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Though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage...
November 21, 2008 12:01 AM   Subscribe

Pardon the turkey.
It is unverified that the turkey was ever vetted to be the national bird.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur (80 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related (batshitinsane turkey). I have met this turkey; he / she seemed perfectly pleasant to me. B-school students are apparently pretty finicky.
posted by grobstein at 12:45 AM on November 21, 2008


Can that woman be any more stupid?
posted by vac2003 at 1:29 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Will someone please explain what the man in the background was doing with those upside-down birds?
posted by carsonb at 1:37 AM on November 21, 2008


That is amazing.
posted by basicchannel at 1:41 AM on November 21, 2008


I love this shit. Palin really does come across as someone just as stupid as me. Hey, make me a candidate for vice president and I'd be happy to stand there, trying to remember my talking points, while somebody behind me prepares to slaughter some poultry. That's how weird the world really is.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:11 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you God of Meta-ness. I just saw this on HP and swore that if no one else saw fit to place this ode to Monty Python as an FPP I would leap into the broken cherry breach with a single link political U-tube as my first contribution.
Plus, of course, the obligatory second link snark.
My cherry is yet pure.
posted by qinn at 2:18 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Didn't Michael Moore have this clip of a woman slaughtering a rabbit in one of his movies? That annoyed me as much as the reaction to this annoys me. Like so fucking what? If you're not a vegetarian, stop reaching for your smelling salts.

Oh man, I am SO GETTING ANNOYED by these stupid theatrical bread-and-circuses media-whores getting us all fixated on nonissues.

Sarah Palin talks in front of a turkey farm!
Auto Executives are leasing jets, who would have thought?
The G20 are eating quail!
John Edwards has a $400 haircut!
John Kerry windsurfs!!

Annoys me so much! I hate the stupid Freudianism behind media takedowns of people because they put three words together—Michael Ovitz isn't an asshole because he's insane, but because he believes in a GAY MAFIA—Trent Lott isn't an asshole because he's a jackass, but because he said something about Storm Thurmond—let's talk about three words Larry Summers put together instead of reading the whole paragraph from his speech—fuck the fucking fake-conflict-narrative-driven lynchmob forming stupid frothing media cycles.

P.S. Isn't Palin's starbucks-addiction hilarious? Oh you hater of the elite!
posted by Non Prosequitur at 2:18 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


More turkey news =(
IN what is becoming an annual Thanksgiving rite, an animal rights group on Tuesday released undercover videotapes taken at the nation’s premier poultry-breeding operation, showing turkeys being stomped to death and punched by workers [just for kicks].
posted by grobstein at 2:27 AM on November 21, 2008


Somehow I suspect that not all of us have slaughtered poultry. A tip: use a cone (funnel) with a hole in the bottom to get access to the head to apply the bleeding cut, whereby the bird's wings cannot flap thus preventing also that blood would remain in the wing tips afterwards. It is important to try to drain as much of the blood as possible, without causing damage to the body.

Happy Thanksgiving!
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:33 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's far closer to perfect than you can imagine just going on a description. Literally dropped my jaw with the perfection of it. Like, on a level with Qual's potatoe... You know, in fact, I have to believe she was set up by the camera crew.

Oddly she spoke better, or at least more comprehensibly than she ever did during the campaign. Hope she keeps that fancy speakin' up there in 'Laska - 'cause what she's actually saying gives me the willies. It would be terrible if people thought she was smart cause she talked real good; this is a frailty of the 'Murican peoples. Hate to see her exploit it.

They cut out the part at the end where she winks and says, "Gotcha Liberal Media Elite!" didn't they?
posted by From Bklyn at 2:36 AM on November 21, 2008


If you listen carefully it's her regular string of platitudes. She had to get a slam at the legislature for spending too much in there, based on the differences of the price of oil, as if they pass a budget every month.
posted by Non Prosequitur at 2:41 AM on November 21, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur also gets extra credit for using the "exsanguination" tag.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:42 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin pardons one turkey (includes the killing field).

