Turkeys saved by JACKfm listeners

From a press release to
Posted 18 December 2014, 8.19am gmt

Mats Hagwall

Listeners to Oxfordshire's JACKfm have voted to save two free range turkeys from getting the chop this Christmas. The final vote ended with 67% of people in favour of saving Sage and Onion.

The turkeys from Callow Farm which is a free range totally traditional turkey farm were bred along with 298 other turkeys for Christmas all of whom are already on their way to the table. They were spared from the initial cull after Breakfast Presenter Caroline Verdon ordered them for her Christmas dinner but then had second thoughts: "I’ve always been happy to eat meat so long as it was free range but I'd never before been in a situation where an animal that I'd seen running around an orchard was going to end up directly on my plate and it made me uncomfortable. I'm absolutely thrilled Sage and Onion have been saved, it was the right thing to do."

As part of a debate about food provenance, JACKfm launched the 'cook it or keep it' campaign asking listeners to vote on what should happen to the turkeys. The poll has accompanied interviews with vegans, vegetarians, farmers and animal welfare specialists.

JACKfm have been working with PETA to select Sage and Onion's forever home and is delighted that they will be going to Hopefield Animal Sanctuary. JACKfm will be making a donation to the sanctuary to make sure that Sage and Onion will be kept away from the Christmas dinner plates for the rest of their lives.

Programme Director Tim Parker said: "The response we have had has been phenomenal. From people coming forward saying it had made them have conversations with their children about food and its origins for the first time, to those who said it had encouraged them to think more about the lifestyle that animals were having before they made it to the plate. We're really glad people voted to save Sage and Onion and that our turkeys will now go on to have a lovely life in a sanctuary."

Ben Williamson from PeTA said: “We’re delighted that the British public have made their choice to keep the animals but 10 million turkeys are going to be served up as centre pieces on Christmas tables and we would like them to extend their compassion. Each meat eater in the UK is responsible for the death of hundreds of animals [.…] Everyone can save an animal’s life just by choosing delicious healthy plant based foods and we hope this encourages people to take the longer term view.”

To accompany the interviews we've already run with experts in the farming industry, the field of animal welfare and PETA, JACKfm will be broadcasting a 2 hour special on Sunday from 9am into food and food provenance.

More information