This is an open letter I’m delivering to the three local grocery stories where I normally shop for supplies.
Dear (Sobeys, Superstore, Co-op),
I will not be buying a turkey from you this year to roast for Thanksgiving. In fact, I also refuse to buy one to feast upon on Christmas Day. It’s not that I’ll be buying one from your competition; this year, I’ll do without the tradition bird on the table and eat something else.
The reason I will not purchase a turkey from your store or any other grocery store this year is because of the actions by the Nova Scotia Turkey Producers Marketing Board and the comments made by Keith Colwell, our Agricultural Minister, who threatened to make small farming illegal in the province.
You may be aware of a story making headlines across Nova Scotia in recent weeks. It involves small local farmers, self-sufficient families who care enough about their health to raise their own animals for consumption, small local meat processing operations and the turkey board.
Through poor judgement, the NS Turkey Producers Marketing Board have forced several small, well-established processing operations to close their doors, leaving many who raised turkey, chickens and ducks with nowhere to turn for processing. The individuals who operated these small businesses are at risk of losing their investments after years of providing a much desired community service.
Also at risk is a way of life that Nova Scotians have cherished for centuries: the ability to raise quality, drug-free, chemical-free, organic meat for their families. This puts our health at risk.
Colwell was recently interviewed by Sun News (http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca; No Turkey Freedom). In that taped interview, Colwell expressed his desire to make it illegal for anyone in the general population who raises their own birds for their own consumption to slaughter those birds on their property. In essence, he is attempting to make farming illegal.
Colwell claims his only concern is for the safety of the individual consuming that meat. Frankly I’m offended he thinks I’m that stupid that I can’t learn how to properly kill and clean a bird when my family has hunted and fished for decades and know how to gut a deer and various other animals. Personally I’ve skinned and gutted many rabbit. In the more than seventy years my mother has been slaughtering and cleaning animals not once did any of my family get sick. Now Colwell tells me she is too stupid to do it right.
History has shown that no one makes the news by becoming ill or dying from animals they’ve slaughtered and eaten, yet, each year there are several reports of individuals becoming sick or dying from large, government inspected plants. And don’t get me started on recalls because of one bacteria or another. In other words, small operations are safer than larger, regulated facilities.
I hope you enjoy the extra turkeys left in the bunker after the holidays. One of them would have been on my table if not for the turkey board and Colwell’s insane methods of controlling the food I consume.
Diane Tibert, Milford, NS
UPDATE: I have put together a page on my blog where I’ve posted a list of links regarding the turkey board issue in Nova Scotia. This is my attempt to keep all the news about this in order. I hope to keep it as updated as possible. If you see a link (news story) I missed, please let me know.
You can view the page here: https://moonmeadow.wordpress.com/turkey-talk/