There's something very very surreal about government leaders sparing the life of a being and then ignoring the slaughter of others. Very very surreal. Here's Bush pardoning the turkey even though he never pardoned a human.

It's probably wrong for me to point out now that turkey tastes great with a little cranberry sauce.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:11 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's probably wrong for me to point out now that turkey tastes great with a little cranberry sauce.

Hilarious. You never see a joke like that coming in thread like this one. I'll probably giggle about it all fucking day.

There's something very very surreal about government leaders sparing the life of a being and then ignoring the slaughter of others. Very very surreal.

As a very very unabashed, anti capital punishment liberal, is it wrong for me to point out that a turkey who murders probably won't receive the requisite pre-Thanksgiving photo-op pardon?
posted by belvidere at 3:58 AM on November 21, 2008


Who writes this shit for her? This is like a Daily Show sketch on acid.

Next thing you know she's gonna claim furrin policy experience because she can see turkeys from her blouse.

She's insane. There is no other explanation for that woman. Also.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:22 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


She's insane. There is no other explanation for that woman. Also.

No, I think its the system that is insane and she's just a pretty unremarkable part of it. It's like that guy that screams obceneties on the subway. Yes, he smells like piss. Yes, he's wearing a woman's housecoat. Sarah Palin is like the fact that he's also wearing an afro wig. In the grand sceme, it's all fucked up, what does one more little thing like that have to do with the overall picture.

The thing is it doesn't matter what is in the background, she's ust part of a machine. She could just stand in front of a blue screen all day and save Alaska tons on transportation. "Oh, 2:00 already got to pardon the Thanksgiving turkey! Roger, bring up the turkey farm background b-roll we shot! OK, Sarah, lookin' great, just follow the cue cards in 3, 2, 1..."
posted by Pollomacho at 4:59 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Actually, we have irrefutable historical evidence that Franklin championed the turkey.

Also, at first, I thought she had said, "I'm thankful my son, Striker Brigade, is safe in Iraq." It didn't even surprise me.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:24 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


"certainly we'll invite criticism for doing this too"
posted by gman at 5:42 AM on November 21, 2008


Oh man. Oh jeez. That is just splendid.

Turkey, pardon thyself.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:04 AM on November 21, 2008


See, I can sort of understand it when the president does it, it's tradition, it's somewhat cute, whatever. But why does Palin pardon a turkey? Palin, a woman known for killing wolves from a plane.

Is there a retirement community somewhere for these 'pardoned' turkeys? Or is it just a complete pile of bullshit, and they go back to the slaughterhouse shortly after their pardon?
posted by graventy at 6:22 AM on November 21, 2008


Oh man, I am SO GETTING ANNOYED by these stupid theatrical bread-and-circuses media-whores getting us all fixated on nonissues.

This isn't even a good faux-outrage comment. Media whores? Are you talking about Palin? The media are media whores? They're the ones who released the video. That doesn't even make any sense.

Most everyone else noticed that the point of the video isn't "trivial non-issues," but another reminder of the fact that Palin- who was nearly a heartbeat away from being leader of the free world and may very well try to be again- is a fucking idiot. It doesn't require a political genius to calculate that a man shoving a turkey into a blood-caked abattoir isn't exactly the best backdrop for your folksy charm. The fact that this person has a greater-than-average chance of having access to nuclear firing codes makes pointing out that she probably doesn't even know what ICBM stands for a somewhat important matter.

Also, while I'm very sorry that the occasional noting of a public figure being inept bores you, as far as Trent Lott is concerned, the "issue" with him was that he said the country would have had "less problems" if the guy who ran for president under a platform of maintaining racial segregation won, which is a tad fucking different than who paid what for a haircut, ya think?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:34 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Is there a retirement community somewhere for these 'pardoned' turkeys? Or is it just a complete pile of bullshit, and they go back to the slaughterhouse shortly after their pardon?

They go to Disneyland. No, really.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:40 AM on November 21, 2008


carsonb: He's killing them. If you know what's going on, it's extremely clear what he's doing. The first bird is already bleeding out at the beginning of the clip. Toward the middle he takes it out (you can see that it's quite floppy and dead). Then he comes back with another bird. He's holding it by the legs, because for some reason poultry goes calm when you hold it upside down.

