WATCH: Book of condolences for 'Terry' the Turkey outside city butchers
The Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) held a candle-lit vigil outside a Dublin butchers today, to highlight the fact that thousands of animals will be slaughtered for the lucrative Christmas market.
The protest took the form of a 'memorial' dedicated to a turkey named 'Terry'.
His framed photo was displayed on the city-centre footpath, alongside several lilies, flickering candles and a leather bound book of condolences.
John Carmody of ARAN told Independent.ie that the Irish public need to be made aware of the conditions in which some turkeys are forced to live before they are slaughtered.
"At Christmas tens of thousands of turkeys will be killed for the festive dinners so we have taken one of these birds out of the shadows and brought him to public attention.
"We are appealing to people to leave Terry the turkey and ther animals that want to live off their dinner plates this Christmas.
"There has been a huge shift in Irish people's perception when it comes to animal welfare, many are taking up veggie or vegan diets.
He painted a bleak picture of the lifestyle of the bird, describing "windowless sheds, with very little chance of getting outside into the fresh air."
Alan Mc Kay, a butcher, has worked for FX Buckley's on Talbot Street for forty years.
He said that the Irish butcher shop adhered to high standards when sourcing their turkeys.
"We make sure that all our turkeys are well looked after and well bred.
"We have been dealing with both McGahey's and Carlow Foods for the past 50 years," he said.
Alan was tolerant of the memorial which took place directly outside the butchers.
"If they want to protest in a peaceful manner so be it," he said.
Dubliner Edel Moore was out shopping when she passed the protest and stopped to talk to members of ARAN.
"I'm vegan for the last 3 and a half years and I've lost several stone due to my new lifestyle.
"People need to be more aware that it's not right to put something dead on a plate and eat it," she said.
Meanwhile Siobhan, a member of ARAN, was busy giving out leaflets promoting a vegan lifestyle.
She told Independent.ie that she recently became vegan after being a vegetarian for several decades.
"I saw a video 30 years ago that showed pigs being beaten and dragged across the floor.
"I've been attending ARAN demonstrations since 2006," she said.
Siobhan said that this is one of the first times that ARAN have staged a demonstration directly outside a business.
"Animals have no voice. The only way you draw attention to this is by going to premises where meat products are sold," she said.
Darragh Buckley of FX Buckley's was unfazed as the protest took place outside his business.
"It's drawing attention to our shop which we have just finished refurbishing in recent weeks.
"People can trust the turkey they get from FXB's.
"We are concerned about the animal's welfare and I make trips down to the farms throughout the year to see the attention and care that they give the birds," he told Independent.ie.