National family restaurant chain Denny's has begun buying nearly all of its turkeys from a slaughterhouse that uses controlled-atmosphere stunning (CAS)—the most modern and least cruel poultry slaughter method available. Denny's is one of the leading full-service, family-style restaurant chains in the U.S., with more than 1,650 locations across the country.
"With this step, Denny's has helped advance a far less cruel slaughter method that will help prevent turkeys from being scalded to death and having their bones broken when they are slammed into slaughterhouse shackles, among other abuses," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "But the best thing that people can do to help stop the suffering of turkeys is to eat Denny's delicious veggie burgers instead."
With CAS, the oxygen that turkeys breathe is slowly replaced with a nonpoisonous gas that puts the birds "to sleep" while they are still in their transport crates. CAS is an improvement over electronic immobilization, an outdated practice in which birds are dumped onto conveyor belts and slammed upside down by their legs into metal shackles, often resulting in broken wings and broken legs. Birds killed using electronic immobilization are still conscious when their throats are cut, and many are then scalded to death in defeathering tanks.
Other restaurants and grocery stores in the U.S. that are sourcing CAS turkeys include Ruby Tuesday, Starbucks, Subway, Quiznos, Harris Teeter, and Winn-Dixie.