US Turkey gets no action, Man saves day
by Jake Quinn
Economic slowdown getting you down? Just been made redundant? Lover of birds and breasts? Well look no further, we’ve got just the job for you.
A friend is reading Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: our year of seasonal eating’ and informing me of all the things I’d rather not know about how Americans produce their food. As not to bore, I’ll give just one example.
In this remarkable little book we learn that of the 400 million turkeys Americans consume each year, more than 99 percent of them are a single breed; ‘the Broad Breasted White’ “a quick fattening monster bred specially for the industrial scale setting”. Apparently they are so dumb they can actually drown by looking up at the rain. Good lord. Reverse natural selection at its finest.
If they avoided the chop, they wouldn’t get to be a year old as they get so fat their legs collapse. Eww. The sting however really is in the tail.
These magnificent beasts are incapable of mating. This is because the genes that make the animal capable of doing the deed are not conducive to a carefree life living shoulder to shoulder, or wing to wing, with thousands of its chirpy peers. So these genes have been bred out. The fighting spirit has been banished along with the ability to fly or forage.
This begs the obvious question, how do they reproduce, or more pertinently, how do they get pregnant in the first place? Barbara explains, “the sperm must be artificially extracted from live male turkeys by a person, a professional turkey sperm-wrangler if you will, and artificially introduced to the hens, and that is all I’m going to say about that.”
She goes on to make the point that if you’re the sort of parent who threatens their teenagers with unsavoury jobs when they wag school, you might like to add this one to the list. Hmm perhaps not. Green cards are hard enough to get as it is. We can always turn to AmBreed though!