Turkeys are some of the most misunderstood animals around. These majestic birds are incredibly intelligent and social beings. They love nothing more that a good snuggle with their caretakers and have been known to purr when they are happy. Not to mention they have been known to memorize geography and are fantastic parents and friends to one another. Despite all their awesome traits, turkeys are often overlooked and viewed as nothing more than food.  Thanksgiving day plays a huge role in the perpetuation of this idea – after all, what would the dinner table look like without a massive turkey on it? Well, not everyone thinks this way. In fact, at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, they celebrate turkeys with the Thanksliving gala, instead.

This special event celebrates the lives of turkeys and recognizes that the way to show true gratitude is through compassion. “Every year, 46 million turkeys are killed for the Thanksgiving holiday alone,” said Shelter Director Kathy Keefe. “Today, we celebrate our rescued turkeys and the 350 animals at the Sanctuary who are spared from this horrible fate. Turkeys are sensitive, curious, and intelligent animals – and they deserve better.”

Advertisement

A Bonafide Turkey Party

We couldn’t agree more which is why we are so happy to see Amy, Beatrice, Tomoko, Marley and best friends Dani and Sophie celebrating the holidays with vegan pumpkin pie like the rest of us! Especially because their early lives in factory farms were full of suffering.

Thanksliving16_MCacioppo-4043-X2

 

We can only imagine the awful experiences these sweet souls went through and even today their bodies still show the signs of the cruelty that turkeys raised for meat endure. In their short lives, turkeys are subjected to numerous inhumane practices including beak and toe-cutting, a process that is done with hot blades and no anesthesia and is used to keep the turkeys from pecking and clawing each other while they are packed into dark rooms by the thousands as they await their final fate.

Thanksliving16_MCacioppo-4095-X2

 

Beatrice gets a special plate made for her because her beak was so severely trimmed that she needs to be fed separately to ensure she’s getting enough food.

Thanksliving16_MCacioppo-4073-X2

 

Despite all that they have survived these rescues are still willing and trusting enough to let humans interact with them and their gentle dispositions remind us that turkeys are individuals that deserve protection, love, and affection.  Yes – affection! Lots of people don’t know this but turkeys like to be pet too (move over cats and dogs)! Sweet Dani loves getting pet so much she’ll just crawl onto your lap while Sophie and Amy will let you pet them to sleep!

Thanksliving16_MCacioppo-4026-X2

A Better Life for Turkeys 

If you want to help turkeys you can start by leaving them off your plate this Thanksgiving or sponsoring a turkey instead! You get a card, a photo and the story of your rescued friend as well as all the good feels of knowing that you are helping provide food and shelter to a turkey rather than harming it for the sake of tradition. And while you and your family are discussing your new honorary adoptee you can share some delicious vegan recipes from our Food Monster Recipe App!

Advertisement

All image source: Woodstock Farm Sanctuary