Dear Editor,

The long-anticipated Christmas holiday is nearly upon us. It conjures visions of happy families gathered by a warm fireplace, opening presents, sharing their love, and... feasting on ham and turkey. It's the happiest time of the year, but not for the animals.

The 222 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. At the tender age of 16 weeks, workers cut their throats and dumped them into boiling water to remove their feathers.

Mother pigs are crammed for life in tight metal crates. Their babies are torn away, mutilated without anesthesia, stuck into crowded pens for six months, then slaughtered for Christmas ham.

Consumers pay a heavy price too. Animal flesh is laced with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, pathogens, and antibiotics that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases.

This holiday season, let’s refuse to subsidize such wanton cruelty. Let’s choose from the large variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks that abound in every supermarket, along with nutritious fresh fruits and greens.

This year, let’s have a truly compassionate Christmas holiday, just as the Prince of Peace would counsel.

Sincerely,

Martin Gabriel

Modesto

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