What Did One Turkey Say To The Other?
By: Stephanie Benney
Tina Turkey was quite a looker and had her eye on Tom Turkey. They had engaged in some mild flirtation for some time now, but Tina was tired of these games. “Make your move, Big Tom!”, she would think. Just as if Tom could read Tina’s mind, he was beating himself up for being such a wuss and convinced himself to grow a bigger set and ask her out.
Their first date was spent promenading around the lush, green hillsides and gazing up at the stars. Pretty soon, hours went by like seconds and days turned into months. Tom would lose himself in Tina’s eyes and the exhilarating conversation. They would often start off having light, playful conversations, but always ended up delving into each other’s souls and other high-octane topics.
One day, Tom found Tina sitting behind a tree crying. She had received some bad news and was reluctant to tell Tom; she didn’t want to upset him. He convinced her that no matter what, she could talk to him about anything. Tina began to tell Tom about her cousin, Trixie, who lived on a neighboring farm. Trixie, along with her children and the other members of her community, were forced to leave the farm they had loved and called their home for years. These new farms sounded more like torture chambers and barely allowed enough room for the turkeys to turn around in a circle. Tina was outraged! She was going to get to the bottom of this; no one messes with her family and loved ones and gets away with it.
Tina began to do a little investigating and research. She understood and accepted that all species serve a purpose. You may not always like it, but it is what it is. She found out that the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is now different than it was 50 years ago. Today, 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are “Broadbreasted White”. This means that they are raised in extremely confined areas on factory farms. It was all starting to make sense to her now. Her cousin, Trixie had been moved to one of these factory farms.
Later that evening over dinner, Tina began to tell Tom that the turkeys produced on these factory farms are done so for their large, white meat breasts. Tom was in utter shock as he continued to listen. Tina told him that the turkeys are also forced to eat foods and chemicals that were unhealthy for them. “But we eat grasses and bugs, Tina! How can they force them to eat grains and chemicals?”
Tina began to cry as she told Tom that on these farms, turkeys were no longer allowed to lovingly create a family on their own. Because of all of the grains and chemicals, the breasts of these turkeys are so large, they cannot reproduce naturally. Instead, they are impregnated via artificial insemination.
Tina and Tom felt truly blessed to be Heritage Turkeys. They are free to roam through the pastures, eat a variety of grasses and bugs. They were thankful for the groups like the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Slow Food USA for helping re-introduce various breeds of turkeys. It is the highest honor to be a Heritage Bird and it is a name worn with pride.
Tom admired Tina’s strength and passion and could never see himself with any other turkey. He proposed marriage one beautiful fall morning and the wedding followed that spring. They just found out they are expecting a little one.
For more information on Heritage Birds, please visit:
Heritage Foods USA
New England Heritage Breeds Conservancy
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
Slow Foods USA
Stephanie Benney is a “Sustainable Visionary” and also the new Pittsburgh Representative for Fuzed Marketing, where she helps companies increase their brand presence. firstname.lastname@example.org