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Turkey is Murder

Humane Imprisonment And Murder Are, By Definition, Oxymorons.

Could Jenn Ladd (“Free Bird,” Feature, Nov. 21) have gushed any louder about “free range” turkeys? Could she have been any more subjective about a controversial, hotly debated topic? Could she have written more effusive advertising copy? Ms. Ladd excels at selling product; journalism, however, is another question.

Of course, who needs to bother with objective facts when the article’s conclusion is predetermined? Who needs to present opposing points of view, especially when experts such as Ms. Ladd herself have declared the practices to be “humane” and “pleasant”? And on what basis does Ms. Ladd conclude the birds are happy? Oh, right, she just assumed it. It’s amazing she didn’t burst out singing “Kumbaya” at the article’s end.

Clearly, Ms. Ladd’s guilty conscience is soothed by her presumptions about the practices at Springfield Farms. However, humane imprisonment and murder are, by definition, oxymorons. One can create whatever preconceived notions one wishes, one can even assume the turkeys “give” their lives so Ms. Ladd and others can indulge in an optional dietary choice. However, the turkeys have no option, and their inherent rights to life are collectively dismissed for the sake of personal preference. Since there is no biological need for meat, the entire process is optional; in the face of nonviolent alternatives, mercy in such circumstances would require the cessation of killing. Therefore, deliberately continuing the violence (and buying the product thereof) in the face of clear options otherwise cannot be considered merciful or humane, the naive wishes of local foodies notwithstanding. The conspicuous absence of photos from the killing site at Locust Point Farm testifies to this fact; one must wonder how “pleasant” the killing really is.

Those who seek a humane lifestyle of substance can start by exploring websites such as,, and Readers can also experience new foods and flavors at any of the numerous local vegetarian/vegan events held monthly, which can be easily found online. One can also experience true “free birds” at various sanctuaries for farmed animals, such as Poplar Springs, outside D.C. Perhaps we’ll even see Ms. Ladd at one such event.

Mark Rifkin


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