The talk show hostess encourages families to forgo turkey this Thanksgiving

By Kate Hogan
Updated October 14, 2010 08:19 PM
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For most of us, Thanksgiving means piping-hot turkey, fresh from the oven. But did you ever think about what that turkey goes through before it ends up on your dining room table? We’ll spare you the dirty details, but the folks at Farm Sanctuary know where your turkey’s been – and this year, they want you to consider that, too.

Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has rescued more than 1,000 animals through its “Adopt-A-Turkey” project, which asks families to forgo the big bird at Thanksgiving dinner and instead opt for a more humane main course. This year, the organization has enlisted Ellen DeGeneres to help spread the message.

DeGeneres is encouraging Americans to donate $30 to Farm Sanctuary this holiday season to cover the cost of a turkey adoption. Donors receive a certificate of adoption and a photo of their bird, and know that the animal has either been placed with a loving family or granted refuge at Farm Sanctuary.

“We are thrilled to have Ellen’s support as this year’s Adopt-A-Turkey spokesperson,” Farm Sanctuary president Gene Baur said in a statement. “She is reaching millions of people with a critical message of compassion for all animals that is as contagious as her laughter.”

In addition, Farm Sanctuary is petitioning President Obama to send the country’s two pardoned turkeys to their Watkins, N.Y., facility. Though they’re often sent to theme parks after their visit to the White House, at Farm Sanctuary, the turkeys would receive solid veterinary care and high-fiber feed, hopefully extending their short lives. You can sign the petition here.

“No one likes cruelty to animals,” Baur says. “When people learn about what happens to turkeys on factory farms, the decision to skip the turkey in favor of compassionate, plant-based options, is an easy one to make.” So, um, pass the pumpkin pie?