. No one is being forced to interact with this thread. If people don't want to engage with site content, they don't have to.

  • MiniatureRhino

    MiniatureRhino said 4 years ago

    This kind of farm is a rarity, the 1%. While I do appreciate the story it's not representative of the great majority of meat producers. Most meat is factory farmed. Animal protection and cruelty laws don't apply to food animals, which leads to horrific conditions. Just watch Meet your Meet people, narrated by Jack Donaghy himself (jokes! Alec Baldwin). A great book on the subject is "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer, which actually inspired me to go from veg to vegan.

  • MiniatureRhino

    MiniatureRhino said 4 years ago

    doh! Meet your Meat

  • DuchessBoutique

    DuchessBoutique said 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this story. I feel even better that there are like minded people out there (more then I thought) and that some of the people raising our food respect and honor the animal. I can't wait to stop by the farmers market next time. Some times I forget one of the points to shopping at the farmers market is about connection and relationships. Thanks for bringing that home for me :)

  • Suzannegegna

    Suzannegegna said 4 years ago

    I've been a vegearian going on vegan for a long, long time. When I began, it was considered a oddity, and meat eating comepetely taken for granted now I'm gratefied to discover how many others have given up meat, or at least, are more careful about where it comes from, and infact, are eating less and less of it.. I had only one reason to begin and it whyI continue. I feel a kinship with animals, I know they suffer and experience pain, and fear and surely love and friendship. Nope, I'll never eat those good hearted creatures. As for the argument that some animals are carnivores, etc, so what? I have choices.

  • InYourBones

    InYourBones said 4 years ago

    this story, to me, was about the gratitude. and for that i loved it. i am so very grateful for all that i have. i try to eat Food With Integrity, not just usda organic, i just found out that organic meat or dairy products can often be produced on large factory farms where the animals can spend their entire life in confinement. what?! no thank you, there is one place that i eat all the time at and they always have FWI. and for that i am soo thankful for.

  • Suzannegegna

    Suzannegegna said 4 years ago

    I appreciate your point of view, and its true that i often do consider the beauty of what I eat and where it comes from. I do know that often organic has been hi-jacked by large companies, so I don't trust it either. I think food is ultimately important to us, it's a miracle and I do feel it's important to appreicate it. I think too, that when we ingest an animal that lives in captivity and is killed with no thought, we are eating the fear of that animal....thanks for your response.

  • irthmum

    irthmum said 4 years ago

    If you want to do what's best for your health, your wallet, and the environment, grow your own fruit, veg, nuts, and legumes and eat them. Lets all go back to the original healthy diet! God said that He gave man "the fruits of the trees and the herbs of the fields" for our "meat," so why not give that a try. A non violent lifestyle is my aim. I don't judge others, however. I grew up a meat and potatoes kid and was happy and well loved. I grew up a well adjusted adult, too! I let my own kids eat meat when we are at friends houses and social functions. I really do believe in freedom to choose for one's self. I was thrilled when my nine year old son recently told me that he didn't want to eat meat anymore and even more thrilled that he made that choice without me forcing him. I never cook meat, I never eat meat, and I love the idea of teaching by example. I also never critisize the beliefs and choices of other people. That, I believe, is love.

  • TerraCantata

    TerraCantata said 4 years ago

    As a farmer & crafter, I am touched by the gratitude some Etsy participants are expressing toward farmers who try to steward their land and animals responsibly. Our Terra Cantata is a 55 acre sustainable farm and habitat sanctuary. The majority of the land is left uncultivated so diverse beings can thrive. Most of our land is not suitable for annual food crops that involve soil tillage (such as veges, grains, beans) because it is too hilly, too wet, is wooded, has a very heavy soil, and/or was severely damaged by conventional annual food cropping. We are bringing back to life the damaged areas by grazing a diverse variety of animals; we consciously work with natural plant-animal relationship patterns. Since most of the land should not be tilled for annual food crops, we are integrating our pastures with perennial crops such as nuts and hay. In small areas, we maintain organic food/craft gardens. It has taken many years of hard labor to build up those patches of fertility. Animals play an integral role in that process, just as they do in the wild. When I list an item from our farm on Etsy, I often try to tell the stories behind it. It is nice to hear that mindful farming makes a difference to people. I assure you, there are many amazing small, local farmers out there just wishing they knew you. Whatever dietary path your heart calls you toward (and bless you all for your passionate concern), there is probably a farmer working hard to make it possible.