So he puts it headfirst into the cone, where its head can protrude out the bottom a bit. The cone holds the bird upside down and keeps its wings in, which is also calming. Then you can see him reach up above the cone for something. This is the knife. He reches down and makes a cut on one side of the neck, then around and does the same on the other side. Then he puts the knife back up on the shelf and holds the bird's feet up while it bleeds out into the tub underneath the cone.

I'm sort of torn by this. Palin is absolutely helpless in a national political context. No politician with an ounce of sense would have allowed this shot, which was clearly set up by the camera people to make her look bad. Maybe it plays in Alaska, but not anywhere else.

On the other hand, by the look of things, this is the sort of place we all ought to be buying our Thanksgiving birds from. It's clearly local, it's not a massive industrial poultry facility. The turkeys are in an outdoor pen and don't appear (to me) to be overcrowded. And they're being slaughtered freshly for her in plain view, in a humane and professional way.

So while I'm at least as happy to get my hate on for Palin as anyone else here, don't blame the turkey guy unless you're having tofu for Thanksgiving. He's doing a good job.
posted by rusty at 6:59 AM on November 21, 2008 [14 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR, I have no idea what a "faux-outrage comment" is supposed to be. Re: Lott, I'm inclined to be lenient when it comes to these things--he said he meant something else and, like I said, this whole Freudian "I know what you meant coz you had a verbal slip" thing annoys me. Again, instead of latching on to what he'd said about Thurmond why can't we just go look at his actual record on civil rights? He sucks badly enough as it is.

I meant the media (whores as a generic insult, not media-whores per se). It's not the occasional noting that bores me, it's the mob mentality and the strange way everyone's attention gets focused on some stupid thing. On images rather than substance.

Please explain to me what about the turkey background disqualifies her stance on anything. It doesn't. It's just important coz you think it's important in a detached way. Maybe it's like with that New Yorker cover--"oh I don't find it an issue but it's an issue because someone else might have a different reaction to it."

I did latch onto here as a way to moan about the media narrative cycle thing more than about Turkeygate--just been piqued about people focusing on distractions after watching the house grill kashkari and cable news hosts hyperventilating about dinner menus and company leased jets and stuff.
posted by Non Prosequitur at 7:00 AM on November 21, 2008


XQUZYPHYR: In particular this means you. "Blood caked abbatoir" my ass. Google up some PETA videos of industrial poultry slaughtering and compare and contrast.

I get your actual point, and agree with it (this is extremely inept staging, politically) but still.
posted by rusty at 7:01 AM on November 21, 2008


Turkeys. Yeah!.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:11 AM on November 21, 2008


My favorite part is the way the turkey guy keeps watching her, like he's thinking "Gee, should she be doing this here? Isn't it kind of weird for her to be doing an interview with a turkey bleeding out behind her?"

The SNL sketch writes itself. I can already see Tina Fey babbling obliviously as an ever-escalating parade of horrors goes on over her shoulder.
posted by EarBucket at 7:23 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


The turkey backdrop is profoundly a non-event. The speech, though. Wow. She makes Bush look eloquent.
posted by Tehanu at 7:45 AM on November 21, 2008


"Blood caked abbatoir" my ass.

Umm, that was an abbatoir machine. Couldn't help notice the red goop in the trough under it either. Not exactly Where's Waldo, here.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:14 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


BREAKING NEWS: TURKEYS DIE AS GOVERNOR PALIN TAKES QUESTIONS FROM MEDIA

Looking at this with MSNBC's lower thirds added to the visual makes it even more surreal. I mean, seriously. "Breaking news: turkeys die as governor Palin takes questions from media". Say it out loud, just once, for me, go on.

"Breaking news: turkeys die as governor Palin takes questions from media."

Makes you think, doesn't it? About the breaking news inflation, MSNBC having become sweN xoF, the role of television in our societies... but apart from that. Seriously.

"Breaking news: turkeys die as governor Palin takes questions from media."

