Between 260 and 300 million turkeys are slaughtered annually in the United States, according to USDA statistics.
Of these, approximately 45 million are killed for Thanksgiving, and 22 million are killed for Christmas. Per capita turkey consumption, which has increased steadily in the United States, averages just below 18 pounds per person. In 1970, turkey consumption per person averaged just 6.4 pounds.
The White House turkey is pardoned and sent to the Washington Zoo each year during Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Prayer — The following is a prayer you can do with your family on Thanksgiving. You can also do Namokar Mantra Jap.
Today we give thanks for this vegetarian meal and the people who have labored to harvest and prepare this meal for us. We give thanks for the many lives that have contributed to our lives. We also ask for forgiveness from the living beings that we have harmed, intentionally and unintentionally.
We are grateful for our health and the opportunity to eat with others on this day. We aspire, with compassionate hearts, to use the energy that we gain from this meal and our friends to contribute to the peace and happiness of all living beings.
We pray that all the people of the world will avoid inflicting harm on animals and fellow human beings and practice nonviolence and compassion. We express our sorrow at the suffering of all the turkeys and other animals that are being slaughtered. May peace and compassion grow in ourselves and extend to all around us.
Source: Dr. Jina Shah of Northern California and Jaina Education Committee