Thanksgiving Miracle! Utah Farmer Releases Turkeys To Activists Who Exposed Factory Farm Cruelty

Photo Credit: Direct Action Everywhere

As seen on Facebook livestreamfactory farm investigators, who have been labeled “terrorists” by the FBI, worked together this year with a turkey farmer in Utah. The farmer, who owns one of the largest operations in the nation, released nine very fortunate turkeys to animal sanctuaries this Thanksgiving.

Monday’s collaboration is the result of an unlikely friendship struck between Wayne Hsiung, the co-founder of the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), and Rick Pitman, the owner of Pitman Family Farms and Norbest, based in Moroni, Utah. The animal rights supporters provided food and holiday gifts for the employees of the plant and other locals. Pitman, in turn, released nine turkeys to the activists in an act of compassion.

Six activists affiliated with DxE, including Hsiung, were charged with multiple felonies and faced years in prison after removing a sick bird from a Norbest farm in 2017. But rather than continuing their fight in court, the two sides decided on a dramatically different path this Thanksgiving: cooperation and compassion.

The cooperation is particularly powerful in contrast with the response of other industry voices in the state. Smithfield Foods responded to a separate DxE investigation of its own facilities by seeking unprecedented racketeering charges against the nonviolent animal rights activists at DxE. The result of those charges was a nationwide FBI “pig-hunt” in pursuit of the two dying piglets activists rescued from Circle Four Farms.

Thankfully, on November 24th, the felony case against Hsiung for rescuing turkeys from the Utah farm in 2017 was dismissed. Prior to the great news today, Hsiung faced a possible felony trial and if convicted, could have faced years in prison.

In addition, Hsiung still faces a felony trial in Transylvania County, North Carolina, beginning on November 29th related to the rescue of a sick goat from a goat farm.

The rescued birds in Utah were immediately taken to animal sanctuaries, where they will live out their lives in peace. DxE hopes the collaboration with Norbest can lead to a different path this holiday season, one where all parties work together to promote transparency and compassion.

“There are so many scary things happening in the world around us. The least we can do is to treat one another with kindness and understanding — especially during the holiday season” said Hsiung. “From activists to farmers and everywhere in between, ordinary people want animals and our environment to be protected, and they’re willing to fight for it.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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