United Poultry Concerns November 26 , 2003

UPC President Karen Davis's Letter is in The New York Times Today
UPC Member Patti Breitman's Letter is in The New York Times Today

To view all four of today's letters in response to "About a Bird" (Op-Ed, Nov. 24), click on:

The New York Times
November 26, 2003, Wednesday, Late Edition - Final
Section A; Page 24; Column 4; Editorial Desk

To the Editor:
Patrick Martins (Op-Ed, Nov. 24) cites a host of abuses to which "industrial" turkeys are subjected - mutilations, impoverished environment, artificial insemination, disease-filled sheds, genetic disabilities, lack of exercise, ailments ranging from diabetes to heart disease. He is wrong, however, when he says that "every bit of natural instinct and intelligence has been bred out of these turkeys, so much so that they are famously stupid."

I've been rescuing "industrial" turkeys for 13 years. Despite their physical infirmities, these birds are sensitive, intelligent and alert. They are also extremely sociable, as people who visit our sanctuary are delighted to learn. Environment plays a key role in eliciting expressive behavior in birds as well as in humans. Let us remember this the next time we are tempted to hurl insults at our innocent victims.

President, United Poultry Concerns
Machipongo, Va., Nov. 25, 2003

To the Editor:

"About a Bird," by Patrick Martins (Op-Ed, Nov. 24), about the sad, short lives of Broad Breasted White turkeys, reminds us that we have a choice about the horrid treatment of the animals raised for our food. "It's no surprise that side dishes have moved to the center of the Thanksgiving menu," he writes.

Thankfully, more and more people are discovering that a Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey is more creative, colorful, flavorful and guilt-free than one whose focus is the corpse of a bird who lived an unnatural, terrible life.

Fairfax, Calif., Nov. 24, 2003

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

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