Farm Sanctuary used the dinner for turkeys to encourage animal lovers not to serve turkey on Thanksgiving

By Benjamin VanHoose
November 25, 2020 03:37 PM

Dinner is served — and these hungry turkeys are digging in!

Farm Sanctuary, America’s first farm animal sanctuary and advocacy organization, has hosted the Celebration for the Turkeys event for almost 35 years, and the 2020 installment of this tradition went virtual. On Nov. 21, the team gave several turkeys "a seat at the table, not on it" by preparing a delectable Thanksgiving menu (sans turkey) for the birds.

In a video of the event, the organization — which is working to make a more humane holiday by encouraging animal lovers to skip serving turkey at their Thanksgiving meals — showcased the "heartwarming moment when the barn door opens and the turkeys catch the first glimpse of their sumptuous feast."

Farm Sanctuary's board president, Bones actress Emily Deschanel, spoke during the virtual presentation, urging viewers to help stop the "46 million turkeys slaughtered every year" by "leaving turkey off your plates and adopting one instead."

Credit: Farm Sanctuary/Youtube
Credit: Farm Sanctuary/Youtube
Credit: Farm Sanctuary/Youtube
Credit: Farm Sanctuary/Youtube

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The organization is not alone in giving up turkey on Thanksgiving — numerous celebrities "are among the thousands of Americans joining" Farm Sanctuary's Turkey-Free Pledge for a Compassionate Thanksgiving. So far, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Edie Falco, Sia, Alan Cumming, Lisa Edelstein, Richard Marx and Daisy Fuentes have all signed the group's pledge.

The pledge is available for anyone to sign at Farm Sanctuary's website. The rescue asks that those signing agree to "object to animal cruelty, environmental destruction, the exploitation of slaughterhouse workers, and the deep wounds inflicted upon rural communities by the factory farming industry. As such, I will join Farm Sanctuary in celebrating a compassionate Thanksgiving by leaving turkey off my dinner plate."

According to Farm Sanctuary, by bypassing the bird on Thanksgiving, animal lovers can save the lives of millions of turkeys, draw attention to agriculture's role in ecosystem destruction and highlight the humans negatively impacted by factory farming.

For more info on the speakers and recipes featured in the 2020 Celebration for the Turkeys broadcast, visit their website.