Welcome to Tofurky, Texas?
As Thanksgiving approaches, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has asked the mayor of Turkey, Texas to change the name of his town to "Tofurky," a vegan turkey alternative.
In contrast [to Tofurky], virtually all turkey meat sold in the U.S. comes from factory farms, where birds are confined by the thousands to filthy, barren sheds. They are drugged and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight. These bright and social animals are denied everything that is natural and important to them, and at the slaughterhouse, turkeys are still conscious when their throats are slit.
PETA even offers the town a full-course vegan Thanksgiving meal if they do change their name. The group explains, "Introducing vegan cuisine to your residents would help improve their health: A vegan diet is free of the saturated animal fats and cholesterol found in meat and dairy products, and according to the American Dietetic Association, a vegan diet reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity."
Not only do some groups tout the health benefits of a meat-free diet, but HuffPost's Lynne Peeples wrote earlier this year that according to an environmental report, "The production of meat and dairy requires the use of large amounts of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed and water, and it releases greenhouse gases, manure and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water."
Some locals have not been receptive to PETA's unusual request.
According to CNN, one resident said, "Well, I believe in everybody having their own opinion, but there's a bumper sign that you can get any place in Texas at tourist bureaus. It says, 'Don't mess with Texas.' My theory is, we're going to make a new sign-- don't mess with Turkey, Texas."
PETA has taken other steps the fight the killing of turkeys during the holiday season. They recently released an ad reading, "Kids: If You Wouldn't Eat Your Dog, Why Eat A Turkey?"
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk also recently sent a letter to President Obama asking him to rename the ceremony where the president "pardons" two turkeys. Newkirk asks that Obama say he will "spare," the turkeys, since the animals have committed no crime and thus need no "pardoning."
WATCH PETA's 2006 undercover investigation of a turkey slaughterhouse (GRAPHIC):