Isn't that just the loveliest sentence ever?

Lower thirds on news channels are supposed to be ultra-clear so that you can understand what's going on within a second or two when you've just tuned in with the sound muted, right? "Space shuttle explodes." "Attorney-General collapses during speech." "Dog gives birth to cat."

But this one, man, if it wasn't for the accompanying visual, wouldn't it be deliciously ambiguous? All we're being told is that Governor Palin is or was taking questions from the media and that meanwhile, turkeys died.

It reminds me of that old joke, about Bono or Geldof or whoever's holy today speaking at Live Aid or whatever, "everytime I snap my fingers a child in Africa dies", with the punchline being the drunk Scot shouting "well stop effin doin it then!". You'd expect any second some heckler to burst out in rage against the good Governor of the great state of Alaska there also, "why are you taking questions from the media!! don't you know turkeys are dying as we speak!"

It doesn't even make clear that these events are somehow connected, or even taking place in the same location. For all I know, the dying turkeys was in France, and there's just saving headline space. (I'm just barely resisting a dire pun on Turkey-the-country right now, but I'm not sure I can hold it in much longer.) They could do the split-screen thing where they have the second feed superimposed in a smaller frame on top of the presser, a darkened room with some withering turkeys in the corner and the lonely caption, "Lyon".

Conversely, one can read it as implying that the death was caused by Palin's Q&A. "Every time you take a question, a turkey dies." Quite the moral dilemma.

"Considering this dilemma, Governor, will you decide not to take any questions?"
"Well, I um.."
"Ha!"

Damn liberal New York there gotcha media also. Or she'd be holding up a motionless bird proclaiming how it is not pining but rather has ceased to be and is bereft of life, an ex-turkey, etc.

Speaking as someone who honestly enjoys laughing at Sarah Palin there also and watching Keith Olbermann feign indignation, I hereby declare that MSNBC is now no longer a news channel (you heard it here first, people). Hell, I'll continue to watch it, if only for my Chasing Amy-esque crush on Rachel Maddow, it's just no longer news.

Yes, this was a total non-event and basically the only way to make this worth mentioning is by parsing it as having been caused by some kind of disastrous incompetence on the part of the Governor there or her handlers also, which I'm convinced is real, but should be seen as different from a mild case of cosmic irony.

So sure, laugh on, my siblings, laugh on. But think of this next week when you're Greecing up the Turkey because you're Hungary (ahh, there it is), and contemplate for a moment how silly we all are for even discussing this.

"Breaking news: turkeys die as governor Palin takes questions from media."

Somewhere, Squanto sheds a tear.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:31 AM on November 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


If I didn't speak English I might mistake Palin's gibberish for turkey gobbling.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:34 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somewhere, Squanto sheds a tear.

SQUANTOOOOOOO!
posted by EarBucket at 8:41 AM on November 21, 2008


emogirl21 was right!
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 8:47 AM on November 21, 2008


I can't wait to watch the Palin family reality show.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:57 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Swear to god the first time the reporter chimes in to ask a question it's something about certain budgets and expenditures being "put on the chopping block"
posted by daHIFI at 9:11 AM on November 21, 2008


My wife just sent me this video. The chat transcript is as follows:

stet: OH GOD! I JUST AGREED WITH SARAH PALIN!
librarina: yeah
though i certainly hope she's not butchering in that outfit

I'd say more but rusty got there first and said it better. XQUZYPHYR, what you're seeing are killing cones, which hold a bird upside-down while you slit its throat and it bleeds out. They're not really a machine of any sort. The great thing about killing cones are that a) it's halal and b) it's about as humane as it gets. The bird is pacified by the pressure of the cone and passes out very quickly once its throat is slit. It's still shitty, don't get me wrong, but it's a vast improvement over the archetypal hatchet/stump apparatus.

