Animal Cruelty

Live Turkeys Thrown From Plane, Chased, Then Slaughtered In Town’s Festival

The event is ironically called Turkey Lives Matter.

Credit: Democratic Gazette

Credit: Democratic Gazette

In a tradition that is both outdated and barbaric, live turkeys are being dropped from planes to entertain humans in an annual festival that goes back 71 years. The turkeys are thrown from an altitude of 500 feet, which is a horrible fate that typically kills the animals on impact when they come crashing down.

Despite the obvious abuse that occurs here, many are quick to defend the practice for various reasons. Many claim that the turkeys can fly and prevent themselves from landing too hard. While it may be true that wild turkeys can fly in short bursts, it’s doubtful that most actually get their bearings fast enough to begin flying when they are suddenly thrown from the plane. Proof of this lies in what the outcome usually is: they die on impact or land in a less than desirable place, which can also lead to their death. Turkeys are also unable to fly when they are at high altitudes.

“I’ve seen a couple of the birds get in the power lines and get burned up by the power lines, and I’ve seen some of them get hit by cars,” one citizen of the town Yellville, Arkansas, Bobby Wilson, told Fox 12. “I do believe it’s inhumane.”

Credit: ABC 13

Credit: ABC 13

On the off chance that a turkey doesn’t die immediately, they still face a horrible fate. Wherever they land, they are chased by adults and children alike until they are caught, and are subsequently slaughtered. Four turkeys were dropped this past Saturday and at least one died.

The event this year was called Turkey Lives Matter, which is certainly ironic. Max Brantley, a senior editor at the Arkansas Times, sarcastically wrote in a blog post last week,

“They could probably get a good crowd in Yellville for a drawing and quartering, too,” he wrote. “Here’s an idea for sport: A drop of frozen Butterball turkeys from 500 feet over the cheering crowd.”

Maybe then the citizens that support this practice would see how horrible it feels to die on impact. However, the pilots that drop the turkeys make sure to steer clear of crowds so that no humans get hurt during the drop.

Many are opposed to this festival, and raising awareness about the horrible event can only help to get this event banned for good.

What are your thoughts on the turkey drop? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

This article (Live Turkeys Thrown From Plane, Chased, Then Slaughtered In Town’s Festival) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

To Top