Recently I visited one of the small farms on our program. While there I noticed the small pens of turkeys. I realized this is the growing season for Thanksgiving turkeys and I realized that now is the time for consumers to let turkey growers know what they want, or there still will be no Certified Humane® turkeys for Thanksgiving 2010. For those of you who are vegan or vegetarian and know people who are still meat eaters, encourage those friends to support this effort.
We still have not identified any turkey producers that can meet our standards. We have some multi-species farmers who produce small numbers of turkeys, but no larger producer has applied to our program. The reason usually given to me for why turkey producers won’t apply is that they don’t need to. They believe the public doesn’t care and as long as there is no demand for Certified Humane® turkeys they see no need to make any changes to meet our standards.
Since there is minimal supply and a lot of demand, the staff and I concluded that the suppliers are not hearing about the demand.
Farmers consider retailers to be their customers. And as consumers, you buy from retailers. You can make the most significant impact by asking retailers to offer turkeys and turkey products that are Certified Humane®. You know when you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® logo, that the turkeys were raised with enough space so they are not crowded, they can move around, they have fresh air to breathe, they are not fed animal by-products or antibiotics (hormones are prohibited in poultry by law), and have been processed in the most humane way possible.
Can you help? If you can, please go to our Take Action page on our website and download the “Turkey Request Form.” Sign it and whenever you go to a new grocery store, drop it off with the meat manager, or at the customer service desk. Please ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. If you can’t download this and would like us to send you some of these forms, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and with your name and address and say you would like Turkey Request Forms.