How to Kill Your Own Turkey, and Why You Should Try It

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LTD Farm in Minnesota lets consumers participate in the process of selecting, killing, and butchering their own turkeys. This documentary from The Perennial Plate is graphic but insightful, and sheds light on why people find the experience so rewarding. 

The Perennial Plate is a web series about local and sustainable food in America, created by Daniel Klein, the host, and Mirra Fine. This is episode 36, Giving Thanks (to Turkeys):

LTD Farm describes their values on their website:

The LTD Farm philosophy is to provide for the animals who then provide for us and you, our customers ... We want them to have good lives, full of normal animal behaviors and experiences. In return they provide us with some of the most amazing farm products imaginable.

Although it's not easy to watch, this video makes a moving argument for knowing where our food comes from, and appreciating the millions of turkeys that are consumed every Thanksgiving. The filmmakers themselves are split; Fine is a vegetarian and Klein is an omnivore. In the very first episode of the series, Klein kills his own turkey on camera, and filming the event actually inspired Fine to become a vegetarian. This year, they skip turkeys altogether, in favor of celebrating side dishes. Check out episode 80, A Turkeyless Interlude below, and find the recipes for sunchoke mash, marinated brussel sprout salad, and celery root stuffing here.

Watch more episodes from the series here

For more information about The Perennial Plate, visit http://www.theperennialplate.com/.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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