While it's not ideal to share this video only 2 days from Thanksgiving, I think many of our readers will want to know the cruel conditions many farmed and even 'free range' turkeys suffer. I don't want to scare people away from ever eating turkey again, but I want to remind everyone that we have the ability to choose where we purchase our food and that money shouldn't be the only deciding factor.

At first, I thought the simple solution was to make sure to buy 'free range' turkey meat. While doing research on 'free range' turkeys, I discovered even turkeys raised 'free range' are not protected from all cruelty.  The term 'free range' is so loosely defined that even if a turkey spends 49% of it's life indoors, is kept in dim lighting, is genetically modified, is debeaked and detoed, the turkey can still be labeled 'free range.'

How are we to ensure our food is ethically raised and delivered?

Find Real Free Range Turkey Farms

There are farmers who advertise exactly how their turkeys are treated. LocalHarvest.org sells All Natural Free Range Turkeys from Johnson Farms in Ohio that spend 100% of their life outdoors and are given no chemicals, hormones or additives. Sadly, the turkeys are available only for local pickup which puts us here in Montana out of luck. But what if every area in the United States had a farm just like the Johnson Farms?

Global Animal Parnership is working with ranchers, retailers, scientists and animal advocates to improve the welfare of animals in agriculture. But as long as laws allow cruelty to exist, it will only work if consumers are mindful of where they shop.

It is simple and cheap to buy whatever meat is available at the store. But by spending a little more and being mindful where the animal was raised, it's possible to improve the lives of animals.


Here in Montana we are lucky enough to be able to hunt for our own food. From September 1st to January 1st is the Fall Turkey Hunting Season in 2013. The application period for a permit ended on July 25 which puts anyone without a license out of luck until next spring, but remember that for next year.

Avoid Factory Farmed Animals

The video below is a behind the scenes look at factory farmed turkeys at a farm in Minnesota. The video is graphic. If consumers stop buying from these farms they will have to stop the cruel practices. It's that simple.