For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – “They threw hens like they were basketballs. After failing to break their necks, they left the birds to convulse and die in agony,” Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix says as he narrates a new PETA video—released as Americans begin making their Thanksgiving plans—revealing shocking undercover footage of former workers violently abusing turkeys for Plainville Farms, a self-professed “humane” turkey supplier to Wegmans, Publix, Harris Teeter, and other top grocers.
“If you celebrate Thanksgiving, stop paying someone to hurt animals for your Thanksgiving centerpiece,” says Phoenix, who has been vegan since the age of 3. “Choose a vegan roast so that everyone can have something to be thankful for this holiday season.”
The video—which is far less graphic than the full version available at PETA.org—shows former workers kicking and throwing live turkeys and beating them with a metal rod, including birds who were sick, injured, and unable to walk. Following PETA’s investigation, Pennsylvania State Police charged 12 former Plainville Farms workers with a total of 141 counts of cruelty to animals, the largest number in any factory-farmed animal case in U.S. history.
Each year in the U.S., about 46 million turkeys—typically between 14 and 18 weeks old—are killed and sold for Thanksgiving alone. During their short lives, they are typically forced to stand in their own waste and are bred to grow so large so quickly that their legs give out. At slaughterhouses, workers hang the young birds upside down, drag them through an electrified bath, slit their throats, and dump them into scalding-hot defeathering tanks—often while they’re still conscious.
Despite this, Plainville Farms still claims to produce “humane” turkey from birds in a “stress-free environment.”
PETA’s “ThanksVegan” guide is packed with recipes, cooking tips, and everything else needed to enjoy a delicious, turkey-friendly holiday.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.