The Vinyl Cafe team has posted
their solution to this important issue
and things sound positive.

Please see the Vinyl Cafe Facebook page for updates
A conversation has been started, be sure to write and thank them for that conversation and also encourage them to now actually speak out against animal abuse.
As well as being wonderful storytellers, they are also good listeners.

Toronto Star: Vinyl Cafe's Dave Cooks the Turkey sanitized to banish turkey abuse
Huffington Post: Request to remove violence from Christmas story results in threats of violence
Huffington Post: CBC Radio Needs To Omit Language That Normalizes Abuse of Animals

Original letter:

Dear Vinyl Cafe,
I encourage you to please edit your Dave Cooks the Turkey story so that it no longer jokes about turkey abuse. There have been several high profile farmed turkey abuse undercover investigations recently (see Mercy for Animals' campaign: www.turkeytorture.ca) showing how widespread this problem is in Canada.
Quietly omitting the part of your story that normalizes or celebrates abuse would be constructive. Going even further and sharing why the story is being edited would do a great deal to bring positive changes to people's perspectives and to turkey lives. We all need to do our part to speak out against any abuse.
[Write additional comments here, please be polite]

The Vinyl Cafe is asking for feedback about their decision, you may write them here if you wish. Please be polite and constructive.

* Above undercover footage used is from Mercy for Animals' 2014 Canadian turkey farm investigation. Get involved: www.turkeytorture.ca
** "Dave Cooks the Turkey" clip used without permission, but Stuart McLean's stories are available in books and on CDs here or at sensible book and record stores across North America.

Some comments from concerned listeners:

"Anyone who can bring themselves to watch some of the footage of factory farmed animal abuse would have to be in serious psychological denial to not recognize that something is profoundly wrong in this type of treatment towards animals. Stewart McLean is an intelligent, articulate individual, I'm sure he could tap into his creative intelligence and come up with a replacement line. Thank you Stewart for all the laughs, but yes, times have changed, animal abuse jokes are right up there with racism and sexism."

"Please do the right thing and use your platform to reach people about why animals being abused isn't funny..."

"I respect your show and know your view would be different and perhaps more humane if you saw for yourself the conditions these birds live in. Maybe it is time to take the show on the road for a first hand glimpse at a factory farm. Not a laughing matter."

"I do not find this funny, as any other form of violence (ex. abuse of women) would be just as innapropriate on my mind. Please take this off as abuse is nothing to laugh about."

"This further promotes a culture of disconnect and disrespect towards animals. This cultivates hate, violence and oppression and normalizes it among a population that is far too desensitized from violence and cruelty against animals. Tradition, as we already know, is an unacceptable reason to not change something that is wrong. If we used this notion to guide our actions, we would be in a very different world. CBC, you can do better than this. Please do just that."

"I listen to CBC all the time and have such respect for all your shows which is why I was very disappointed to hear jokes about turkey abuse. If my tax dollars are paying for CBC to be up and running I would hope that my voice and the voices of many others are heard and you end all jokes about animal abuse. You wouldn't dare joke about human abuse and it should be no different for animals - they feel pain but unfortunately they cant speak and we need to speak for them. I encourage you to use your air time to educate people about treating animals with respect. "

"I am a regular listener to vinyl Café. I find the stories witty smart down to earth & certainly part of the glue that keeps our country together. It seems to me omitting a factually cruel & abusive practise as a joke would be a forward way of thinking. You guys are great writers & can easily find a joke and text that does not lend itself to this archaic underestimating of the suffering that millions of birds are forced to endure, especially at this time of year."

"As both a Canadian and a CBC listener, it pains me that you are doing this for the sake of tradition. ... Be better than this, and show the country that we can in fact do better, and be better. It's not a lofty goal, and all it takes is one instance of change to create more - be that example, and maybe as a country, we can step up and show the world that we're evolving into a society that understands human lives are not the only lives that have value."

"I love Vinyl Café and the Dave and Morley stories but it gives me a knot in my stomach when I hear anything that makes fun of a poor creature who was killed so people could stuff themselves. Please don't promote abuse of turkeys..."

"stuart mcclean, thought you were a creative individual? well we certainly will not be purchasing any of your books in the future. making fun of animal cruelty is no laughing matter. shame on you these are live intelligent beings! wake up! waiting you your apology on the air."

"Not funny.....abuse is not to be laughed about. It makes no difference who the victim is, it's wrong. This causes insensitivity in people, and if you approve of torturing a turkey, then why not a dog or cat. That wouldn't be allowed, so please end these segments. Disappointed they haven't ended already."

"There's nothing funny about animal abuse and suffering. Please adjust your thoughts and help to educate others."

"I don't see animal cruelty as a laughing matter. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination and violence are no laughing matters either so why is speciesism funny?"

"After carefully listening over the years to your subsequent stories involving animals or birds, I realize that you seem to find amusement in animals suffering and turn the radio off when Vinyl Cafe comes on."

"Please omit this story as it actually is quite sad, not funny at all. I love the Vinyl Café and I would like to think that the heart I hear in your stories applies to all living beings not just the human ones. Thank you for your kind consideration."

"I am attending your show on December 20th in Ottawa. Please do not make me regret my decision to see this show live, or support you in your craft."

Piebird Farm Sanctuary

Video by Piebird Farm Sanctuary -- www.piebird.ca/sanctuary

Mercy for Animals

Undercover footage used is from Mercy for Animals' 2014 Canadian turkey farm investigation. Get involved: www.turkeytorture.ca

Vinyl Cafe - Turkey
Vinyl Cafe - Stuart McLean