And, in my experience, the trough below the cones is used to collect the blood so it can be composted and recycled as fertilizer.
posted by stet at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


goodnewsfortheinsane, Countdown's use of the "Breaking News" banner is a regular comedic feature, and includes an introductory announcement by Stewie Griffin. For example.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:28 AM on November 21, 2008


I expected Sarah to pardon all of 'em.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:28 AM on November 21, 2008


Best part: when she said being a politician was too "political."
posted by paisley henosis at 9:29 AM on November 21, 2008


I suspect fowl play.
posted by netbros at 9:31 AM on November 21, 2008


XQUZYPHYR: I don't think it was an abattoir machine. I think it's two killing cones fastened above a blood trough. You can see the guy take a knife and make the cuts on the turkey's neck.

In any case, my objection was mainly to the somewhat histrionic overtones of the phrase "blood caked abbatoir" itself, regardless of how technically correct it might be. It's like calling a meditation retreat a concentration camp. Cause, you know, it's a camp where people go and concentrate. Technically true, but deployed solely for rhetorical effect.

Whatever. I still agree with you. I just slightly rankle at the pejorative tone used to describe a pretty responsibly done poultry slaughter.
posted by rusty at 9:32 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh holy cats, the MSNBC captions... they just aren't even making a PRETENSE of neutrality here. This is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. [link via]
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:33 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


But think of this next week when you're Greecing up the Turkey because you're Hungary (ahh, there it is)

Just don't slip on the Greece and break any China.
posted by rusty at 9:37 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


See, I can sort of understand it when the president does it, it's tradition, it's somewhat cute, whatever. But why does Palin pardon a turkey?

Executive experience. I'll bet Palin has pardoned more turkeys in her tenure than Obama and Biden put together.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:45 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that this wasn't even accidental. Palin herself apparently OK'd this background. I'm hesitating to even claim this because it just seems too bizarre. One wonders what message she thought she was sending. It's like those scenes in a movie where The Hero is having a conversation with The Guy You Know Is Going To Turn Out To Be Insane. You know he's insane because, while the conversation is normal, he's like smashing mice or something while they are talking.
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on November 21, 2008


I can't wait for Christmas when visits an old growth clearcut to pardon the state Christmas tree. Maybe she can stop in at an open strip mine to pardon the state lump of coal for the first-dude's stocking if he doesn't bring back a moose this season. Wink.

So she comes back to Alaska from her campaigning and uses the media to paint herself as a True Alaskan to her constituents. She's saying please re-elect me, I wasn't dirtied by that process, it's those east coast elites that are going to laugh at me and you and this is what I think of them. She's sending the signal to the rest of the States that she's just a normal gal, unafraid of the media and ready for a new politicking based on her down-to-earth populist appeals. She's something new, the real outsider.

It's like the political version of, "Hey, y'all, watch this."
posted by peeedro at 9:49 AM on November 21, 2008


Sarah and the Palins are comedy gold. Obama should just give her some completely powerless Federal post just so she and the family can stick around and provide us with moments like these.
posted by tula at 9:49 AM on November 21, 2008


The great thing about killing cones are that a) it's halal

Not to be overly Islamically pedantic, but just the mere fact that an animal is slaughtered rather than killed in some other method doesn't make its flesh "halal". That said, it' is better eat flesh that has been thoroughly bled out.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 AM on November 21, 2008


a) it's halal

It's not halal! The guy clearly saws through the jugular, we don't know if pigs are present and some would argue that Palin falls into this category with or without lipstick), we don't know that the turkeys are healthy, and we don't know if Mr. Slaughterhouse is a muslim.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love Palin threads so much. Seriously. (Not snarking. I really love them. Why can't I seem to come across as non-sarcastic here?)
posted by DU at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2008


From the link in XQUZwhatever's comment above:

In his speech [in 2005], President Bush joked that their retirement location had been changed because the turkeys “were a little skeptical about going to a place called Frying Pan Park,” a historic farm park in Virginia that had been the home of the previous honorees.

President Bush is so good at this sort of thing! That's really kind of funny. If only he didn't really have to make any decisions...



Oh. wait.
posted by nosila at 10:11 AM on November 21, 2008


Me too, DU. Me too.
posted by nosila at 10:12 AM on November 21, 2008


Palin herself apparently OK'd this background.

