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by Stephanie Terronez November 24, 2020 4 min read

Jack the Turkey from 2nd Street Hooligans Sanctuary
Jack the Turkey, a handsome resident of 2nd Street Hooligans, poses for a photo.  Learn more about him by clicking the photo.


The Thanksliving holiday this year will be unlike any other that most of us have experienced.  The pandemic will keep most of us separated from the rest of our families and from friends.  But we are fortunate to live in a time where keeping in touch is made easier by technology, although it is no substitute for the real thing.  We must continue to care for each other, be kind, send love and act with compassion. 

This time of year it is especially important that we share the message of compassion for animals as we connect with others. Turkeys capture the attention of the public at this time of year, leading to forty-six million of them being slaughtered for "Thanksgiving". 

What are ways we can get people to leave turkeys out of their meal plans? We can show people how easy it is to create a delicious meal without sacrificing a beautiful life.  Preparing yummy alternatives to "traditonal" menu item and sharing them is always a sure fire way to make a positive impression about vegan food.  Also, creating your own traditions that incorporate your gratitude and love for family and friends, but leaving out the slaughter and exploitation.  (Please make sure to scroll all the way down for a recipe for delicious Pumpkin & Chocolate Bread)

During the course of the year 237 million turkeys are slaughtered in the United States, according to the USDA.  Despite 99.8% of turkeys being raised on factory farms, there is no federal law that protects them from abuse. The federal Animal Welfare Act excludes farm animals and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act excludes turkeys and other birds.  The magnitude of suffering that in inflicted upon these beings, from the time they are born, throught their transport to the slaughterhouse, to the killing process is beyond measure. The only way we can change that is to help others make the connection between what they only see as the centerpiece of a meal and the beautiful, curious, intelligent beings that easily capture your heart when you take time to learn about them.

 We can share amazing facts about these beautiful birds, make plans to visit a sanctuary (right now, many are doing virtual tours because of the Covid-19) or share videos of turkeys living safe, happy and healthy lives at rescues and sanctuaries. 

Gentle Barn has a video up on YouTube of one Sir Fancy Pants doing a happy dance. They do happy dances! :D  We were fortunate to witness a happy dance performed by Jack the Turkey at 2nd Street Hooligans. It's reminiscent of Irish clogging and the Mexican folklorico dance steps done by the male dancers.  He then puffed himself up and strutted, showing off his beautiful plumage and handsome visage.  We also heard him make a sound as if he was striking a taut drum - that came from his chest  - another amazing way he communicated his pride.

Turkeys, when allowed to live without fear, will happily demonstrate affection to the people around them as well as their family.  Check out the video linked to Jack's picture above to hear Nick from 2nd Street Hooligans talk about Jack.

It is up to us to help others see how senseless it is to cause suffering and death to turkeys and to help them recognize that these are individuals who want to live a full and free life just like us.  And what a beautiful world it can be when we lead with kindness and empathy.

Have a wonderful Thanksliving!  Thank you for your compassion and your kind and positive spirt.  Stay safe and be well. 

We send our love to all of you.


Honoring Turkeys

Cool Turkey Facts

  • Turkeys are highly social, sensitive and intelligent.  They create lifelong social bonds.  
  • They can be very outwardly affectionate, much like a dog or cat.
  • Momma turkeys in the wild, stay on the ground to protect their babies, until they are able to fly up into the trees.
  • Researchers have identified nearly 30 unique vocalizations that turkeys use.  They can recognize each other by these vocalizations.
  • Turkeys can can commit to memory the specific details of an area the size of 1,000 acres.
  • Turkeys in the wild can fly up to 55mph for short periods of time.
  • The color on a turkey's head and throat changes according to their mood.

*click on the photo of Jack, above, to link to a wonderfully informative and personal introduction to Jack of 2nd Street Hooligans

Sponsor/Adopt a Turkey 

*these are sanctuaries we know have adopt a turkey events going on, but there are countless others that have turkeys that you are invited to support.

Main Course Options that aren't a dead turkey

You can often find these at local grocery stores or order online.

  • Tofurkey Roast
  • Field Roast Celebration Roast
  • Gardein Holiday Roast
  • Trader Joe's Breaded Stuffed Roast 

*You can also check with your local vegan restaurants to see if they will have vegan meals for the holiday that you can order for pick-up.

A Tasty Treat to Share....Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

Recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

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