  • LissaLouDesigns

    LissaLouDesigns said 4 years ago

    I feel like I do understand the mindset that would lead one to not eat meat - respect for animals and their right to live. However, even as a non-religious person, I can say that I believe that animals were put on this earth to serve human beings. Do we feel bad for riding a horse? Do we believe that our family dog should be "running free" instead of stuck in a house? The people that argue for animal "rights," I always imagine, are the same ones who, when questioned, can't imagine making the decision between saving their sleeping child or their cat if their home was on fire. Animals are not people. They are not human beings. We are dominant over them because we have evolved more highly, and therefore we can use them as we see fit to suit our needs, such as nourishment. I love to see a story about someone who raises these animals in a healthy, environmentally-friendly way and does the work by hand, the way we humans used to do.. You know, before we had the option of feeling sorry for animals, instead using them for our every need - food, clothing, and shelter. Any more thought than that put into it makes me think that some people don't have enough things to do in their lives that they sit around and ponder the fear in a turkey's mind when it is about to be killed. Gosh, I have about 100 things on my to-do list for you to help me with.

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly said 4 years ago

    LissaLou...you might not be able to grasp the notion of empathy, compassion, & equal consideration for ALL living creatures, but please don't assume this empathy & compassion is the result of having too much free time. Absurd & insulting.

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly said 4 years ago

    I was thinking about this the other day when some people were insisting that vegetarianism is somehow more ecologically harmful than eating meat, but couldn't remember where I saw it - a table demonstrating the environmental impact of different foods. It's quite interesting. http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/eat-smart/

  • JamieHansen

    JamieHansen said 4 years ago

    I love that there are still farms out there that operate with kindness and respect. I love that everyone here can engage in a mindful conversation about the way we consume. I wish that were the standard, and not a rarity. But since most of the time, we never really know where most of our animal products come from, it's just so much easier on my conscience to be vegan.

  • jodyangel

    jodyangel said 4 years ago

    Honestly I have no problem with my conscience. I am a red meat eating gal and believe that animals are here for our consumption. I also believe in animals being ethically treated and killed humanly. We are seriously thinking of having chickens so we can eat their eggs and eat them without fear of hormones and antibiotics. I have No problem with anyone wanting to be a veggie..but don't make meat eaters out to be murderor's...just saying.

  • ABsomething

    ABsomething said 4 years ago

    I wish there was a "like" button on here because I truly enjoyed reading everyone's comments. Unfortunately this isn't an argument that can come to a clean conclusion, there always has to be compromise in a discussion like this. I think it's important to support and respect the gray area, local organic farmers striving to respect people's wishes for ethical treatment toward animals. Having said that I choose not to eat meat. I don't like the taste, the texture, the images that come to mind when I eat it or the emotions that run through me. I've come to a point in my life where in my mind, yes human beings have evolved past wild animals intellectually but that's exactly the reason why I think we should also be intellectually evolved enough to understand that we don't need the amount of meat in our lives that the "average" person consumes. We need to be more respectful of their (animals) lives, and not abuse the fact that we can eat them in surplus. I don't feel I have to right to weigh the value of a wild animal's life as less important than mine considering all the other nutritious foods for me to eat. That's not to say that given the choice of survival or not I wouldn't do what I had to do but in an everyday circumstance I choose to value the animal as nature intended..wild and free.

  • AlinaandT

    AlinaandT said 4 years ago

    faeryfloss says: to whoever said that animals would suffer a worse death in the wild - if domestic animals were never brought into existence, they wouldn't suffer a worse death, because they wouldn't exist. ------- this makes me wonder: so, if we don't have domestic animals at all, problem will be kind of resolved? there will simply be more crop fields and no domestic animals that will suffer for becoming someone's diner. interesting..

  • AlinaandT

    AlinaandT said 4 years ago

    "faeryfloss says:to whoever said that animals would suffer a worse death in the wild - if domestic animals were never brought into existence, they wouldn't suffer a worse death, because they wouldn't exist." - So does that mean best solution would be not to have any domestic animals at all so we have more crop fields? Since they wouldn't exist or survive anyways. Interesting..

  • AlinaandT

    AlinaandT said 4 years ago

    Sorry for the duplicate post,it said it didn't go through the first time :(

  • ToosDetectiveAgency

    ToosDetectiveAgency said 4 years ago

    It'd be great if all animals were farmed this way, especially in country such as ours. Even the hopeful optimist in me knows that won't happen, so I'll continue on my journey toward veganism.