Maybe she thought it would be symbolic of her own journey to the political slaughterhouse?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:24 AM on November 21, 2008


America's chickens turkeys are comin' hooooome... to roost!
posted by rusty at 10:36 AM on November 21, 2008


54 comments and no stuffing jokes?! sadface!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:55 AM on November 21, 2008


This is the most humane option? I take it some variation on a captive bolt pistol is not useful for poultry?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:06 AM on November 21, 2008


I am seriously considering having the phrase "apparently oblivious to turkey carnage" be my epitaph.
posted by Skot at 11:16 AM on November 21, 2008


My understanding is that this wasn't even accidental. Palin herself apparently OK'd this background.

I wouldn't be surprised. I suspect it's a bit of a coded message, something like, "Here we are, making MEAT, not afraid of it, not some pansy PC vegetarians we, but real Americans, who like our meat and aren't afraid of where it comes from."
posted by oats at 12:05 PM on November 21, 2008


Will someone please explain what the man in the background was doing with those upside-down birds?

He's sending them to a farm, where they'll be happy.

He has to get all the blood out of them first, though.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:09 PM on November 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


Durn Bronzefist: For slaughtering poultry by hand, this is apparently the most humane plausible option. I say "plausible" because small-time poultry is a thin-margin business, and anything that required expensive equipment would probably be out on cost grounds from the start.

That said, supposedly the sudden and enormous drop in blood pressure leads to nearly instant loss of consciousness. You can see in the Palin video, the turkey kicks a little bit when it's actually dying, but the guy isn't holding it down or struggling with it in any way.

Large-scale commercial processors have two methods, currently. The most common one here in the US is this:

Birds are loaded in crates, which are dumped out at the plant onto a bin or table. Workers hang the birds upside down by the feet from shackles on a conveyor belt. The belt carries birds down the line and dunks their heads in an electrified water bath which, when it works, knocks them out. When it doesn't work (due to struggling birds, or what have you) it of course doesn't knock them out.

They're then carried, unconscious or not, past a spinning blade machine that is intended to cut the arteries in their necks and let them bleed out. Usually this works. If the bird isn't unconscious yet, though, it may still be struggling and not receive a clean cut. So the majority of birds are at this time dead and bleeding out, with a few not dead, and a few not even with any fatal injuries yet.

The conveyor then dunks the birds in a scalding tank, at 135 - 140 degrees F. This loosens the feathers from plucking for dead birds. It scalds and drowns live birds, with the added bonus of possibly letting them aspirate water contaminated with fecal matter and miscellaneous poultry dirt.

The other method, used more in europe but slowly coming to the US, is called "controlled atmosphere killing." Like the first method, birds are brought to the processor in crates. The crates are left closed, however, and carried to a chamber where the air is replaced with an inert gas, like nitrogen or argon. The birds aren't handled at all while alive, and thus at least aren't tossed around and terrified before death. The claim is that replacing oxygen with an inert gas leads to unconsciousness and death without any sensation of asphyxiating, which I suppose is probably true enough. That's the principle behind the classic car-in-the-garage suicide -- the nitrous oxide in exhaust takes the place of oxygen in the blood without actually doing the job of oxygen, and leads to sleep, and eventually death.

Then after being killed, the birds are put in the processing line where they're bled and so forth, with the key difference that none of them are alive. PETA has pushed a bunch of fast-food companies to require this method from their suppliers, and it does seem to be better all around than the alternative.

But for non-mechanized slaughter, a sharp knife causes very little pain and the bleeding is so rapid that it's hard to imagine any real discomfort for the bird. It's a hell of a lot better than an axe, at any rate.
posted by rusty at 12:18 PM on November 21, 2008 [11 favorites]


Here we are, making MEAT, not afraid of it, not some pansy PC vegetarians we, but real Americans, who like our meat and aren't afraid of where it comes from.

