On Oct. 7 and 8, an event known as the “Turkey Trot” will be taking place in Yellville, Arkansas. Part of the town’s “festivities,” include live turkeys being dropped from an airplane that is traveling 500 feet overhead, reported the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Though many of the town’s residents look forward to the bizarre turkey drop, a good number of people who live outside of the area are critical of the choice to throw live birds out of a moving plane.
On Thursday morning, the Facebook page for the Turkey Trot addressed growing outrage for the turkey drop:
For those that keep messaging about turkey drop. Please look into the history. There are bigger fish to fry than to waste your time especially if you don’t live here. Thank you.
According to the Arkansas Times, the individual piloting the plane is Mountain View pharmacist Dana Woods, who has dismissed the allegations that throwing wild turkeys from a moving plane is cruel. PETA has weighed in on the town’s tradition. Gemma Vaughan, PETA animal cruelty investigator stated:
today, there’s no excuse for yahoos to pretend that they don’t know they’re engaging in acts of cruelty that shame them and set a lousy example for their kids,” Vaughan said. “PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any participant for a violation of law, including the destruction of personal property, as a turkey plummets to the ground. Just like dogs and cats, turkeys feel love and happiness, pain and fear. The use of live animals in this event makes Yellville seem as backward as you can get.”
Others, who are not a part of the animal welfare organization have offered their own thoughts on the turkey drop on the town’s festival Facebook page – one user expressed disgust, “I’m not a PETA member. What I am is an intelligent, compassionate, rational human being who sees cruelty and terror when I see it. You people are backward and sadistic. Apparently haven’t evolved past the cave man stage. Sad, sad people. An embarrassment to the human race.”
Those in support of the turkey drop dismiss the cruelty allegations, reminding concerned people that the turkeys can fly and ignoring claims that the drop causes stress and fear in the turkeys who are hurled out of a plane.
Find the Turkey Trot Facebook page here.
(Video of turkey drop below – note, the turkey does not appear to have “flown” after being thrown from the plane)
(Photo via Pixabay)
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