Holiday Kindness at the Dinner Table
An Animal Rights Article from


National Humane Education Society
November 2009

By now, many of us are beginning our holiday preparations. We are buying gifts for loved ones and debating the decorations to go up. We’re considering the family and friends to visit and planning the foods to serve as we celebrate the holiday season. With “going green” and animal welfare issues on our minds, many of us will make more conscientious choices to ensure our festivities are humane, responsible, and ethical to sentient beings and the planet we share with them.

But, right now, another form of holiday preparation is also taking place.

Factory farms are producing turkeys and pigs by the millions in over-crowded, filthy, and gloomy buildings…

Semi-trucks are hauling these millions to their deaths in open-walled beds where the animals must endure extreme temperatures, precipitation, and high winds…

Slaughterhouses are processing animal "units" by way of electric-bath, stun- or bolt-gun, and scalding tubs…

The agribusiness industry is not only destroying the lives of millions of innocent creatures, but it is also launching mega-holiday marketing campaigns to convince the average consumer that it’s acceptable to do so. Hidden behind cheerful packaging, warm-hearted commercials, and consumer-friendly prices are industries vying to make profits from their products no matter the harm they bring to animals.

We know it’s dreary to think about these things during the holidays, but we also know how much more difficult it is for the animals enduring them.

Fortunately, as more and more people consider the cost of their holiday meals—social, environmental, and spiritual to name a few—they recognize the inherent cruelty of eating factory farmed animals. If you’re one of those folks considering your holiday dinner in a different way—and we hope you are—we urge you to take the lead from the factory farming industry and go mega too: eat kind and do it in a big way!

As you dive into the holidays, take time to consider all of your consumer choices and their impact on animals. Boldly act from this place of consideration and don’t be afraid to start a new family tradition at the holiday dinner table—lose the meat and offer a new array of vegetarian dishes. Celebrate doing as little harm to animals as possible with ham-less green beans, Tofurky, and sausage-free stuffing. Your humane meal will make a statement to friends and family that has the potential to compete with, if not humanely out do, any mega-marketing campaign—and when it come to helping animals, it’s a worthy holiday message.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Turkey Hatchery Babies video

Turkey Factory Farming video

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