PRESS RELEASE - 7 December 1998
Viva! is urging the nation to think twice before buying a turkey for Christmas this year. The vegetarian and animal charity Viva! will be handing out leaflets to people about turkey farming while they do their Christmas shopping ~ and offering an alternative.
"The truth about turkey production is hard to swallow", Juliet Gellatley, director of Viva! claims "and I just hope that once people know how these magnificent birds suffer, they will choose a vegetarian menu instead."
Turkeys are intensively farmed in huge, over-crowded windowless sheds. Without sunlight or fresh air there is nothing to do but eat and grow. Growth and even shape of the birds are promoted by chemicals and genetic manipulation and this has led to all sorts of ailments for them.
"The extra weight they carry round just so we can enjoy a large bird on the table at Christmas causes no end of problems for the turkeys themselves" says Juliet Gellatley. "Not only does it lead to leg and skeletal problems with bones breaking beneath the ballooning weight but many suffer heart attacks too. The lives of these unlucky birds are short, pain-ridden and miserable but it doesn't have to be that way - people can say no to this cruelty and instead tuck into a hearty, healthy and animal-friendly roast this Christmas."
Viva! has produced a Christmas Menu for people who would rather celebrate the season of good will to all animals. One of the main meal suggestions is Mushrooms and Artichokes En Croute - wild and button mushrooms, with artichokes in puff pastry; served with leeks and sprouts with cashew nuts, glazed carrots with tarragon and brown sugar and bay roast potatoes. Viva! also sell a wide variety of vegetarian recipe books through their mail-order service. Those who relish this time of gluttony will certainly not be disappointed!
"Being vegetarian saves the lives of thousands of animals" explains Ms Gellatley "but it seems especially meaningful at this time of year. If people really do want peace on earth then I hope they will spare the life of a turkey this year."
Free recipe sheets and information about going vegetarian are available from: Viva!, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH or phone 0117 944 1000.
Further information: Juliet Gellatley or Lesley Jeavons on 0117 944 1000.