Many Americans have no idea that more than 45 million turkeys are slaughtered each year for Thanksgiving. They're crammed into dark sheds, pumped full of antibiotics, and have their throats slit before becoming holiday centerpieces. Just in time for the holidays, PETA's Thanksgiving video, "Thanks!" takes viewers on a harrowing journey with one boy and a group of turkeys, all destined to become holiday meals. Watch now!
On today's factory farms, turkeys have been genetically manipulated to grow so quickly in such a short amount of time that many suffer from heart failure and sustain broken legs because of their extra weight. All the while, they're crammed by the thousands into dark, windowless sheds. For most of them, the first time that they feel the sun on their feathers is on their way to the slaughterhouse, where they are hung upside down by their weak and crippled legs before their heads are dragged through an electrified "stunning tank," which immobilizes them but does not kill them.
Many of the terrified birds dodge the tank and, therefore, are completely conscious when their throats are slit. If the blade fails to slit the birds' throats properly, they are scalded alive in the tank of hot water that's used for feather removal.
Turkeys are intelligent, social creatures who enjoy listening to music, and younger turkeys bond closely with their parents. In nature, youngsters typically stay with their mothers for the first five months of their lives. Knowing how much we have in common with turkeys, it's hard to watch this video without thinking, "What if someone did this to me?"