I am The Tensor, and I approve this message.
posted by The Tensor at 12:39 PM on November 21, 2008


I get the point of her interview, she knows exactly how much criticism she's going to get, she even mentions it in the interview. She's hoping to get some "you horrible animal killing bitch!" criticism, just so she can throw it back into someone's face and say "do you eat turkey? you do! well shut the hell up than!" I only watched the vid once but I recall her saying something like "I'll be eating turkey like most American's" or something simliar. While I kinda get her message the whole thing was done in bad taste.
posted by BrnP84 at 12:42 PM on November 21, 2008


Dang that was funny. I don't know what's worse, listening to Sarah or watching the turkey Armageddon happening there in the background.
posted by dougzilla at 12:45 PM on November 21, 2008


But for non-mechanized slaughter, a sharp knife causes very little pain and the bleeding is so rapid that it's hard to imagine any real discomfort for the bird. It's a hell of a lot better than an axe, at any rate.
posted by rusty


eponysterical?
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 12:53 PM on November 21, 2008


They're then carried, unconscious or not, past a spinning blade machine that is intended to cut the arteries in their necks and let them bleed out.

I've never seen spinning blades in a poultry plant for this very reason. What I've seen have been a V shaped device that directs the bird towards razors in the tip of the V. No moving parts, not really any way to struggle out even if they mised the electrolytic dunk (which I've never seen happen).

One more factor to think about when watching the video is that the stench where Palin is standing is tremendous.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:57 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pollomacho: I've never seen any of it. I was going off several written descriptions, which may have been more or less biased. There have been numerous assertions that it's not always smooth and efficient, and Burger King, at least, is "favoring" CEK (whatever that means). Any outright errors (i.e. spinning blades) probably my own.
posted by rusty at 1:18 PM on November 21, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur: 54 comments and no stuffing jokes?! sadface!

I'd stuff it?
posted by not_on_display at 2:16 PM on November 21, 2008


I have to say that being interviewed in front of animals being slaughtered works quite well for Palin.
This is the first time I was able to watch an interview with her without developing a splitting headache or feeling the urge to puke within the first 15 seconds.
The slaughtering completely distracted me from whatever drivel she was spewing forth.
I can't remember a single thing she said.
It's great!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:24 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd stuff it?

Maybe you should stuff it, by which I mean your face! And I hear something that makes for the yummiest stuffing is sausage, by which I mean

I'll go now.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:09 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


@rusty: Actually, it's an effect called hypoxia. The air we breathe is mostly nitrogen. Pump in too much nitrogen, and the lungs take in too little oxygen, but this isn't obvious to the body, because the air is about the same density and no smell or anything. Thus, an animal doesn't know its fate or to struggle, and this is also why people can be in a low oxygen environment and not realize the danger.

I learned this from a documentary on BBC's Horizon. It was done by a British politician who favored the death penalty (I don't, but that's beside the point) who wanted to find the most humane way to execute people, looking at existing and proposed method. He came to the conclusion that a nitrogen mask or gas chamber (not conventional gas chamber) is the best option, as it is painless, and may induce euphoria. What was really attractive was that the method was cheap and only required a surgical mask and a tank of nitrogen, which are both cheap. I may be spoiling the ending, but some death penalty advocates are against that method because they feel its wrong that it's painless and can even make the executionee feel good, which they feel is a bad way for a person they find ethically required to die to spend his last conscious moments.

However, that fatal flaw would make it a much better method for killing animals. A big issue with the current meat industry is how the animals are raised (small cages, poor treatment, etc), but if they could just add a nitrogen room in a slaughter house, they would have a cheap, effective way to kill an animal so that it would not suffer from other methods, which can fail. As a meat eater who feels animals deserve better, I like this method, but I can see the practical problems, such as having to make a sealed room or figure out how to gas the animals but not the humans. It is a tough thing to solve, since adding a sulfate to the gas would make it smell so that people don't breathe in too much, but then the animals would have to deal with an unpleasant experience.

