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Does Your Thanksgiving Turkey Make You Tired From the Prozac?

December 3, 2013

A Thanksgiving turkey meal seems about as American as Prozac these days, and given our propensity for these American past-times,  it appears that helpful turkey farmers have just included the Prozac directly into the turkey meat, whether it’s intentional or not is up for debate. According to national news reports, Prozac is just one of many drug findings in turkey meat:

This month the  Associated Press reported that some U.S. turkeys are being fed beer to make them “fatter, more flavorful and juicier.” After drinking the alcohol, one bird “appeared rather dazed, with eyes narrowed to slits and beer dribbling out of its beak,” reported AP. Getting birds drunk may sound innocuous, but other human fare turkeys are fed is not as amusing. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Arizona State University examined feather meal from U.S. chickens and turkeys and  found traces of the pain reliever acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol), the antihistamine diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl) and the antidepressant fluoxetine (the active ingredient in Prozac). Turkey producers are even looking at giving turkeys  statins like Zocor.

So now turkeys are so hard to raise or bring down that people are getting them drunk? Never mind fatter and more flavorful? Which, by the way does not apply to all the beer drinkers who develop that unattractive belly from too many brewskis. I don’t find the whole bit of getting turkeys drunk amusing, as the above quote seems to imply, but then again, other people have strange responses to complaints about animal welfare, most notably that animal welfare doesn’t concern them when they sit down to dinner.

Butterball, one of the largest producers of Thanksgiving turkeys in the nation, has been repeatedly investigated for instances of animal cruelty, to the point that its employees were criminally charged with animal cruelty. And not only are the employees proven to be cruel to the animals at Butterball, but the turkeys are sick, very sick, sick with Clostridium dificile, which when it infects humans has necessitated “fecal transplants.” Yes, you read that correctly, transplanting fecal material from one human to another, because the infection can be almost to eradicate any other way. Who knew that sharing turkey could lead to sharing poo when we all sat down to dinner.

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