A fire that destroyed a single barn on a turkey farm in Richlands, North Carolina, killed 6,600 animals. The owners think that the electricity in the old building started the fire, which swept through the entire barn, burning to death every bird crammed inside it. The owners dug a mass grave for the bodies and intend to continue their turkey-farming business.
These birds died in a horrific way, but the future they faced wasn't much better. On turkey farms, thousands of birds are packed into dark, filthy sheds. Portions of their toes and beaks are cut off without any painkillers. They are genetically bred to grow as fast as possible, and many become crippled under their own weight. Turkeys are allowed to live just five or six months before they are shackled, have their throats cut, and are sometimes scalded alive in defeathering tanks—all to become a sandwich or centerpiece.
Written by Michelle Sherrow