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Thanksgiving at the Sanctuary

We got some good news yesterday, via Mary Finelli at Farmed Animal Watch: High feed prices are, as we predicted in our Strategic Action Memo on the subject, driving down poultry industry profits.

The big publicly traded poultry companies – Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. – have all seen their stock prices tumble in the past 52 weeks.

Sanderson shares have fallen 21%, Tyson shares 68%, and shares of Pilgrim’s Pride have plummeted 99%.

If anything has constrained the poultry industry, it has been sky-high feed prices. Record-high prices for corn and soybeans have caused very stiff economic challenges for growers and processors. Next to that poultry processors and farmers are also paying more for fuel and electricity.

In the wake of this good news, we renew our call for both national and grassroots animal advocacy organizations to seize the day and work together within a multifaceted strategy intended to drive the meat industry out of business by decreasing profits so sharply that the capital on which these enterprises depend is no longer available to them. Family farms, not factory farms, brought the United States out of the Great Depression. Sustainable production of food crops for local consumption (rather than animal feed and “livestock” for export) can save the economy and feed the world.

Meanwhile, it’s Thanksgiving Day here at the Eastern Shore Sanctuary. As usual, we’ll be treating the birds to our version of “pumpkin pie” — pureed pumpkin mixed with healthy brown rice, topped with chopped kale and served in pie plates — as a symbolic way of countering the gluttony and bigotry the traditional Thanksgiving holiday celebrates. We hope that our supporters will join us in honoring the alternative holiday, Buy Nothing Day, tomorrow.

We had our first snow of the winter this past week. Cold weather means that birds need more calories. The downside of the good news about declining poultry industry profits is that high feed prices take a big bite out of sanctuary budgets too. We hope that friends of animals will remember the birds here, and all of the rescued animals at other shelters and sanctuaries, during what promises to be a long, hard winter.

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