I think it's most crucial that we start doing this for red meats in particular. From what I've read, chickens seem to suffer less from pain than mammals, and yet the methods for mammals seem like they're more likely to fail. They couldn't set up cows in cages, but they could probably work out the details, especially if the government required a bit more transparency in how an animal was raised and killed.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:48 PM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ya know, I told ya I was hardcore! [wink]
posted by stavrogin at 6:31 PM on November 21, 2008


i think she did it all on purpose, just to get attention, just to get a headline.
posted by brandz at 6:58 PM on November 21, 2008


You don't say?
posted by nosila at 7:48 PM on November 21, 2008


In the Coen Brothers version of that interview, she's next in the cone.

You know, at the point she says her son is in Iraq -- Striker Brigade -- I had to hit the wiki just to be sure that wasn't one of her kid's names. No foolin'.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:09 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


She's hoping to get some "you horrible animal killing bitch!" criticism, just so she can throw it back into someone's face and say "do you eat turkey? you do! well shut the hell up than!"

There are 2 distinct groups of meat eaters:

1) Meat eaters who can't dwell on the slaughtering process
2) Meat eaters who revel in the slaughtering process

(There is some bleeding between the two groups when fish are concerned.)

Group 2 people always think they have the high road and call members of group 1 on their hypocrisy, but I think it is more a case of conditioning. If you are raised to hunt and to farm animals, you will be comfortable around the slaughtering of animals for food. If you have not, it is difficult to accustom yourself to the sight, sound and smells of killing.

Years ago, I raised chickens for eggs and was tempted to raise them for meat because I had always heard how extraordinary fresh free range chicken was, but I only tried to kill a chicken once. I did it all-- decapitated, plucked, gutted, and cut-up the chicken. I placed it in a roasting pan with a butter glazing and roasted it to perfection. After all that, I could not bring myself to eat it, so I took it over to the neighbors who enjoyed it very much. I wish I could get past the squeamishness, but I suspect at my age, I never will. If the worst happened and I no longer had access to store bought chicken, I might learn to eat things I slaughtered myself out of necessity, but there is no reason to do so at this moment in time.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:37 AM on November 22, 2008


Most everyone else noticed that the point of the video isn't "trivial non-issues," but another reminder of the fact that Palin- who was nearly a heartbeat away from being leader of the free world and may very well try to be again- is a fucking idiot.

Words well spoken.

I think most MeFites in this thread are not squeamishly complaining about the fact that turkeys are slaughtered for food. This most recent faux pas is notable because a politician is stumping while animals are being slaughtered. It's extremely weird.

That is all.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:16 PM on November 23, 2008


I can't believe nobody has commented on the brilliant and nuanced title of this post. Well done, Ambrosia. Well done.
posted by converge at 11:11 PM on November 23, 2008


I initially missed your excellent reply, rusty, and your useful addition, mccarty.tim. Thanks to you both.

They're then carried, unconscious or not, past a spinning blade machine that is intended to cut the arteries in their necks and let them bleed out. Usually this works. If the bird isn't unconscious yet, though, it may still be struggling and not receive a clean cut. So the majority of birds are at this time dead and bleeding out, with a few not dead, and a few not even with any fatal injuries yet.

That's pretty much horror-show perfect. You get nicked, you're dazed, and your mates are hanging alongside you, bleeding to death from the neck. Chickens don't have much of a brain but I can't think there isn't some realization that things are bad enough you'd be better if the shit would just hit the fan already.

Anticipated your spoiler, mccarty.tim. I picture a bunch of execution witnesses disappointed and let down because the man they've killed went out in a state of euphoria, maybe "seeing the light". Though this fingers sadism as a motivation, straight up.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:19 AM on November 25, 2008


Palingenesis
posted by hortense at 9:47 AM on November 25, 2008


@rusty: Actually, it's an effect called hypoxia. The air we breathe is mostly nitrogen. Pump in too much nitrogen, and the lungs take in too little oxygen, but this isn't obvious to the body, because the air is about the same density and no smell or anything. Thus, an animal doesn't know its fate or to struggle, and this is also why people can be in a low oxygen environment and not realize the danger.

How do you overcome lactic acid build up in the tissue when using this method of killing the animal for meat production. Sure this is a great method if the goal is simply killing the animal, but it has some problems if you are trying to harvest the animal's tissues.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:35 PM on November 25, 2008


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