Thanksgiving Lite

Turning the Tide for Turkeys




photo courtesy of the Farm Sanctuary

Turkeys and Thanksgiving go together for 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation. Each year, more than 46 million turkeys provide the entrée for gatherings, yielding leftovers for sandwiches, stew, chili, casseroles and turkey burgers. In 2011, 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S., while a few lucky birds avoided the chopping block.

The pardoning of a White House turkey began in 1863 when President Lincoln’s son, Tad, interceded on behalf of the bird and its life was spared. Now a tradition, two dressed birds and one live turkey are delivered to the White House each year. The live bird is “pardoned” and lives out its life on a historical farm.

At the Farm Sanctuary, turkeys get sponsored or adopted instead of eaten. “Turkeys are friendly and follow you around like puppy dogs. They’ll try to sit on your lap to be petted,” says Gene Baur, president and co-founder of the sanctuary’s New York and two California locations. “At our Celebration for the Turkeys, we feed them cranberries, pumpkin pie and squash. People visit to see them enjoy it. Guests’ snacks are vegan.”

Hundreds of turkeys have been adopted and given a lifelong home since the program’s inception in 1986. More than 8,000 people pledged to sponsor a turkey living at the sanctuary in a recent year, proving it’s not necessary to be a president to pardon a turkey.


Source: FarmSanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-turkey


This article appears in the November 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Running with the Kids

Families with children as young as 5 easily bond when they mindfully run together at a fun pace.

Livable Communities We Love

Across the country, cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Portland are finding fresh new ways to create engaging street life for residents while eco-upgrading their green spaces, services and infrastructure.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags