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Celebrate life, not death, this Thanksgiving

October 9, 2008

Toronto -- For immediate release: October 9, 2008: The life of a typical Canadian Thanksgiving turkey is not spent joyfully gobbling away on the pasture. Instead, think factory farm.

The bird on the Canadian dining table was hatched in an incubator, never knowing a mother. After hatching, the bird´s beak and toes were cut without anaesthetic. "The turkey lived his/her short life crowded in a windowless warehouse with thousands of other turkeys, unable to move without touching another bird," said Lynn Kavanagh, a director of the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals (CCFA).

The turkeys are genetically selected to grow twice as fast and twice as large as their wild ancestors so they can be slaughtered between 12 and 26 weeks. Turkeys are fed a fortified diet of grain and antibiotics to make them grow quickly. The fast growth in a short time leads to painful joints, crippled feet and limbs too weak to carry their bulk.

The factory farmed turkey can barely stand and walk, and cannot mate due to the oversized breast. Artificial insemination, a rough process for the birds, is used to produce future generations.

On reaching slaughter weight, the birds are caught by their feet and forced into crates for transportation to slaughter. Legal transport time in Canada for turkeys is 36 hours with no water, food or rest.

At the slaughterhouse, enormous turkeys are suspended upside down by their feet in metal shackles and put through an electric stun bath before their necks are cut. But due to the fast-paced assembly lines, some birds miss the water bath and are not stunned before slaughter.

"The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals encourages Canadians to celebrate life, not death, this Thanksgiving," said Stephanie Brown, a director of CCFA. "There is a humane alternative to factory farmed turkey this Thanksgiving: Tofurky, a tofu-based product," she said. Tofurky products are available across Canada in Loblaws and health food stores.

CCFA is the Canadian partner with Turtle Island Foods, maker of Tofurky products, for Tofurky Tuesday. .
For link to cents-off Tofurky product coupons, see

(Note: CCFA does not financially gain from its Turtle Island Foods partnership.)

Contacts: Lynn Kavanagh, 416.466.5328, (October 9 only)
Stephanie Brown, 416.920.4984, (October 10 onward)

For more information contact:
Lynn Kavanagh
Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals
Phone: 416.466.5328

Stephanie Brown
Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals
Phone: 416.920.4984

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