Most of us have never had the opportunity to meet a turkey in person, which makes it difficult to understand them – or how amazing they are. If you ask anyone who’s been able to get to know rescued turkeys on a sanctuary, they can tell you just how inquisitive, social, and smart these animals are.
In fact, just like the dogs and cats in our homes, turkeys are incredibly playful individuals with unique personalities.
Given the opportunity, turkeys enjoy building nests, roosting in trees, foraging for food, taking dust baths and forming strong social bonds with those around them – turkeys and non-turkeys alike!
Here are four fascinating facts worth sharing:
- Turkeys are very talkative. They can recognize each other by their voices, and more than 20 unique vocalizations have been identified in wild turkeys.
- They are incredibly curious animals who enjoy exploring and can remember the detailed geographic content of 1,000 acres.
- Benjamin Franklin admired these “birds of courage” so much, that he believed that they should be named the national bird of the US instead of the bald eagle.
- Wild turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour and run 18 miles an hour. However, turkeys raised on today’s factory farms aren’t nearly as agile because they’ve been genetically manipulated to grow so abnormally large, they can no longer even mate naturally, let alone fly.
Sadly, on factory farms, turkeys are unable to engage in many of their natural behaviors and are instead treated as little more than mere meat-producing machines. From the moment they hatch, the vast majority of these intelligent birds spend their entire lives intensively confined inside massive sheds and will never set foot outside.
This holiday season, we can put compassion the center of our dinner table by joining millions of other Americans who are serving up delicious vegan foods that everyone – including the turkeys – can enjoy.