Fall '96 Poultry Press
"Turkey Olympics"
is Not Entertainment
(photo by Matt Kelly)
The "turkey olympics" exhibits a mean delight in taunting innocent victims. It teaches children to make fun of other creatures instead of protecting them from harm and fear. Meanwhile, the many human talents that should be the focus of celebration are ignored.

The "turkey olympics" is based on forcing turkeys dressed in costumes to perform antics for spectators and the media. The turkeys are forced to run, jump and do other stupid things so people can mock them before they are slaughtered. The turkeys are given degrading and insulting names and outfits which make it clear that this "Thanksgiving" event is basically an excuse for machismo, obscenity, violence, cruelty-- and alcohol.

In 1994, witnesses watched several people hold down a turkey and force her into a costume while other people stood around laughing. They watched turkeys being knocked about, pushed, and threatened with sticks. They described "a poor bird plucked from a pen and labelled the Turk-A- Nator. The turkey, forced to wear a black cape, was pushed down and held firmly in this killing machine by people swinging their beer cans."

The birds being taunted are production turkeys with built-in maladies from overweight. They have trouble breathing and walking normally. They suffer from painful diseases of the hip joints. They are shy and easily stressed. They are totally unsuited to the strain of "olympics."

A newspaper reporter who watched the "turkey olympics" in 1994 commended the protest against this miserable "sport": "Finally somebody is saying what most people around here really think--that the 'turkey olympics' is mean, boring, and cruel."

What Can I Do? Tell the Inn on Lake Waramaug that you are ashamed of the "turkey olympics" and urge them to cancel it. Let the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce know how you feel. Write letters-to-the-editor expressing your outrage. Urge the Inn to find challenging new ways to bring in business and celebrate the holidays. Demand clean fun, not mean fun.
  • Contact The Inn at Lake Waramaug, 107 North Shore Road, New Preston, CT 06777 (ph: 203-868-0563).
  • Contact the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 59, Torrington, CT 06790 (203-482-6586).
  • Contact The Hartford Courant, 285 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06115.
  • Contact The Litchfield County Times, 32 Main Street, New Milford, CT 06776.
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