  • BluJeanBeads

    BluJeanBeads said 4 years ago

    Interesting article. I grew up on a small (20 acre) family farm and we raised cattle, hogs, chickens and rabbits. I am not opposed to eating meat..... and I think this article has a place here. My daughter is vegan. I am not. I am cognizant to create jewelry that she will fill good about wearing....I have some pieces where I use faux leather as ties so she can look beautiful. But....I am concerned about the toxic soup that is created as we make foams, vinyls, etc. When I see Vegan shoes I think....tanning is bad....but so is the creation of the materials for these shoes. If this article makes us think then it was worth being here. I love turkey!

  • ianscrate

    ianscrate said 4 years ago

    Good story. If Mr. Hain was on the east coast we would definitely get our turkey from him! :o)

  • scrappyrat

    scrappyrat said 4 years ago

    I see no reason to steal the life of an animal for the momentary pleasure of the flavor of their bodies. They have their own thoughts, desires, companions, families...why would I want to take that from them when there is another viable option? I didn't go vegan because I didn't like the taste of meat. I did it because I could not conscience the suffering I was causing. I tried to think of an excuse to go on eating animals, but none excused the harm. Veganism isn't about being perfect (yes, crop gathering equipment does run over bugs), it's about doing your best to cause as little suffering as possible, and it does significantly reduce the numbers of animals harmed. Eliminating the processing of our food through an animal also saves land, water, and a lot of waste. 1 lb of plants does not equal 1 lb of animal food. Grass fed animals are grazed on our public lands, causing the destruction of wildlife (bison, prairie dogs, etc.) who dare interfere with the production of meat animals. And, of course, all those grass eating animals head to the slaughterhouse to die. Most meat chickens are slaughtered by two months old. So much of their lives is tossed away. "Layer" chickens with the misfortune of being male are killed as babies, often by being run through a manure spreader or being tossed, alive, into trash bags to suffocate under the weight of his brothers. Even "free range" or backyard laying chickens slaughter the male chicks as infants, since no one wants them, so they're not "worth" the trouble of caring for them. I find it tragic. Re: BluJeanBeads: Vegan shoes...canvas and other natural fibers are available, as well as shoes and other faux leather items made from recycled materials. And as far as using faux leather ties for your daughter's jewelry, you can use a look-alike made of waxed cotton instead of ones made of sythetics. Hope this helps! :)

  • sandboxcastle

    sandboxcastle said 4 years ago

    This is more like how meat was sourced in the "old days" and a much much less horrible existence for the birds than if they came from a large scale poultry producer - and even in this story it is hard to have to come to terms with where food comes from and the disconnect between "cute" animals and a hamburger. I'm not going to give up eating meat and I'm also not going to say that being vegetarian or vegan is "stupid" or suggest somehow that its also bad for the planet. Either way It's a personal lifestyle choice. We can all choose to be a little more humane and a have a little less impact on our planets by making a few small changes in our lives. I think this article does a good job of getting us meat eaters to ponder about our food and maybe start to make a few changes to be more friendly to everyone involved.

  • rivahside

    rivahside said 4 years ago

    Back in the day, living in good ole' Harrisonburg, Virginia, it was not uncommon (maybe it still isn't) to hear the chickens and turkeys clucking away as they sped down the street in the poultry trucks to the processing plant. There were so many trucks of this kind going up and down the roads that the grass was littered with feathers. Used to be that nearly everyone had a little poultry house on the property in that part of Virginia.

  • TinsAndThings

    TinsAndThings said 4 years ago

    "What I don’t understand is the turkey. Apart from its symbolism, is it truly necessary?" No, it is not. But what eating or producing turkeys (and other animals) sadly demonstrates is that most people value their appetite (whether for food or dollars) much more than the life of another sentient being.

  • llindblom

    llindblom said 4 years ago

    @faeryfloss: You go, Girl! Loved your logical, fact-based and well thought out response. Now, let me add the emotional argument. it is never right to kill another creature for the superfluous reason of eating it, when so many dietary alternatives exist. Non-human animals value their own lives and do not want to die. This fact alone should keep people from eating meat. Unfortunately, it most cases, it does not. Meat- eaters try to comfort themselves with the idea that smaller operations are more humane, etc. but the end result for the individual animals is the same as it is in a factory farm. They are killed- robbed of their lives because humans like the way they taste. And no amount of diversionary claptrap changes that fact. So, please, next time you bite into a burger or eat a piece of lamb, remember that this was an animal who cried and bled and died unwillingly and most likely terrified. Chew on that idea.

