Just before my birthday, I received a message that began:

Victoria - 2011Ellen DeGeneres Wants You to “Adopt” a Turkey This Thanksgiving

Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey project celebrates 25 years of changing the way America thinks about turkeys

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – October 19, 2011 – Who can resist the adorable faces of turkeys gobbling for compassion at Thanksgiving? Not Ellen DeGeneres. That’s why she’s back for the second year in a row to serve as Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project spokesperson, inviting everyone to save, not eat, a turkey this holiday season.

Says DeGeneres: “Did you know that every year between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the United States? More than 46 million for Thanksgiving alone. So, this Thanksgiving instead of eating a turkey, please join me in adopting one from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project and you can give a turkey something to be thankful for.”

For 25 years, the Adopt-A-Turkey Project has put smiles on the faces of both carnivores and vegetarians alike, while providing support for the care of more than 1,000 rescued turkeys and inspiring people everywhere to make more compassionate choices. For a one-time donation of just $30, adopters or a recipient of their choice will receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate complete with color photo of a rescued turkey who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters and fun details about their adopted turkey.


Payton - 2011Thanks to my husband, we didn’t just adopt one turkey. We adopted the whole flock! I actually teared up with gratitude. I had just met the kindest, most affection (yes, affectionate!) turkeys at a Thanksliving fundraising event at another farm sanctuary in Woodstock, NY. These birds are absolutely sentient beings with unique personalities and fondness for compassionate humans, not that I ever doubted. I know this is true of the pigs, chickens and cows too.

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur says “Here 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. 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.”


Thanksgiving is a grim time for turkeys with horrid housing, rough “milking” of males, artificially inseminating females, and living a miserable life … If you have a heart for these sweet birds, learn more about what your grocery dollars support.


Our flock now includes Skip, who advises prospective adopters “When preparing Thanksgiving dinner, skip the turkey!;” Antoinette, who declares ”Let them eat squash!;” Elizabeth, who demurs “This Thanksgiving, give a turkey the royal treatment;” Victoria, who proclaims ”A holiday feast that’s cruelty-free is one fit for a queen;” Payton, who counsels “In a ton of ways, compassion pays;” Amelinda, who reveals “I’ll be having a happy Thanksgiving, thanks to kind people like you;” and Raphael, who pleads “Picture a more compassionate world. Start with Thanksgiving.”

Sponsored Turkeys


To join Ellen DeGeneres – and me – in starting a new tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one and to view this year’s “adoptable” turkeys, visit adoptaturkey.org or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.

25 rescued baby turkeys are now receiving care. When you give a special gift of $50 or more to the Adopt-A-Turkey Project in their honor, you will receive an e-certificate that features these rescued baby turkeys. Your gift helps provide care for innocent farm animals like these babies, and supports all of our work to protect all farm animals.


And now we’re off to wrangle our truly “guilt-free-range” Tofurkey, smashed and buttered potatoes, sweet cranberry sauce, herbed onion stuffing and pumpkin pie. Our thanksgiving won’t be lacking in the least. In fact, it’s so very satisfying to wish the turkeys a wonderful feast as well.

Farm Sanctuary Turkey Feast

Happy Thanksgiving and Compassionate Living for All!