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Save a turkey this Thanksgiving

October 14th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler

Green Right Now

Halloween is still a few weeks out, but for farm animal advocates, it is time to talk turkey.


Ginnifer Goodwin at the Farm Sanctuary (Photo: Ryan Pfluger)

That is, if you want to save a turkey this Thanksgiving, instead of eating one (or instead of eating a factory-farmed animal), the sign up is underway. The Adopt-A-Turkey Project, run by the Farm Sanctuary, has announced its latest sponsor, Big Love star Ginnifer Goodwin, and the details of its program to rescue factory-farmed turkeys.

The group, which has rescued more than a 1,000 turkeys over the last 20-plus years, wants people to consider what they’re eating for the holidays, and also to adopt a rescued bird (for $25) at either of their two shelters in New York and California.

Turkey adopters or sponsors (“sponsored” turkeys stay at the farm) get a certificate with a color photo and fun facts about their gobbling friend. Those who want to actually rescue a bird (they’re said to be sensitive and friendly) can apply to provide a lifelong home for one of 500 rescued turkeys through an adjunct program called “The Turkey Express.”

This year, as in years past, appealing rescued birds will be trotted out as turkey representatives to “vie for the hearts of potential adopters.”

These special ambassador turkeys are Bubbles, Mello, Rhonda, Gideon, Olive and Hawthorn. They will help deliver the Farm Sanctuary message that factory-farmed turkeys are typically raised in tight confinement in dark sheds where they are de-beaked and de-toed without anesthetics and raised so that they “gain weight at an unnaturally fast rate.”

Or as Bubbles notes on the website: “Friends don’t let friends eat turkey at Thanksgiving.”

To learn more, and possibly select a turkey to adopt, see the website, adoptaturkey.org, or call 1-888-SPONSOR.

To find a turkey alternative at the holidays, see the Tofurkey options. The makers of this popular soy-based faux turkey have put together an interesting fact sheet about why eating vegetarian is healthier for the environment and how producing meat uses more resources. They point out, for instance, that 90 percent of the soybeans and 80 percent of the corn raised in the US is used to feed livestock.

Can’t  give up the poultry habit? Find an heirloom, pasture-fed and humanely raised bird through Local Harvest.  You’ll be eating a more nutritional product, full of Omega oils if the bird was pasture fed, and you’ll be supporting more humane treatment of animals.

Mello may or may not be down with that.

Copyright © 2009 Green Right Now | Distributed by Noofangle Media

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