Nov 18, 2013

A Disturbed Turkey Party

The captured image below is from a video titled The Turkey Party. The creator of this video also hosted the beheading of this bird by a very young, inexperienced executioner. No need to watch the gore... Suffice it to say that the crowd of guests got to witness this creature endure a series of brutal, inaccurate swings.

People excuse the habit of eating animals by saying that the victim doesn’t know, doesn’t feel, doesn’t care, is complicit, or isn’t even there. This one turkey certainly knew. Felt fear. Was terrorized. Resisted. And was definitely present in all of his desperate being until his exhausted end.
And just like this video and the people who made killing a festive event, centuries ago people won lotteries for the opportunity to witness these acts of slaughter and relished seeing the final moments of expiring life.  

Entertainment for the mob
And just like this video too, these public and legal murders weren't without their incidents of ineptness either:

In Britain, beheadings were carried out by the “common hangman”, who had very little practice or experience, which often led to unfortunate consequences. These axemen would often show up in a drunken state, no doubt to numb themselves from the task at hand. And just like the Turkey-Party-butchers the positions of headsman were often passed down from father to son.

In 1587 it took four blows to remove Mary Queen of Scot's head.

Robert Devereux Earl of Essex was executed at the Tower of London in 1601. Over 100 people witnessed the execution - three strokes of the axe were needed to sever his head.

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury was dragged to the scaffold but refused to lay her head on the block. She struggled and was forced down. The inexperienced executioner made a gash in her shoulder rather than her neck. She leapt from the block and was chased by the executioner, with his axe in full swing. She was struck eleven times before she died. There were 150 witnesses to her execution.

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (1834) Paul Delaroche
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England was terrified at the prospect of being beheaded by an axe. She was therefore granted some clemency and a swordsman was called from France to undertake the execution.

Queen Catherine Howard, pleaded with her husband King Henry VIII to supply her executioner with a block so that he could practice her execution.

In 1890 Anna MĂ„nsdotter of Sweden was executed. In her case, the blade of the axe passed through her lower jaw which was left attached to her neck afterwards.

The Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh by Severino Baraldi
The victims would pay the headsman large sums in hopes that he'd complete his job with swift precision. The victim was also expected to forgive the executioner.

                "Please don't hurt me. I don't want to die!"

I realize that even today in the most primitive cultures such depraved violations of life and the sanctity of one's body still occur to humans, and most of us recognize it as barbaric and unjust. But these executions take place in "turkey parties" in hundreds of slaughterhouses every second. Likewise, the crowds huddle around the meat cases and tell the same lies, that the victims didn’t know, didn’t feel, didn’t care, didn't resist, or are made invisible. These deceptions let mobs make self-serving exceptions that trivialize butchery, under the guise-of-a-leap of "humane" faith.  

"Anyone who says that life matters less to animals than it does to us has not held in his hands an animal fighting for its life. The whole of the being of the animal is thrown into that fight, without reserve." 
(Elizabeth Costello, in J. M. Coetzee's book The Lives of Animals)

If you intend to have one of these sacrificed turkeys as a holiday celebration - Please don't fool yourself that this being didn't have a violent and painful death. Or that they didn't struggle and plead for their lives. No one consents to be killed. And we know their life was full of misery as well

This is just one suggestion in thousands of options that will allow you to avoid the un-festive consequences of botched slaughters and the gloom that comes with all killing. On holidays and always, please consider kind, abundant, life-affirming vegan options instead. Thank you.

United Poultry Concerns



veganelder said...

I'm with Margaret Pole...make them work to get to kill me...but most victims of our "celebrating" don't have that opportunity. Their short and miserable lives attest to their helplessness.

Affirming and respecting life. What an idea! A good and desirable idea...thank you for promoting it.

My apologies to all those feathered beings we kill and my thanks to you and all others who refrain from harming others.

Enjoy your holiday! :-)

Bea Elliott said...

I'm with you - I'd scrap and claw if someone was trying to kill me. I hope all these birds and all victims, make it miserable on their assailants.

I am grateful to anyone who sees their lives as a thing more valuable than a gluttonous meal. No ones life should be as cheap as these breath-stealers make it out to be.

Have yourself a great holiday too!

Anonymous said...

WOWZERS ! what a post, with amazing images! all leading up to that Coetzee quotation. Incredible! Thank you.
I really like turkeys. They're one of those animals that I just love. Their feathers are so iridescent. And they're so interesting as birds.
I remember a thanksgiving a while ago, where I declared at the table, "don't worry about me; I don't feel deprived" as I scarfed down sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, green beans. Zero deprivation!

Bea Elliott said...

Hi D.E.M. - Glad you found the message worthy. You know as well as anyone how we all try in millions of ways, to get people to see reality. This time of year we get hyper-aware of the challenges to wake up the uber-asleep. We try...
You're right though about not being deprived a bit! For me, there is more abundance in these last years of celebrating a vegan meal than I ever recall before! And here's the real kicker too: The more I learn about these amazing birds - Even having met a few - If people only knew who they were eating, not "what" - their meal would be spoiled entirely. No one should have to die to make things delicious! Thanks for knowing that - And for making that statement as often as you do. ;)