Friday, January 18th, 2019

Turkey Talk

Published on October 18, 2008 by   ·   8 Comments Pin It

Laura Nyro had a song called “Gardenia Talk” in one of her last records.   She sang “Gardenia Talk, oooh oooh” over and over again.   This morning, as a sliver of frosty chill seeped into my bedroom through the tiniest of cracks, and the dogs snuggled by my feet, I woke up thinking “Turkey Talk, oooh oooh.”     It’s time to talk Turkey.   It’s the juncture for everyone in America   whence we start planning our when and where’s for T-giving; where some people go away to avoid the family fistacuffs bound to go down, and others (comme moi) plan pot lucks with their chosen family.

May I suggest a pre-Holiday alternative?   How about instead of eating the Turkey’s (sweet, intelligent birds who love to show off their handsome feathers) – we celebrate their lives as cohabitants of this global warmed earth.     Do you really need to eat a turkey?

A fantastic piece by Bill Maher that appeared in last years Huffington Post that asked George Bush to pardon all the turkeys, may make you think twice. Here’s an excerpt:

“I ask you to do what I’m going to do and pardon a turkey this Thanksgiving. It’s not hard. Just eat something else (ideas here and here). Not someone else, because it doesn’t seem fair to spare a turkey and roast a hunk of pig or cow instead. If we can bow our heads in gratitude for our families, our friends and our big screen TVs, and then carve into a creature who lived a miserable life and died a horrible death, then our ethics are about as sensible as Britney’s parenting skills.”

Read more about that piece here.   This year, you will find numerous members of the Girlie Girl Army at Farm Sanctuary’s Thanksgiving event; where we will celebrate the lives of all creatures.

Let’s rejoice with the few happy Turkey’s lucky enough to be living out their full lives in Sanctuary’s – rather than crammed in Holocaust-like factory farms.   Most Turkeys’ beaks and toes are burned off with a hot blade. Many suffer heart failure or debilitating leg pain, often becoming crippled under the weight of their genetically manipulated and drugged bodies.     The definition of Thanksgiving (via Sarah Hale) was giving thanks for God’s mercy; “They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.” What is merciful about eating a tortured creature? tells us; “In the United States alone, approximately 350 million turkeys are bred for slaughter every year. Over 45 million of these birds are destined for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Biologically altered to grow extremely large in a very short amount of time, commercial turkeys suffer from myriad health complications, including heart disease and painful leg disorders. Abnormally large-breasted, these weight-burdened turkeys are no longer able to reproduce naturally; therefore, the majority of turkeys raised for food are artificially inseminated. Given only three square feet of floor space on which to spend their lives, each bird is forced to endure beak and toe mutilations. Intended to prevent crowded birds from injuring one another, both procedures are performed without the use of anesthesia and can cause extreme pain, stress and even death. Although turkeys have a natural life expectancy of about ten years, they are commonly slaughtered between twelve and twenty-six weeks of age.”

This holiday season, try something new.

Relax and rejuvenate with the very special residents at Farm Sanctuary‘s New York and  California Shelters on Saturday, November 22 as part of their annual Celebration FOR the Turkeys. Heralded by people across the nation, the Celebration brings animals and their advocates together for a compassionate take on Thanksgiving. Guests delight in quality time with rescued animals, attend exceptional presentations, participate in our famous Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony, and dine on a decadent vegan holiday feast. Reservations are required for both California and New York sanctuary events.

California Shelter – Orland, CA
The California Celebrationcosts $40 per person and includes a catered vegan holiday dinner.
This year’s special guest is activist and actress, Emily Deschanel and
Herbivore Magazine founder Josh Hooten.

New York Shelter  – Watkins Glen, NY
The New York Celebration costs $10 per family and features a potluck-style feast.
Guests should also plan to bring a vegan dish to feed eight people.
This year’s special guest is Food Not Bombs founder, Keith McHenry.

Get more details and REGISTER TODAY!

Reservations are required for both events by November 14, 2008.
Register early as these events usually sell out!
Reservations can also be made by calling 607-583-2225 ext. 221.

Girlie Girl Army founder, Chloe Jo, will be at the California event.   Come say hello, and give a turkey a cranberry.   Here’s to GIVING and LIVING, and leaving the other crap traditions behind. Can’t make any of these wonderful events?   Add more veg fare to your table this year.   A simple google search will turn up more recipes than you could cook in a lifetime.   Go buy a copy of our favorite cookbook “Veganomicon” and get inspired!   One last tip:   Instead of buying flowers, ADOPT-A-TURKEY!   Sounds crazy?   Read all about it on

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. Tamara says:

    This is an awesome post – lots of great ideas! We are just about 4-5 hours away from the CA shelter and I would really love to be there. Maybe we’ll try to make it. We’re actually going to be Farm Sanctuary’s ‘Turkey Express’ family this year. The week before their Turkey celebration, they are delivering two turkeys all the way up to our place (we are adopting them), and they are going to do a big press thing and everything… should be interesting! :-)

  2. Kate says:

    I was hoping you would post about Thanksgiving! In the past, Thanksgiving has been the hardest meal-based holiday to get through with my family. They are vegetarian the rest of the year, but the big T-day triggers this wacky need to block out the horrors of factory farming and eat turkey. Luckily, we’ve been trying out a lot of vegan meat substitutes this year, and they are on board for a 100% cruelty free day!
    Thank you for all the excellent ideas- I especially like the simple one of adopting a turkey instead of buying flowers :)

  3. Filed roast is my favorite!!!!!! yum.
    Turkeys are very similar to cats. They even have a sort of ‘purr’ when you rub their bellies (which are warm and soft as a baby’s bottom).

  4. Susie says:

    Fantastic blog as usual- and so love the photo with you and the sweet Chicky Man- we love you Chole!!!!

  5. Chloe Jo says:

    Field Roast is better than sex. Especially the sausages. That said; come hang with me at the Orland Shelter for Thanksgiving (CALI FOLKS!) it’s going to be a wonderful day! East Coasters; hit up the Watkins Glen event which is sure to enrich your should and make you more thankful than ever.

  6. Jennifer B says:

    Great post! Excited about adopting my turkey! This will be my FIRST Turkey Free Thanksgiving-in no small part thanks to you!

  7. Franni says:

    I don’t know what to pick. Tofurky or Field Roast? They both sound so good!! Probably get them both for my ethnic Thanksgiving!!! ^-^

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