It is a sad and horrific time of year for millions of turkeys being slaughtered for holiday meals. To be more exact, just for Thanksgiving alone, approximately 46 million turkeys are killed per year.
These smart and intrinsic animals are so much more special than society gives them credit for, and therefore should be left off of your serving platters. From their astute social connections to the fact that you can determine a turkey’s gender by taking a quick glance at their poop, these fine feathered friends are highly intelligent and interesting animals.
Since there are too many neat details about these wonderful birds to list, we chose the most riveting of them all that truly stand out. Once you learn these five enthralling turkey details, you will want to be their pal rather than put them on your plate.
1. You can tell a turkey’s gender just by peeking at their poo.
Yes, you read that right. A fascinating fact that many people do not know about our turkey friends is in their doo doo. The shape of a turkey’s turd tells you if they are a lord or a lady. A male turkey’s droppings are in the shape of a spiral and the waste of a female turkey is shaped like the letter J. That remarkable tidbit alone makes turkeys way too cool to eat.
2. Turkeys wear mood rings… called their faces.
As if pooing specific shapes isn’t clever enough, turkeys step up their game by being the living embodiment of the mood ring. Yep, these groovy birds wear their mood on their heads and throats, and you guessed it, the color red means stressed out. As a turkey’s mood changes throughout the day, their colors switch as well. Turkeys are just too colorful to be on the menu.
3. Male turkeys go cruising for lady turkeys, together as a group.
When turkeys go out in search for that significant someone, they do it just like us humans – with a little help from their friends. For instance, a group of brothers will make an event of going out and putting the charm on a turkey of the opposite sex. However, in the end, only the dominant male will mate with that special female turkey. I wonder if they get into any wild antics with their pals along the way. Maybe it’s like “The Hangover” for turkeys.
4. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to replace the eagle as America’s national bird.
Good old Ben Franklin felt very strongly about this bird business. Franklin once called the eagle cowardly and felt that the national bird was chosen incorrectly. If Benjamin Franklin had his way, the turkey would be America’s national mascot since he felt that turkeys are much more respectable birds. Franklin also felt that the turkey was more of a true American symbol, being an original native to the region. Frankly, this Founding Father had the right idea; we think that turkeys are awesome, too.
5. Turkeys have their own unique language.
Turkeys have their own unmistakable form of communicating with one another. In fact, they can even recognize each other’s individual voices. Researchers have even found over 30 distinct vocalizations amongst turkeys in the wild. These smooth talking birds sure do have a way with “words” – or gobbles, putts, purrs and cackles, rather.
As you can see, turkeys are so much more than just a dish to be served at the holiday dinner table. Let one go free as a bird this year, and opt for a tofu turkey or any one of the other many delicious vegan options that are available.