By, Sammy Caiola
Native Foods Cafe
Earlier this summer I was on a wooded trail in Michigan when I saw the most remarkable thing; a mother turkey crossing the path with a trail of babies following suit. Her plumage was full and colorful, her neck slender and held high as she led her young through the forest. My boyfriend and I stood in silence as the entourage padded on, astounded at the majesty of this animal. I realized it was the first time in my entire life I’d seen a turkey who wasn’t in a grocery store or on a dinner table. And for the majority of Americans, that is the sad truth.
According to a recent CNN article, Americans consumed 46 million turkeys last thanksgiving, and that’s not even counting the 22 million we ate at Christmas last year and the 22 million consumed on easter, according to a Live Science article. Statistics like this break my heart. I know Americans value tradition, but why do so many of our traditions revolve around the killing of innocent animals when there are so many other options?
A smoky-gray wild turkey found mainly in Michigan, much like the one I saw on my hike. Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of myoutdoorbuddy.com.
So start a new tradition with your family this year, and join in on Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-a-Turkey program. for just $30 you can sponsor a turkey at one of the sanctuary’s three shelters for an entire year. You (or the family member whose name you adopt the turkey in) will receive an adoption certificate complete with a color photo and lots of fun details about your new friend. And for $210 you can sponsor the whole flock and send certificates to all of your friends and family! Most of the birds up for symbolic adoption were found abandoned outside factory farms or on roads where they’d fallen from transport trucks. These animals need a lot of love and the folks at Farm Sanctuary can give it to them, but not without your help.
Clove is just one of the rescued turkeys living out his life at the Farm Sanctuary’s Northern California shelter. His favorite foods are tomatoes and pumpkin. Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of farmsanctuary.org.
Farm Sanctuary is a national non-profit rescue organization that rehabilitates and sometimes finds homes for abandoned farm animals like cows, sheep, pigs, goats and turkeys. They’ve got three farm shelters across the United States where they educate about the perils of family farming and promote compassionate treatment of animals. If you’d like to continue supporting the sanctuary past Thanksgiving, you can order their holiday cards here, or become of of their members.
Our Marketing Manager over here at Native Foods has participated in Farm Sanctuary's turkey adoption for the past few years. This year her turkey is Martha and her picture and profile hang proudly on her wall at the office.
Native Foods Cafe, a vegan restaurant
And remember while you’re making your donations, don’t forget to order your cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal from Native Foods Cafe, featuring our signature Native Wellington with Native seitan, steamed kale, rosemary and thyme herbed mushrooms and more. Order here to pick up or have it shipped to friends and family.
Whatever you do with your loved ones this Thanksgiving, just remember that the animals deserve some peace and relaxation too. Help out a feathered friend, and gobble up something else this year.