Thanksgiving: the second Monday in October when many families in Canada gather to share a feast of potatoes, side vegetables, pickles, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls and sweet desserts like apple pie.
Christmas: the 25th of December when many families in Canada gather to share a feast similar to that at Thanksgiving.
Somewhere amongst all this feasting is a platter of meat. Sometimes it is thick juicy slices of baked ham or roasted duck, but more often than not, the centrepiece of the meal is turkey.
One might consider this the crown jewel of the meal, the can’t do without part, the ultimate platter filler. That’s no surprise. Marketing campaigns by large grocery and department store chains have made the turkey the headline attraction for Thanksgiving and Christmas, all in a bid to sell as many frozen birds as possible and add money to their coffers.
Images of warm family gatherings, Dad carving the succulent bird and Mom beaming with pride at the delicious meal she baked inundate television ads, newspapers, magazines and store posters. They make it seem like a crime to not participate and mimic the same warm gathering.
Even if this is far from reality.
Sure the employees at the large chain stores may want you to have a joyous dinner gathering, but the company owners and mass turkey producers want only one thing: your money!
And they will go to any lengths to get it—even lie.
In reality turkey meat is not better tasting than chicken, pork or halibut (it’s all in the way it is prepared), but we have been trained to think of turkey as the ultimate celebration meat. Large corporations spend big dollars to brainwash us into believing we can’t live without it.
Small farmers have fallen victim to the Nova Scotia Turkey Producers Marketing Board. Thanks to their reckless misuse of power, the turkey board—operated and powered by those who produce thousands of turkeys in Nova Scotia—has essentially shut down experienced, popular butchers who have successfully processed turkeys and other animals for small farmers for decades.
Because there is BIG money in turkeys. Money; not health. Money. Don’t let the turkey board or the politicians who support their efforts cloak the truth by using your health against you. That’s an empty threat. Anyone with half a brain can look at history and see large facilities that process thousands (perhaps millions) of birds a year are more dangerous to a person’s health than the small, individual butcher in your community.
Turkeys have also fallen victim to the wonderful marketing campaigns of these salespeople, and when you become popular, you’re exploited which means you’re not produced in a friendly way. Too many turkeys get stuffed into smaller spaces, and they are bred specifically to grow larger than normal and given feed to make them increase their size as quickly as possible all in a bid to feed the feeding frenzy of the general population. Turkey producers do whatever it takes to produce larger turkeys faster. Obviously this goes against the turkey’s normal growth habit. Not that the turkeys suffer for long since slaughter time is often within ten months of age.
Turkeys have become a victim of circumstances in the exploited turkey market.
Poor turkeys. Poor small farmers. Poor general population who is convinced the turkey is the ultimate centre piece, so they gather around refrigerated bunkers and scoop up 99 cents a pound turkeys produced by those on the turkey board who feel threatened by small farmers and community butchers.
Now Nova Scotia Agricultural Minister Keith Colwell has given us the ultimate threat. He has suggested he may change the laws to make it illegal for anyone who raises their own birds to slaughter them on their own property. Instead they would have to drive long distances to government inspected facilities and pay higher prices to get their birds slaughtered.
For anyone who has never raised birds before, that means two trips—sometimes two hours in one direction—to have birds slaughtered at a government inspected processing plant where thousands of other birds have also passed through.
Rumour has it that birds are not processed by individual order, which leads many to believe that all birds are thrown into the plucker together making it impossible for the birds to be sorted by customer. In other words, I could raise a perfectly healthy, organically-fed, free-range bird, but be given an unhealthy, grain-fed, locked in a filthy pen bird in exchange for my time, energy and money.
On top of that, with so many birds being processed from so many individual raising grounds, it is impossible for the large facilities to ensure the birds are processed in a sanitary environment. News of contaminated meat have made the headlines many times.
This is a direct threat to my health.
Click Here to watch the video where Keith Colwell is interviewed by Sun News. Near the end you’ll hear this bit of nonsense:
REPORTER: Would you change the laws so that you’re not allowed to slaughter your own turkeys and chickens for safety?
COLWELL: Because of this issue?
REPORTER: Yeah, because of safety.
COLWELL: Because of this issue coming forward now and the way it’s come forward?
COLWELL: We may have no choice.
Well, Keith Colwell, we may have no choice but to vote all liberals out of office in the next election. We also may have no choice but to ask for your resignation because you are killing agriculture in Nova Scotia. We may have no choice but to ask you to step down because you have no idea what you’re doing and by even thinking of bringing in such laws threats food security in the province. We may have no choice but to fight you with petitions, letters and gatherings until you just step away from the small farmers and let us raise our own food because we sure the heck can’t buy a lot of quality food in the large grocery stores.