File this under encouraging positive behavior:But NBC wasn't amused, "4 NBC Stations Ban PETA's Thanksgiving Day Ad":
I really like PETA's newest ad regarding Thanksgiving Turkeys. It is totally cringe worthy but without their regular sexist crap! They stay on message and stage it in a scenario that many of us will be taking part in this Thursday. I don't know if it makes up for all the other stuff they have done, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
Four NBC affiliates broadcasting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are banning a commercial promoting veganism sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA spokesman Michael Lyubinsky said Tuesday the organization wanted to air the commercial during the parade but stations in Raleigh, N.C., Columbia, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Little Rock, Ark., had banned it.
The commercial depicts a young girl saying grace at Thanksgiving, giving thanks for "the turkey farms where they pack them into dark, tiny little sheds for their whole lives."
The ad encourages viewers to "Go vegan."
PETA's entry is here, "Thanksgiving: Disgrace for Turkeys."
Meanwhile, here's Patrick Martins from an old classic at the New York Times, "About a Bird":
When you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, waiting for the main attraction to be brought in on a platter, take a moment to think about where it came from and how it found its way to your table. After all, your turkey is not the same wily, energetic, tasty bird that struck our ancestors as the perfect centerpiece for an American holiday.Isn't there a saying that "if you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made." Well, make that laws and turkeys, and have a nice Thanksgiving dinner.
Most Americans know that the turkey is a native game bird, and that Benjamin Franklin thought it would have been a better national symbol than the bald eagle. For good reason: in the wild, Meleagris gallopavo is a fast runner and a notoriously difficult prize for hunters. Even after they were domesticated, turkeys remained spirited, traditionally spending the bulk of their lives outdoors, exploring, climbing trees, socializing and, of course, breeding.
Now consider the bird that will soon be on your plate. It probably hatched in an incubator on a huge farm, most likely in the Midwest or the South. Its life went downhill from there. A few days after hatching -- in the first of many unnatural if not necessarily painful indignities -- it had its upper beak and toenails snipped off. A turkey is normally a very discriminating eater (left to its own devices, it will search out the exact food it wants to eat). In order to fatten it up quickly, farmers clip the beak, transforming it into a kind of shovel. With its altered beak, it can no longer pick and choose what it will eat. Instead, it will do nothing but gorge on the highly fortified corn-based mash that it is offered, even though that is far removed from the varied diet of insects, grass and seeds turkeys prefer. And the toenails? They're removed so that they won't do harm later on: in the crowded conditions of industrial production, mature turkeys are prone to picking at the feathers of their neighbors -- and even cannibalizing them.
After their beaks are clipped, mass- produced turkeys spend the first three weeks of their lives confined with hundreds of other birds in what is known as a brooder, a heated room where they are kept warm, dry and safe from disease and predators. The next rite of passage comes in the fourth week, when turkeys reach puberty and grow feathers. For centuries, it was at this point that a domesticated turkey would move outdoors for the rest of its life.
But with the arrival of factory turkey farming in the 1960's, all that changed. Factory-farm turkeys don't even see the outdoors. Instead, as many as 10,000 turkeys that hatched at the same time are herded from brooders into a giant barn. These barns generally are windowless, but are illuminated by bright lights 24 hours a day, keeping the turkeys awake and eating.
These turkey are destined to spend their lives not on grass but on wood shavings, laid down to absorb the overwhelming amount of waste that the flock produces. Still, the ammonia fumes rising from the floor are enough to burn the eyes, even at those operations where the top level of the shavings is occasionally scraped away during the flock's time in the barn.
P.S. As radical as old Ezra Klein is, at least the guy serves a bird for the holidays.
Added: Dr. Melissa Clouthier links, "PETA Speech: I Think Liberal Networks Should Air Liberal Ads."