Around 10 million turkeys are slaughtered in the UK just for Christmas.
90% are kept in windowless sheds with as many as 25,000 other birds. Wild turkeys live for around 10 years, but those destined to be eaten are slaughtered when they're between 9 and 24 weeks old. It's not just turkeys though - millions of pigs, geese and ducks also suffer in a time of supposed peace and goodwill. According to those organisations promoting turkey meat, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a traditional roast turkey! But how 'traditional' is it really?
Nearly 10 million pigs were slaughtered in the UK in 2011 and over 70% were closely confined indoors for their entire lives. Sows (female pigs) produce around 40 to 70 piglets before they become exhausted and are slaughtered (aged three to five years) for sausages, pork pies and other low-quality products.
A few celebrity chefs make a fuss about roast potatoes cooked in goose fat and all of a sudden people are bringing yet another dead animal to the table. Around 15 million geese and ducks were killed in the UK in 2011 for their meat, fat and feathers and many geese suffer additional pain and distress because they are killed in facilities designed to handle much smaller birds.