Every Thanksgiving the President of the United States pardons a farm-raised turkey, but animal-welfare advocates point out that the reprieve from slaughter does not mean an exemption from an untimely death for the animals. In an attempt to bolster profits and efficiency, the factory farming industry has increased the size of the seasonal birds through artificial insemination and selective breeding—the average weight of farm turkeys has nearly doubled since 1929, reports Wired. This leads to walking problems, swollen joints, an inability to fly, and heart and lung issues—and even though the pardoned birds will not be broiled, they usually only live a year or two after their Thanksgiving break.
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