Its’ not yet Thanksgiving but Ellen DeGeneres is already back for seconds, as Farm Sanctuary’s “Adopt A Turkey Project” spokesperson for another year. Farm Sanctuary launched the “Adopt a Turkey Project,” 25 years ago to encourage people to consider more compassionate choices during the holidays. For a one time donation of $30, purchasers or “adopters” receive an “Adopt A Turkey” adoption certificate with a color photo and personal details about their rescued turkey, now living in safety, at a Farm Sancturary shelter. The “Adopt A Turkey Project” supports over 1,000 rescued turkeys.
According to DeGeneres, “Every year between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the United States. More than 46 million for Thanksgiving alone,” DeGeneres said. “This Thanksgiving instead of eating a turkey, please join me in adopting one from Farm Sanctuary’s “Adopt-A-Turkey Project.” You can give a turkey something to be thankful for.”
Wild turkeys are the largest birds found in this part of the world, although domestic turkeys like the ones Farm Sanctuary rescues, are typically twice as big as their wild counterparts. In fact, most domestic turkeys are too heavy to fly unlike wild turkeys. Historically, turkeys were so identified with America that Benjamin Franklin wanted a turkey, not a Bald Eagle, to be the national bird of the United States.
In a letter written to his daughter Sally, Franklin compared the turkey with the more popular and eventually chosen Bald Eagle, as a symbol of America.
“For the truth is the Turkey is, in comparison, a much more respectable bird, and withal, a true original native of America . . .He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.”
Thus wrote Benjamin Franklin, a vegetarian from the age of 16, only eating fish when forced to, due to long ocean crossings.
These days, Farm Sanctuary co-founder and President Gene Baur feels similarly about the domestic turkey.
“At Farm Sanctuary, we live with turkeys, so we know they are interesting and intelligent and have complex emotional lives like dogs, cats and other animals,” Baur said, “Sadly, the meat industry subjects turkeys to intolerable cruelty and treats them like inanimate objects with no feelings or personalities. Fortunately, each one of us can choose not to support this cruelty by adopting a turkey at Thanksgiving instead of eating one.”
Join Farm Sanctuary and Ellen DeGeneres by starting a new tradition this Thanksgiving. Adopt a turkey instead of eating one! To view this year’s “adoptable” turkeys, visit www.adoptaturkey.org or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.
Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, promoting legislative, policy and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, go to www.farmsanctuary.org.