It’s turkey time again, and at Farm Sanctuary that means turkeys get to feast instead of getting gobbled. The farm will give rescued turkeys a seat at the table as their human counterparts go vegan during this year’s “Celebration for the Turkeys” on Nov. 18.
Since 1986, the world’s first farm animal sanctuary and advocacy organization has flipped the script on Thanksgiving by hosting an event that honors the famous birds while they’re still alive and clucking.
This year’s celebration comes at a time when bird flu, officially known as highly pathogenic avian influenza, has resurfaced on commercial poultry farms in the U.S. after being absent since April. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 58.8 million chickens, turkeys and other birds have been wiped out by the disease since 2022, with nearly 46 million more turkeys slated to be killed in the U.S. for Thanksgiving.
“It’s more fun and more compassionate to celebrate the holiday with turkeys as our friends, instead of eating them,” says Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder. The event will feature plant-based food, a virtual turkey feeding (because of the bird flu), speaker presentations and open sanctuary time with other rescued animals. “Celebration for the Turkeys” will take place 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 18 at Farm Sanctuary, 5200 Escondido Canyon Road, Acton.