We associate turkey with a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast, but instead of reflecting about how delicious the main course pairs with your aunt’s famous cranberry sauce, here’s an idea: make this Thanksgiving cruelty-free.
Pass on the turkey.
As a matter of fact, we encourage you to visit a wildlife sanctuary and feed a turkey on Thanksgiving!
It’s certainly a grand gesture to do for the holiday.
Or consider sponsoring a turkey this Thanksgiving.
At intoBirds, we are sponsoring two turkeys for Thanksgiving at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, NY.
Sponsor a Turkey for Thanksgiving
The Woodstock Farm Sanctuary rescues farm animals and gives them care and sanctuary, connects animals with people to advance veganism, and advocates for animal rights in alliance with other social justice movements.
At intobirds, we choose to be vegans and not eat birds or any other animal. It’s an ethical choice for us.
We’re what is called cruelty-free.
It doesn’t make us right or wrong. It’s our choice.
Turkeys are beautiful birds.
We respect that these noble fowls are intelligent and sensitive animals that are highly social.
If you’ve been fortunate to pet or hold one, you’ll fall in love with them.
Turkeys are like our family pets, forming social bonds with each other.
And these birds are super affectionate.
READ: IF REHABBED BIRDS OF PREY COULD TALK
Sensitive and Affectionate Birds
We see first-hand our favorite wildlife rehabilitator, Christine Peyreigne of Christine’s Critters Inc., a Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education non-profit in Weston Connecticut, interact with her bird ambassador, a wild turkey named Niblet.
Niblet’s story with Christine begins when he was just a few days old.
A farmer accidentally ran over Niblet’s nest, killing his mother and leaving Niblet and his siblings orphans.
The farmer places the eggs from the nest in an incubator, and once Niblet hatches and imprints, he knew it was time to call Christine’s Critters for help.
All the turkeys, but Niblet arrive at Christine’s Critters unhatched.
Under Christine’s watchful eye, the eggs hatch, and she raises Niblet and his siblings.
Once the birds were old enough, Christine releases all of the turkeys back into the wild, except Niblet and his sister Henrietta because they are imprinted.
Imprinting refers to a critical period of time early in an animal’s life when it forms attachments and develops a concept of its own identity.
Birds that imprint on humans struggle to learn survival skills or assimilate back to their own species.
Niblet, a handsome male turkey, shows Christine great love and affection, just like a dog or cat.
He’s very protective of his human and gets jealous when others give her attention.
And their bond is unbreakable.
Because of the bond Christine shares with Niblet and Henrietta, she chooses not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
And in 2017, Christine created a video of herself feeding Niblet salad, reminding her fans “the only way a turkey should be served on Thanksgiving.”
Tribute to Wild Turkeys
In honor of Thanksgiving and the beautiful birds we associate with the holiday, here are a few fascinating facts about turkeys.
John James Audubon describes the wild turkey as “One of the most interesting birds indigenous to the United States.”
After reading these facts, we’re sure you’ll agree.
And if nothing else, we hope that you too learn to appreciate these fantastic birds.
And regard them as the intelligent, sensitive, and social animals they are.
intoBirds wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Fascinating Facts About These Noble Fowls
- Turkeys are very social and become distressed when separated from their group.
- These birds exhibit over 20 distinct vocalizations, including a distinctive gobble produced by males you can hear a mile away.
- Turkeys recognize each other by sound.
- They have terrific mapping skills and cab learn the price details of an area up to 1000 acres in size.
- These birds have excellent vision, seeing three times more clearly than 20/20, and can see in color and have a 270 agree field of vision.
- Turkeys enjoy listening to music and sometimes chirp along.
- Baby turkeys (poults) flock with their mother all year. Although wild turkeys roost in trees, poults are unable to fly for the first few weeks of their lives, so their mother sassy with them on the ground to keep them safe and warm until they’re strong enough to roost in the softy of the trees.
- Wild turkeys can fly up to 60 MPH, but only for short distances.
- Determine a turkey’s gender by looking at their poop. A male’s droppings are in the shape of the letter ‘J,’ and a female’s poop is a more spiral-shape.
- Contrary to popular turkey tales, Benjamin Franklin didn’t advocate for the turkey as the National Birds. According to The Franklin Institute, he was against the Bald Eagle, telling his daughter in a letter it was a “Bird of bad moral character,” whereas the turkey was a much more respectable bird…a bird of courage.”
- The first presidential turkey pardon wasn’t given until George H. W. Bush’s in 1989. Reports credit many presidents with the tradition, including Abraham Lincoln, whose son took a liking to the turkey destined for Christmas dinner.
Support Organizations Helping Birds
Christine’s Critters, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) created in 2015 whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured birds of prey.
They rely on donations and program fees to care for 21 permanent resident birds of prey, 30 reptiles, 2 amphibians, 1 tarantula, and the 200 or more birds that are admitted into rehabilitation each year.
To get involved, donate, send needed supplies from Christine’s Critters’ Amazon Wishlist or just volunteer go to https://www.christinescritters.org/get_involved.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary envisions a peaceful world rooted in respect and justice for all living beings, and they welcome visitors to come and meet the animals who we most commonly exploit, abuse, and kill in animal agriculture.
The sanctuary’s animal residents are given lifelong sanctuary and are treated with respect as individuals.
By giving farmed animals the chance to live their lives with dignity and by sharing their stories, we advocate for veganism and aim to reduce suffering for all.
To learn more or make a donation, go to http://woodstocksanctuary.org/.