If you’re a horror buff, you’ll get the reference when I shriek, “SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!” If you’re unfamiliar, I’m referring to a famous scene in Soylent Green in which Charlton Heston realizes that mankind has been inadvertently slurping down human remains. Yes, inadvertent cannibalism is horrible—but seeing your brethren cooked in an oven is even worse. That’s what happened to an unfortunate turkey prior to last week’s Thanksgiving feast.
The New York Post reports that a TikToker “split audiences online” after posting a video of a live turkey peering at a dead turkey roasting in the oven. The 11-second video, uploaded by user @our10acres, shows the turkey looking into an oven, which is slightly ajar. Inside, a gorgeous golden turkey roasts to perfection. “It’s okay,” the narrator tells the live turkey. “You don’t know him.”
The clip scored more than 40 million views—some of which were less than friendly. A few commenters seemed to think the video constituted animal cruelty, with one writing, “That’s not even remotely funny.” Other TikTokers joked around, like the commenter who wrote “wait hold up—is dat Phil?”
In response, the TikToker, who appears to own a small farm, spoke out against the haters. “Big RED was not traumatized,” the TikToker wrote, apparently referring to the turkey by his Christian name. “He was mad I wouldn’t let him eat [the other turkey].”
Are turkeys able to recognize their headless, roasting comrades? My guess is no. Though wild turkeys are described as “highly intelligent and unpredictable,” the turkey in the TikTok appears to be a domesticated Jersey Buff turkey. In other words, he’s a bit of an airhead.
If I had to guess, I’d say Big Red probably went about his day just fine. That leads us to the real question here: what was a live turkey doing in the house, anyway?