Originally published in Animal World magazine
Thanksgiving is coming up on November 26, so when acquaintances inevitably ask how you plan to celebrate, what will you say? If your answer involves eating one of the more than 46 million turkeys slaughtered every year for this one holiday, Farm Sanctuary would like to invite you to make more compassionate arrangements. Specifically, we’re calling on all animal lovers to observe “Turkey Day” by showing mercy for these amazing birds — and our unique Adopt-A-Turkey Project makes this as easy as pumpkin pie! Here are some ways to make your Thanksgiving a true celebration of life:
- Sponsor a Turkey: Our Adopt-A-Turkey Project allows people to financially sponsor rescued turkeys living at our shelters in upstate New York and northern California, and thanks to the generosity of caring supporters, we have saved more than 1,000 turkeys since 1986. For a one-time adoption fee of just $25, we’ll send you a special certificate featuring a color photo of and fun details about your new friend. This is an excellent way to personally connect with an individual turkey while helping other animals, because your contribution will help us both care for your adoptee and other rescued farm animals, as well as run our education and advocacy campaigns. Turkey sponsorships also make great holiday gifts, because introducing someone to a new feathered friend sends a powerful message that turkeys are more than just a meal!
- Take Some Turkeys Home: If you’ve ever dreamed of welcoming some deserving turkeys into your family flock, Farm Sanctuary’s Turkey Express adoption event can help make your reverie a reality. Through this component of our Adopt-A-Turkey Project, we’ve been able to place hundreds of turkeys in loving vegetarian homes throughout the country. Families who have adopted turkeys know from firsthand experience how incredibly friendly, warm and sociable these birds are, and that they are capable of developing deep emotional bonds with people and other turkeys. Just having rescued turkeys around your home is like turning it into a miniature sanctuary — and they’re sure to convince friends and neighbors to reconsider their Thanksgiving dinner plans!
- Celebrate a Second Thanksgiving at Farm Sanctuary: Every year in both New York and California, Farm Sanctuary hosts our Celebration FOR the Turkeys, an inspirational event that allows people to hand-feed rescued turkeys a delicious meal during the “Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony.” The Celebration gives people an opportunity to meet these special birds and experience for themselves how friendly and intelligent they are — and frequently, that’s enough to make them see that every turkey deserves an official pardon not only at Thanksgiving, but throughout the year. Plus, in addition to the turkeys’ feast, visitors enjoy their own vegan meal, as well as presentations by eminent animal advocates. The Celebration FOR the Turkeys is fun for the whole family and a great way to honor a noble species! And, new for this year, Farm Sanctuary will also be holding a special holiday benefit for feathered friends at the legendary Tavern on the Green in New York City.
To learn more about turkey sponsorship, home adoption, this year’s Celebrations, and other aspects of Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project, visit adoptaturkey.org or call the organization’s national office at 607-583-2225 ext. 221.