November is here, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. While you will be avoiding awkward political conversations with your Great Aunt Karen, turkeys will be overcooked and not enjoyed by families everywhere. We started to wonder: where are turkeys the safest? If you were a turkey, where would you live? We created the TNS Index (Turkey November Safety) to access their best options.

Using data from our BusinessCounts database (employees in meat packing and pet food manufacturing), and MRI data on leisure activities and diet, we finally have some answers. Take a look at the map below, broken down by counties. We broke down “safety” as:

  • Percentage of hunters
  • Percentage of birdwatches – birdwatchers generally don’t shoot the birds they see, except with cameras
  • Percentage of vegans and vegetarians

We can break down the TNS as follows:

  • Are you Serious?: These counties should be avoided at all costs. Employment at meat packing and processing plants are high in these counties, making them very dangerous for turkey habitats.
  • Don’t go here: Vegans in these counties are sparse, and hunting is popular.
  • Avoid Daytime Travel: There are more hunters here, but most people think that turkeys come in bags labeled “Butterball”. Even if they want to eat a turkey, they probably won’t recognize one as food if they came across one on the street.
  • Exercise Caution: More likely to be vegans/vegetarians, more birdwatchers than hunters, and meat processing and packing plants aren’t opening in these locations anytime soon.
  • Safe For Turkeys: These areas are the best for turkeys looking for a new home. Hunters are sparse, and vegans/vegetarians are plentiful.

But, what about population density – and traffic? For our index, we don’t take these into account. Everybody knows that it is chickens that cross the road to get to the other side. (I’ll see myself out now)

Also, we do demographics, and cannot comment on the obvious fact that there are likely more predators in some areas than others. If you are relocating a local turkey population, we suggest that you contact the Sierra Club to find out the risk in those areas.