This event is dropping live turkeys from the sky for fun
UPDATE (10/9/2016, 3:30 PM ET)
Thanks to your help, this campaign helped put this issue in the national spotlight, including coverage in the Huffington Post (Arkansas Town Is Dropping Live Turkeys From Plane Again This Year) and the Washington Post (The ‘barbaric’ tradition of throwing live turkeys from planes continues in the Ozarks).
The bad news is that the "turkey drop" did happen both Friday and Saturday, at least one turkey died on impact. However, the national outcry was real. By being forced to remove sponsors from the event's website, it is extremely unlikely that top sponsoring companies like Arvest Bank and Harp's Food will continue to put money behind the festival so long as it includes the cruel "turkey drop." This means we made it a lot more likely the drop won't happen again.
What's next: nonprofit animal welfare organizations, including Farm Sanctuary, are proceeding with filing animal cruelty charges since the "drop" clearly violates the state's animal welfare act. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for the latest.
Farm Sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates farmed turkeys; consider making a donation to their "Adopt a Turkey" program this year in time for Thanksliving.
Although the "turkey drop" is OVER as of Sunday, 10/9, feel free to send a letter directly to sponsors explaining your disappointment. Please edit the sample email as you see fit.
This "Turkey Trot" event in Yellville, Arkansas happens every year, and every year they throw live turkeys out of a plane to draw a crowd. This is obviously cruel and absolutely unnecessary. According to Farm Sanctuary, an animal welfare nonprofit, the "turkey drop" is technically in violation of the Arkansas Animal Cruelty Act, so it's illegal -- even though fans of the drop have tried to argue that it's not.
While other organizations try to urge local officials to act on the turkey drop's illegality, let the event's sponsors (businesses that provide money to help fund the event in exchange for exposure) know that most folks in Arkansas and across the country prefer to treat turkeys humanely. As the saying goes, money talks. If a major sponsor pulls their support, the Turkey Trot will be forced to reconsider allowing the drop.
I've found the email addresses for leadership at some of the Turkey Trot's top sponsors. All you have to do is send them an email letting them know how you feel. I've already drafted a sample email for you so it's easy, just click "start writing" to the right.
Feel free to copy and paste this example below:
Hi there -- I heard about the "turkey drop" at the upcoming Turkey Trot event. Although I know the event brings the community together, and your business certainly contributes significantly to the area, your sponsorship of an event that drops live turkeys from an airplane for fun reflects poorly on your business and staff.
Most people, when given the choice, do not want to inflict pain and suffering on other creatures. The "turkey drop" is an intentional and unnecessary act of violence on animals that have a right to their own life, and to live without fear of pain. What's more, the drop is technically illegal and in violation of the state's animal welfare act.
As a top fiscal sponsor of the event, please urge the organizers of the Turkey Trot event to cancel the "turkey drop."