​Vegan Group Holds Wake For Nine Turkeys Killed For The Christmas Dinner

A group of vegans in Bristol have held a candle-lit vigil outside a farm to mourn the nine turkeys that have been killed ahead of Christmas.

Offering vegan mince pies to passers-by, the group stood in silence at the gate of St Werburgh's City Farm next to a sign that read 'They wanted to live'.

The plight of the birds - dubbed 'the Saint Werburgh's nine' - came to people's attention last week after St. Werburgh's City Farm charity said it would be raffling off two turkeys and auctioning the rest for Christmas.

The farm, which is a charity that aims to educate the public about animal welfare and how food gets from field or farm to plate, apparently cancelled the raffle after public outcry, but he birds were still killed yesterday at an abbatoir ahead of being eaten for Christmas.

The farm has said it adheres to the highest welfare standards.

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Vegan activist Sarah Nicol, who organised the vigil, said: "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 continued to say the group's aim was to stop the animals getting killed at any farms in the city, 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."

According to a post on Bristol Vegan Action's Facebook page, the group raised £700.

"Bristol Vegans isn't a hotbed of activism usually, but it can and should be," the message said.

"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."

St Werburgh's City Farm in Bristol. Credit: SWNS
St Werburgh's City Farm in Bristol. Credit: SWNS

St. Werburgh's City farm, which sees 60,000 visitors and works with 3,500 disadvantaged people,has said it would not be changing to a sanctuary.

In a statement, the farm said: "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."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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