Sponsor a turkey…wait, what?
As vegetarians, we say…phooey on the Thanksgiving tradition of a turkey on a table, surrounded by delicious sides and pumpkin pie. While we’ll keep the delicious sides and pie, we would much rather see turkeys running, playing, and snuggling (yes, snuggling!) with humans.
Every year, animal sanctuaries rescue as many turkeys as they can from that ugly fate, for which vegetarians and vegans everywhere are truly thankful. However, these sanctuaries are then responsible for the expenses associated with saving lives…the medical costs of rehabilitating injured or otherwise traumatized birds, and the costs of feeding and sheltering them for the rest of their natural lives.
Which is why they need our help!
When you sponsor a turkey at a sanctuary, you are helping to pay for these expenses, thus contributing to the health and happiness to your adopted bird. You also are likely providing some much-needed anxiety relief to sanctuary workers, who may worry whether their donations will be enough to provide continued care for their animal friends.
So you want to sponsor a turkey…here are three great places to do just that:
Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has been rescuing animals from inhumane conditions and educating the public about the cruelties of factory farming. In three locations–Watkins Glen, NY, Orland, CA, and Los Angeles, CA–Farm Sanctuary provides safe, forever homes for over 900 rescued animals.
Begun the year of its founding, the Adopt a Turkey Project encourages people to sponsor a turkey at Thanksgiving instead of eating one. This year’s spokesperson is vegan actor and animal activist Alec Baldwin.
For just $30, donors can sponsor one of the Farm Sanctuary turkeys: Kristoff, Marshall, Perdita, Ruthie, Sandy, or Spunky. As acknowledgement of their generous donation, sponsors will receive an Adopt a Turkey certificate, plus a photo of and some fun facts about their “adopted” bird.
For those with a larger budget, a gift of $180 will sponsor the whole flock; donors at this level can choose to name family and friends as honorary donors and have adoption certificates sent to them.[youtube id=”xM-iSqmJ9_4″]
The Gentle Barn is currently home to 170 animals, including (but not limited to!) cows, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, llamas, and dogs, all of whom have been rescued from horrifying abuse and neglect.
Sanctuary founder Ellie Laks and her amazing family, sanctuary staff, and volunteers take great care to rehabilitate these traumatized animals and nurse them back to both physical and emotional health.
The sanctuary is open to the public and regularly hosts groups of at-risk youth and victims of emotional trauma, allowing the animals to give back in turn by helping to heal humans.
The Gentle Barn is currently home to 12 turkeys in need of sponsorship. For only $7 a month, you can help to provide a safe, well-fed, and happy life to a sweet turkey named Adeline, Alice, Heather, Luke Skywalker, McKenna Rockett, Nalla, Paloma, Peyton Manning, Rama, Scarlett, Sir Francis (aka Sir Fancy Pants) or Sun.
The owners and staff at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in Woodstock, New York have made it their special mission to rescue animals of all sorts from situations of extreme abuse and neglect, from slaughterhouses and livestock auctions, and from overcrowded animal shelters. They work to rehabilitate these animals and rehome as many as they can. Those that cannot be placed find their forever home at the sanctuary.
Donations in the form of animal sponsorships are always welcome; however, in the months of November and December, sponsoring a turkey at or above the $50 level will get donors a special bonus: a beautiful thank you card including their sponsored turkey’s picture and story.
Depending on your budget, you can choose from the following sponsorship levels, all of which will provide food, shelter, and care for the specified number of birds for one year:
- One Lucky Turkey – $50
- Two Talkative Turkeys – $100
- Three Thankful Turkeys – $150
- The Friendly Flock $250
This year, the following turkeys are available for adoption: Danielle, Sophie, Slick, Amy, Marley, Beatrice, Jean, Loren, and Tomoko.