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Tom Turkey

Tom Turkey
Copyright © 2002 by Molly Biehl. All Rights Reserved

I'm emailing you today, my friend
Not just to say hello
But to tell you some important stuff
That I think you should know.

Thanksgivings coming soon you see
And tradition's a common sight
And many people will be roasting turkeys
For their thanksgiving dinner that night.

But if everyone knew the truth about turkey
I'm sure this tradition would die...
Because Tom Turkey's story is a sad one
It just might make you cry.

He is born on a factory farm,
A cage called a shed is his new home.
He has only 3 feet to stretch his wings
He'll stay in that cage until he's grown.

The farmer feeds him hormones,
To grow bigger than he should be.
Many turkeys have heart attacks
Because they wouldn't be that big naturally.

His knees hurt from his large mass
And his feet are hurting too.
But that brings me to another point,
Do you know what the farmers do?

They get a hot blade and cut off his beak
And some parts of his feet.
They don't want the turkey's to peck or claw each other
And ruin the farmer's precious meat.

With his beak cut off, his feet mangled,
And his knees too weak to stand,
Many turkeys die an early death
Of starvation or drowning in their water pans.

If Tom turkey has made it this far
His fate has now been sealed.
He's going to the slaughterhouse
To be killed for your thanksgiving meal.

He's hung upside-down from his feet
And stunned so he gets immobilized.
But Tom struggles because he's scared,
So he's conscious as he dies.

A machine then slits his throat,
But if he dodges that too and survives,
Tom's a very unlucky turkey
Because he gets boiled in oil alive.

Tom's next step is to the store
Where he'll be bought and cooked for Thanksgiving
And when he's sitting on your table
I hope you remember that he was once living.

So this year when the platters are passed around.
And you find a plate of turkey in your hands
Turn to aunt Betsy, hand her the turkey
And ask her to pass you the yams.

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