7 Shocking Facts About Your Thanksgiving Turkey

turkey factsFlickr/pardonmeforasking/CC BY 2.0

How differently things would have been for the beleaguered turkey had Benjamin Franklin gotten his way. Franklin proposed the turkey as the official national bird, and was dismayed when the bald eagle was chosen instead. “The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original of America," he wrote. In an ironic play of perspective, imagine America sitting down to a bald-eagle dinner with all the fixings come the fourth Thursday of November. It would be unheard of – but aside from the bald eagle’s lauded place on the official seal, are turkeys really any less respectful?

But such is the luck of the draw, and the draw for the turkey hasn’t been so great - for the factory-farmed ones, at least. Factory-farmed birds make up 99 percent of turkeys sold in stores, and their lives leave a lot to be desired. Case in point:

1. Claustrophobics be damned. In massive turkey farms, each bird has a mere 3.5 feet of space, according to John C. Voris' book Turkey Care Practices. For the average 20-pound turkey, that’s about enough room to turn around in circles, and not much else.

Read More at TakePart: 7 Shocking Facts About Your Thanksgiving Turkey

7 Shocking Facts About Your Thanksgiving Turkey
From the 'know where you food comes from' file, the truth behind your turkey dinner.

Related Content on Treehugger.com