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Ellen DeGeneres wants you to 'Adopt a Turkey' for Thanksgiving

"Help save a life by adopting a turkey instead of eating one"
"Help save a life by adopting a turkey instead of eating one"
Farm Sanctuary

Ellen DeGeneres has partnered with Farm Sanctuary to promote Adopt a Turkey for Thanksgiving. As a vegan and a friend to all animals, DeGeneres never fails to lend her support to help make the life of an animal safe, happy, and healthy.

Says DeGeneres, "Save a life this Thanksgiving, and join me in starting a new tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one through Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-A-Turkey Project."

This program has been in effect since 1986, and is still going strong. With your help, it can continue to grow.

For a one-time donation gift of just $30, adopters will receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate, featuring a color photo of and fun details about their new friend, and the great feeling of knowing they are sponsoring the care of a turkey who has been rescued from cruelty. These donations help Farm Sanctuary educate and advocate for turkeys, and other farm animals, everywhere. This year’s “adoptable” turkeys include: Velma, Daphne, Kima, Harley, Reese and Jordan.(see slideshow for pictures of your potential adoptee!)

In addition to Adopt a Turkey, the good people at Farm Sanctuary are working hard to encourage President Obama via petition to send the two turkeys traditionally pardoned at Thanksgiving each year to their world class facility in Watkins, NY. This will be the third straight year that Farm Sanctuary has tried to get the White House to allow them to be the caregiver for the saved birds. While the idea of a pardon to save their lives is noble, the fact is, where they send these birds (a Disney theme park) isn't as well equipped to deal with the health issues a commercially raised bird experiences.

Commercially-raised turkeys like those pardoned by the president are selectively bred to grow extremely large and fast, painfully de-beaked and de-toed, raised in crowded, filthy conditions, and fed diets designed to make them gain more weight. As a result, these birds are prone to serious health issues and require special care to thrive.

At Farm Sanctuary’s shelters, where turkeys live an average of four to five years, the birds’ weight is carefully monitored and controlled with a high-fiber feed. They have access to top-of-the line veterinary care, living environments designed specifically for their comfort, and the attention of trained caregivers.

“After decades of selective breeding, commercially-raised turkeys are prone to serious health issues and require experienced care and attention to live healthy and comfortable lives,” states Farm Sanctuary’s petition. “At Disney theme parks, which have been entrusted with the care of pardoned turkeys since 2005, many of the turkeys have died within one year. At Farm Sanctuary, these birds can live happily and comfortably for many years.”

Did you know that turkeys make great pets? For those who live on country property, a turkey can be as good as or sometimes better than a dog for yard protection. I worked with a wonderful lady named Debby. She and her family adopted a turkey one year, not really knowing much about how to raise one or what to do with it once they brought it home. She was simply motivated to save its life. They named him Tom. I know; not very original. However, after picking her family veterinarian's brain on turkey care, Tom grew up happy and healthy. He attached himself to her son, following him around just like their pet dog. He even gets along with the family cat! Tom likes to peck at the young boys window, waits for him every day to get home from school by sitting on the front porch, and actively patrols their large yard. He's a member of the family.

Now, you don't have to go so far as to bring a turkey home to curl up on the sofa with you, but with your help in sponsoring a turkey for Thanksgiving, and lending your voice to Farm Sanctuary's effort to provide the new forever home to this year's Oval Office pardoned turkeys, you can be sure you've helped save the life of someone like Tom.

Visit this site to see how you can become a sponsor! Sign the petition telling President Obama to send the turkeys to Farm Sanctuary. (Scroll down to "Petition", then click the link)

As always, a heart-felt thank you to Meredith Turner and Michelle King of Farm Sanctuary for providing this vital information with me to share with all of you!


Newly Published! HARVEST, an original short story by Michele Gwynn is now available for download in PDF on Harvest tells the fictional tale of what happens when human greed and gluttony override compassion and humane treatment of cattle in feedlots. When Dave Forrester wakes to discover that everyone he knows in Farley, Oklahoma has disappeared, it's up to him to discover why, and figure out how to save the few who survive ... the harvest.

All articles by Michele Gwynn are under copyright and cannot be re-posted whole without written consent by the author. Partial re-posting with a link back to the original article is permitted. For consent, questions, or comments, email

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More from Michele Gwynn: Ms. Gwynn is also the San Antonio Sex & Relationships Examiner. Her humor in explaining "the unexplainable" goes hand in hand with her candor. She has even interviewed celebrities for her column, and a former UN Ambassador for a local San Antonio newspaper.

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  • Profile picture of Amanda Chilcher
    Amanda Chilcher 4 years ago

    I adopted my guy from Farm Sanctuary last year and his picture is sitting on my bookshelf! I love having that as my new ThanksLiving tradition. Good for Ellen :)

  • M. Gwynn 4 years ago

    What a great story, Amanda! Thank you for sharing that.

  • Bett Sundermeyer, Houston Pet Shelter Examiner. 4 years ago

    FYI: Some of the links like "lending your voice" and "sign the petition" aren't working properly.

  • M. Gwynn 4 years ago

    Thank you for catching that! Both are fixed. I have no idea why they did that, but the links are now functional.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    ThanksLiving....I like that.

    I adopted a handsome goat named Sundance several years ago and a few years ago a handsome chicken whose favorite snack is raisins. The picture they send out of your adopted animal are so pretty. I love the little profile too like their favorite food, their favorite thing to do at the sanctuary, etc. It's really nice.

    Thank you Michele for this article.

  • Pet Nurse Sharon 4 years ago

    Great article amongst even more great articles! Thanks for the info. I have signed the petition and if I can I will adopt a turkey. Sad that their lives are cut so short because of all terrible things done to them. Thanks for bringing it to peoples attention.

  • Sharon Odehnal 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this great info! I have signed the petition and I might adopt a turkey as well.

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