Farm Sanctuary Celebrates Turkeys on Thanksgiving

Farm Sanctuary Celebrates Turkeys on Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 10:00am




For many Americans​,​ turkeys are at the center of​ Thanksgiving ​celebration ​s​ as the main dish, ​although ​how this tradition started is not clear. One animal rights organization decided to give turkeys a different role during the festivities. At ​F​arm Sanctuary, they are guests of honor.

For a few years​ now​, the vegan education, law reform and rescue group Farm Sanctuary organizes an awareness-raising event to celebrate the turkeys it has rescued from the horrors of factory farming. Called Celebration for the Turkeys, it happens across the three sanctuaries the organization runs in the U.S., including Orland and Acton in California ​,​ and Watkins Glen, New York, where the organization started and where the last turkey banquet will be held this year on the 16th of November.

So​,​ what happens? Guests buy tickets to support the work of the organization and see the jolly turkeys pecking on a delicious feast ​put together for them​. Turkey fans know how docile, social and curious the birds are so the date is an opportunity to celebrate this ​impressive ​native bird, whose wild ancestors populated ​North ​America before the colonization of the continent.

It’s a busy day at the Sanctuary. After time spent with the happy turkeys ​during the​ Feeding of the Turkeys ceremony, guests are invited to a gourmet vegan Thanksgiving feast of their own. The organization works with local chefs to create a special menu designed to highlight how delicious vegan good is and how unnecessary the killing of the birds is. Guests are also treated to talks by some prominent speakers​,​ includ​ing​ Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur and psychologist and author, Melanie Joy, author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.

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