Demonstrators ask for 'mercy for the turkeys'

The protesters arrived in the middle of the night outside the plant.

WYOMING, MICH. - Overnight demonstrators say they wanted to show compassion to animals and bear witness to their final moments late Monday, August 28.

We received a tip on Facebook from someone who saw them lined up outside Michigan Turkey Producers on Chicago Drive, so we checked it out.

The small group was carrying signs asking others to show mercy to the turkeys. They say they asked truck drivers on the way in to stop, so they could be with the turkeys and give them peace before they're sent inside.

The protesters, who were from Grand Rapids Farm Animal Save, tell us most animal deliveries come in the middle of the night, and they wanted others to hear their message.

"If you can, just cut down on meat consumption, dairy, eggs," said Allie Gasziemski. "Animals, we believe, were made to live their own lives and not necessarily be bred just to be killed."

Michigan Turkey Producers released the following statement in response to the demonstration:

Michigan Turkey Producers proudly employs over 700 associates in Wyoming, Michigan, all dedicated to producing the finest turkey products in the industry today. We have operated successfully in this location for the past 18 years.

People are entitled to their own opinion on what they should eat and Michigan Turkey respects people’s right to free speech. We are opposed, however, to inaccurate depictions of animal husbandry. The pamphlet that was distributed greatly distorts the truth of how farmers raise and care for animals.

Michigan Turkey Producers is committed to humanely raising and handling the animals in our care. Our controlled atmosphere stunning system has been in use since our inception and has been endorsed and purchased by over 50 percent of the industry’s turkey processors.

We respect a vegetarian’s right to eat no meat but believe they should respect others’ right to consume meat as they see fit.

Our goal is to produce great tasting, nutritious and affordable turkey meats for millions of Americans to enjoy.

The company also addresses humaneness on its website. Saying, "From the farm to the plant, every MTP associate is committed to the humane handling of our birds. The process starts by giving our birds ample living space in open-air barns. The birds are loaded hands-free with a humane loading system. Less handling of the birds means less stress on the animal, a more consistent product for you, and a safer workplace for us."

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