  • petitepash

    petitepash said 4 years ago

    This article really resonnates with me because my family and I are moving back to the city and just had to get rid of our pigeons and chickens -- ie, killed them to eat in the future-- because we can no longer keep them. I have grown up knowing where my food came from because my mom would take my sisters and I to family-farms to help kill and clean chickens for food, and this has always been the norm for me. What I find somewhat amusing and sometimes annoying is that many people do not know where their food comes from and/or refuses to acknowledge where it comes from. I think it's wonderful that Paul has this farm that is growing turkeys and chickens responsibly because these days, farms like his are really lacking.

  • BmadeNEW

    BmadeNEW said 4 years ago

    I really needed to add a comment because this thread grabbed me and held on so hard. Whenever that happens i'm convinced there is much more at stake than there seems to be. I've appreciated so many of the perspectives encircling the argument(s), too many to name. I've especially loved the comments that have intended to bring understanding/breadth to a subject that is far from simple, while realizing clearly that for many in this thread, who've taken opposite positions, 'to eat meat/or not to" seems utterly simple. My own, relatively long life experience has taken me a number of directions. Presently i'm nearly a vegan, again. It may be pertinent to add that my first attempt at veganism came as a result of being increasingly run down and unable to bounce back from small illnessess. There were other factors besides diet that lead to such a state however. While believing empathy to be my highest aim in life each day , i can honestly say that my mouth will readily salivate at times when i smell meat cooking. I believe this response is more or less built into my DNA. That said, i don't have to do significant battle with a desire for actually eating any kind of animal product, nor have i ever. And i don't generally enjoy meat beyond a bite or two on rare occasions, even at times when i haven't been strictly adhering to some agenda. Those of us blessed with little enjoyment of meat may have no right to enter this arena cuz we've never really been free to choose one way or the other....the choice was almost settled for us from the outset. I wonder if those on the other side, who love eating meat, face a similar non-choice?....If so, then there may be a good reason to call into question how honest everyone is being when we try to back up our food choices with any kind of ethic! At the end of the day (and night cuz this thread is soooo long!!), it may be wise to encourage everyone in every particular stance to become as informed as possible and not allow biases to enter too heavily until after all info is gathered. This is the kind of advice i give my kids. If such a process was undergone by each and every one of us before entering into discussions, i'm not really sure anything would turn out much differently....people want what they want and will use any sort of subterfuge to get it. Please know i'm not passing judgment here! I know that many of the viewpoints expressed came from people with experience on both sides. The optimist in me can't help but hoping though, that some positions might change, and that some people might feel much better before, during and after eating. sorry this is so long but one last thing. From an early age i became aware of the divide between food tasing good and food actually being good for me.....don't ask me how i figured this out, i have no idea and no, it didn't come from any close adult. I was raised on whatever i felt like stuffing in my mouth basically. Any truly honest discussion about what to eat should take into acct. this matter of food for pleasure vs. food for sustenance.

  • HisAmazingGrace

    HisAmazingGrace said 4 years ago

    Interesting article and posts!

  • KormanandKings

    KormanandKings said 4 years ago

    I do agree that there is a lot of disconnect between people and the food that they eat. As an animal science senior at a major university, I've spent the last 4 years learning about all aspects of animal agriculture, from sheep management to animal nutrition to horse exercise physiology and everything in between. Unfortunately it seems this disconnect has resulted in a lot of paranoia and demonization of conventional farming. The term "factory farming" truly offends me, as does the idea that producers who choose conventional methods somehow don't care about their animals and the environment. I'm not saying that their aren't bad apples out there, but in my experience I have found this to be the exception. There are also animal scientists working on resolving issues such as better housing for laying hens and increased bone strength. It is a lot more complex than some big corporations deciding that raising food animals is an easy way to make a buck.

  • KormanandKings

    KormanandKings said 4 years ago

    Oh and all of the propaganda showing or describing animals in horrific conditions sickens and disturbs us as well. We know that it is wrong and it is NOT how we choose to raise animals, even if we are what you would call a "factory farm".

  • mybunnystitches

    mybunnystitches said 4 years ago

    That is one big bird! It reminds me of my Arkansas days. I use to run from the roaster! Lol... You had to see my little legs go!

  • mybunnystitches

    mybunnystitches said 4 years ago

    I meant Roster... Oh God help me!

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