In Bristol, England, a group of vegans held a candle-lit vigil outside a farm to mourn nine turkeys that have been killed ahead of Christmas.
The group stood in silence, offering vegan mince pies to passers-by just outside the gate of St. Werburgh’s City Farm.
They stood by a sign that read: “They wanted to live.”
Last week, the demise of the birds – coined “the Saint Werburgh’s nine” garnered folks attention after St. Werburgh’s City Farm charity said it would be raffling off two turkeys and auctioning off the remaining for Christmas.
A charity that’s goal is to help educate the public regarding animal welfare along with how food originates from farm to plate, the farm allegedly cancelled the raffle after the public was upset.
But despite the uproar, the birds were still killed at a slaughterhouse to be eaten for Christmas.
Allegedly, the farm states that it holds the highest welfare standards.
Sarah Nicol, a vegan activist, spearheaded the vigil. She stated:
“There’s a lot of anger that the turkeys are dead, but we just want people to have a peaceful outlet for their grief.”
Nicol went on to say that the ultimate goal of the group was to halt all animals being killed throughout the city at any farm, adding:
“We’re hopeful that Bristol’s city farms can move towards being sanctuaries. Their goals aren’t based in slaughtering their animals, they’re based in helping and educating the public. So it’s a logical step to move towards becoming a sanctuary. The turkeys caught people’s attention because they could see them, felt that they knew them. They were nine individuals, rather than countless, nameless animals in a slaughterhouse.”
The group raised £700 (close To $900) according to a post on the group’s Facebook page.
“Bristol Vegans isn’t a hotbed of activism usually, but it can and should be,” the message read.
“We raised £700 in one day, just us. We have over 1200 signatures on our petition, in only 5 days. People far and wide called/emailed to show support – even from America.”
The farm works with 3,500 disadvantaged people and sees over 60,000 visitors said it would not be changing into a sanctuary.
St. Werburgh’s City farm shared in a statement:
“Having listened to the views of a small section of our community, we decided not to hold our annual public turkey auction.”
“However, the aims and objectives of the Farm remain unchanged and our turkeys have been sold for Christmas.”
“We feel that we have an important role to play in educating people about where their food comes from so they can make an informed decision about their food choices.”
One user commented underneath the group’s Facebook announcement post:
“So sad about those poor turkeys, but it sounds like progress may [be] made though all this. Thank you for all your efforts.”
While others were not as supportive, with another user saying:
“Do you intend to do this for every working farm in the UK? Or was it just convenient because it was a small farm in Bristol? The Turkeys were free range, they weren’t cooped up and I seriously doubt they could’ve been cared for any better. Turkeys have been eaten for centuries and will continue to be, you have your belief system, so maybe you should just live your life the way you want to, and let everyone else do the same?”
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