This morning we loaded our 21 turkeys onto the truck and drove them to be processed. We placed them in a cage and drove away. They all had a place to stand and were just fine. Knowing what a wonderful life our turkeys had, and how much care went into them, I couldn't help but feel a little bad as they stared at me. I think that is normal. I do still have a heart and appreciate my food.
I didn't feel THAT BAD, because...they led a pretty amazing life, and they are going to die quickly and humanely. Then they are going to be eaten by very thankful people who appreciate where their food came from.
I couldn't help but wonder what people driving behind the truck would be thinking. In fact I know exactly what they would be thinking.... "Awe poor turkey's. That is so cruel "
They would say that because they can SEE what is going on. Want to know what most people's response to that would be????
"I would rather not know or think about it" But would you REALLY? Is not knowing about your food helping things?
I get it. In fact I get it more than you realize. Some of you may not realize that I was a vegetarian for 10 years. Actually BECAUSE of that, I REALLY get it.
In fact, that is a huge reason why we raise our own food.
You see. Most of us like to 'compartamentalize'. In other words, we choose not to think about things. Most of the public would rather pay 17.00 for a turkey from 'Stuff-Mart' than 60.00 for a turkey from their local farmer. I get it. I'm cheap, and sometimes I choose not to think about it when I am eating out. I get it...I REALLY DO.
The problem with this, is that most of us DON'T GET IT.
That 17.00 turkey ????
It was raised in a HUGE barn with hundreds, if not thousands of other turkeys. At birth, it's beak and wings were clipped for 'safety'. It was given antibiotics from birth because it will live in an environment that breeds disease. It will NEVER see the light of day.It will NEVER get to peck at the grass and eat bugs. It will NOT have fresh breeze (other than large fans at the end of the barn).
After it is grown (most likely with hormones unless stated otherwise), it will be taken quite roughly to the slaughterhouse just like ours. Unlike our small processing plant, these birds will be processed by the thousands. They will be dunked in a tank of water to cool them off. Since there are 1000's of them at the same time, they are dunked in the same water. A little bit of left over poop on each bird times a 1000 equals A LOT of poop in water. Look up 'fecal soup'. I dare you.
Oh.... Since your 17.00 turkey never saw the light of day, or moved around much, their meat SOAKS up the fecal soup and swells a little. Oh my. No worries. Bleach is involved in getting THAT crazy stuff out. Too bad the itty bitty bit of bleach stays in the breast.
So... That 17.00 Got you all of the above. Sure, the person who raised that bird may be a 'farmer', but that 'farmer' is under control by a HUGE corporation and the processor. That poor farmer is only getting a minimal amount of money from theses businesses to raise a turkey...that is why he/she needs to raise 1000's of them. Not only that, but now this farmer is in HUGE debt to cover the cost of the massive structure he/she needed to build. This farmer is now trapped. Poor farmer.
Still worth the savings??? I didn't even talk about organic feed and the costs of GMO corn and such. That is an entirely different topic. Not to mention health issues you WILL pay for with your taxes down the road.
When You by MY turkey at 3.00/pound, this is what you are paying for....
Turkey that is and was....
Hormone, and Antibiotic free
Beaks and wings not clipped
Turkeys that get sunshine,fresh air, and all the grass and bugs they like.
For me to feed and water twice a day for 18 weeks,
To treat them gently,
To put the turkeys in the coop EVERY night (sometimes needed to carry the silly things),
For me to drive to the feed store, and lug the bags every day,
For me to load the turkeys and drive them to the processing plant,
For you LOCAL and SMALL slaughterhouse to stay in business.
You are paying for the healthiest Turkey you could purchase besides processing it yourself in your backyard. I'm not there yet.
You are paying me for my time, and effort. You are paying for amazing quality food. You are doing it, so you and the planet are healthier down the road. As a side note... Why do we think it right to pay a McDonald's worker minumun wage, and a farmer only pennies for their time??
Is your 17$ turkey still worth it? Do you think the people responsible for your cheap turkey want you to know ALL the details?? I think you know the answer.
Yes meat is expensive. You would not believe the amount of farmers going out of business right now because it is costing the farmer more to raise the animals then what the packers and distributors are willing to pay. That subject is definitely for another post.
O.K I'm done with my public service announcement.
Hopefully the next time you see a farmer with 20 turkeys in the back of his truck (while on your way to pick up fast food) you won't throw a hissy fit.