A bald eagle, as the nation's official bird, adorns the Great Seal of the United States of America. But if Benjamin Franklin had had his way, a turkey, not a bald eagle, might have famously gripped those 13 arrows and an olive branch as part of the seal. Franklin knew, like others who have spent time around this large bird, that it would have been an honor for the turkey to represent the U.S.


The average consumer may not be aware of the suffering of billions of birds raised for meat and egg production in the United States each year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s National Statistics Service reported that 7.07 billion "broiler" chickens, 67 billion "egg" chickens, and 321 million turkeys were killed in 1998 for food. In addition, millions of birds die as a result of disease, injury, and during transportation.