IF YOU want to make your Christmas a festival of goodwill to all living creatures, then please choose a vegetarian Christmas dinner instead of a turkey.
Vegetarian recipes books have many seasonal choices, such as chestnut puree and cranberry sauce in puff pastry, or you can buy a turkey-style vegetarian roast at Holland and Barrett and some branches of Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose. What's wrong with eating
turkey? Most turkeys are intensively farmed inside large, overcrowded and dirty sheds. The birds suffer painful, degenerative hip disorders. Ammonia in the urine-soaked litter causes ulcerated feet and hock burns and can burn away breast feathers. Aggression among the stressed birds can lead them to peck each other, causing injuries or even death.
The truth is that most farmed animals - not just turkeys - endure lives of boredom, frustration, physical pain and misery. A wonderful new year's resolution would be to give up meat completely.
For a free guide to a compassionate Christmas, call 01732 364 546 or visit www.animalaid.org.uk
RICHARD MOUNTFORD Development manager