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Save a turkey this Thanksgiving

President Barack Obampets 'Apple' National Thanksgiving turkey during ceremony Rose Garden White House WashingtWednesday Nov. 24 2010. National Turkey FederatiChairman

President Barack Obama pets "Apple," the National Thanksgiving turkey during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. National Turkey Federation Chairman Yubert Envia, left, and first daughters, Sasha, second from right, and Malia, right, watch. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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Updated: December 15, 2011 9:53AM

This year, we’re carving out a new tradition for Thanksgiving.

While 300 million turkeys are being slaughtered, our family is choosing to save one. When we learned the reality of life for factory-farmed turkeys, somehow the dead bird on the table lost its allure for our celebration. Bred to grow so large and so quickly, turkeys are often crippled under their own weight. That’s the reality we see when dinner guests clamor for the big, juicy, white breast meat.

The things done by turkey producers would demand felony cruelty charges if done to a cat or dog. We found Clarence, a turkey at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary in Colorado. We’ll be saving him from being a Thanksgiving meal this year. We’re hoping others will step up to create this new tradition of giving thanks by sparing cruel, inhumane death — all in the name of “giving thanks.”

Julie Hanan,

Highlands Ranch, Colo.

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