Skip to content

Let's Talk Turkey Smarts, Hugs & More!

Updated: October 2023

As you may know, for us, our business is as much about humanity and compassion as it is about optimizing animal health. Virchew is an animal-free, plant-strong, sustainable evolution in canine nutrition.

It's good for dogs.

It's good for the planet.

It's good for our hearts.

What we mean when we say good for our hearts, we mean that another animal, mammal or bird is not used as an ingredient in our foods. This is good for our hearts.

At this time of year, we encourage people to consider a new Thanksgiving or Christmas tradition by sharing extraordinary facts about turkeys!

Did you know if you toss an apple to a group of turkeys, they will play with it like a football? Just like dogs, cats or other companions that share our home, these magnificent birds create long-lasting social bonds with each other and humans; they love to be stroked, petted and cuddled and they HUG!

two children cuddle a white turkey just like a dog or cat and advocated for by virchew plantbased dog meals and treats made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

While most of us can comfortably relate to a dog or a cat as being able to feel pain and emotions such as sadness, happiness, affection and grief, so why is it a different story when it comes to the animals chosen to be ‘farm animals’ and consumed?

Despite the vast knowledge that counters the stereotype of turkeys being 'dumb birds,' many still see these intelligent and playful birds as merely a meal. But if you have ever been lucky enough to spend time with a turkey, you are already aware of how amazing these animals truly are.

two children cuddle a white turkey just like a dog or cat and advocated for by virchew plantbased dog meals and treats made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

Full-Colour Vision & Rocking the Tunes

Turkeys have excellent vision and can see in full colour. Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they have periscopic vision, allowing them to see objects that are not in their direct line of sight. A turkey’s field of vision is 270 degrees, compared to only 180 degrees in humans!

Although they do not have external ears (they have ear openings covered by a small flap of fuzz), they have excellent hearing, love listening to music, and will cluck along with the songs.

Sing Along with Mom

The social life of turkeys begins long before hatching! Like most birds, a nesting turkey hen clucks, whistles, and croons to each chick growing inside the egg. This interaction is critical to the survival of the chicks as they bond with their mothers. Turkeys even purr!

They show us when they're angry!

A turkey’s head and throat will change to blue when calm, bright red when stressed or angry, and a mixture of red, blue, and white when content.

The colours are caused by the blood vessels directly under the skin. When a turkey’s emotions change, the blood vessels contract. This changes how the incoming light scatters and reflects off the turkey’s skin, causing it to appear blue or white.

Related to T-Rex? Yes!

The furcula (the technical term for wishbone) is a bone found in dinosaur skeletons and today’s birds – paleontologists point to this bone as evidence that these birds descended from dinosaurs!

two turkeys walk by just like a dog who loves virchew plantbased dog meals and treats made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

The furcula is situated on the bird’s chest and plays a vital role in flight mechanics. Unfortunately for many of today’s turkeys, farming uses artificial selection for large breast muscles and bodies which has led to birds who cannot even fly.

Turkey Beards are a Thing!

While the beard is always present in male turkeys, approximately 30% of female turkeys also have one; some males boast not just one but two beards, with the number sometimes going up to eight!

a women laughs with a black turkey just like she would a dog or cat and advocated for by virchew plantbased dog meals and treats made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

The beard is comprised of specialized feathers called filoplumes. A beard grows with age and may be used by females to indicate good health and longevity. Others believe the modified feathers serve a sensory function and tell the bird when their contour feathers need adjusting.

Two Stomachs & They Eat Stones? Wow!

Turkeys (and chickens, for that matter) swallow pebbles or small stones to aid digestion. The stones are stored in an organ called the gizzard, where the mechanical breakdown of food occurs since turkeys do not have teeth.

Turkeys might not have teeth, but they do have two stomachs! The glandular stomach is where food is softened and broken down by gastric juices. The food then enters the second stomach, the muscular gizzard, which further dissolves the food by grinding it against the stones.

Presidential Pardons for Turkeys?

It’s widely believed that the first presidential pardon for turkeys started when Abraham Lincoln’s son pleaded that the bird intended for Christmas dinner had a right to live just like any other creature, but it wasn’t until 1989 during George H.W. Bush’s administration that the official pardoning ceremony started.

Let’s Start New Traditions

Turkeys have personalities as distinct and varied as companion animals, and since we truly do not need animal-based foods to thrive, it's time that we start a new tradition? We know too much now, right? And, factory farming (inc. dairy farming) is detrimental to the planet - when we combine turkeys, chickens, pigs and cows/cattle. We can do better. Let's not only be the change, but we can EAT the change.

a turkey and goat connect just like we do with dogs and cats as advocated for by virchew plantbased dog meals and treats made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

Around the Lower Mainland and British Columbia are animal sanctuaries with rescued turkeys living out their lives peacefully and protected. Here are three worth pecking into:

The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary - Aldergrove

Kindred Community Farm Sanctuary - Semiahmoo

A Home for Hooves - Duncan

Image credit - dog and turkey above: Minnow and Blossoms Place Sanctuary 

Our post about turkey love would not be complete without giving a shout out...ummm, snort out, to Esther the Pig's dear friend, Cornelius (AKA Corno (RIP) - scroll down this page to find him and other "residents" or watch his past videos on Instagram).

Virchew invites you to consider not only keeping turkeys off your tables and plates (or out of your dog's bowl), but also sharing the love by supporting the above rescue sanctuaries with visits, volunteering, and donations to continue their amazing work!

PS - want to dish up new delicious dinner options for Thanksgiving or anytime? Try these tasty foods that are available through Greater Vancouver's own, Vegan Supply! And, of course, if you want to give Virchew a try for your doggo, fetch a FREE Sample here.

Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Popular Products

LOVE BOWL - 6 kg. (Med - Lrg Size Dogs)
Virchew's Adult General Maintenance Formulation - The LOVE Bowl Your dog's mealtime has never felt this good. We called our first formulation, The LOVE Bowl. Based on tastebud feedback from all of our Virchew dog customers and sample events, your pooch is gonna LOVE...
Regular price
$125.00
Regular price
Sale price
$125.00
LOVE BOWL - 3 kg. (Sm - Med Size Dogs)
Virchew's Adult General Maintenance Formulation - The LOVE Bowl Your dog's mealtime has never felt this good. We called our first formulation, The LOVE Bowl. Based on tastebud feedback from all of our Virchew dog customers and sample events, your pooch is gonna LOVE digging...
Regular price
$73.00
Regular price
Sale price
$73.00
LOVE Cookies - 100 grams (Limit 3 per order)
Please note: ONLY 3 PER CUSTOMER with food order delivery or 4 with Virchew Shop pickup! If there is another word for love, it has to be cookies! Our LOVE Cookies are plant-powered delish.  Made with the same thoughtful, plant-powered, hypoallergenic ingredients as the Virchew...
Regular price
$10.00
Regular price
Sale price
$10.00

Choose Options

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
Terms & Conditions
What is Lorem Ipsum? Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum. Why do we use it? It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using 'Content here, content here', making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for 'lorem ipsum' will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).
this is just a warning
Login
Shopping Cart
0 items