Three new turkeys arrived at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary a couple weeks ago. Saturday was the first time I’d seen them, since they’d been in quarantine at first.
Their story is an odd one. They were hanging around a man’s house, and he finally called someone to get them. The county thought they were wild turkeys. But what wild turkeys eat out of your hands?
They came to Poplar Spring, and it was really obvious that they were not wild turkeys! They are domesticated turkeys, and Terry is pretty skeptical of the story that the man just happened to notice them hanging around his house.
You see, you can buy domesticated turkeys from a catalog, just as if you were buying a bike or a shirt. They have many different varieties, they even have “heirloom” breeds. Many people buy these turkeys, raise them in their backyards, likely feeding them by hand some of the time, and then they “release” them and “hunt” them.
The DIY canned hunt?
So that’s a likely scenario for how these three turkeys ended up hanging around a man’s house.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it is hard to forget that when we see the turkeys at the sanctuary. For most of us, holidays are filled with baggage. Family obligations of one kind or another. The emotional impact of a holiday where a dead animal seems to matter more to those of us around us than anything else.
For me, holidays lost any sort of meaning to me a long time ago. I’m not sure when or why, but they have become a day I’m happy to have off work, and happy to make no plans for. This bothers my mother, who has never understood her children’s happiness at being solitary so much of the time. So when she asks, I always tell her that I’m spending time with friends on these holidays.
This is always true; I go to the sanctuary to help out on Thanksgiving and Christmas!
And truthfully, especially as a vegan, I am so happy to have no family local, and no omni friends local-enough to feel slighted by my preference for mucking barns to socializing with a dead bird.
The real season’s celebration for me happens the Saturday before the official American Thanksgiving Day at Poplar Spring’s Thanksgiving for the Turkeys. It is a giant vegan potluck, more giant than I could have imagined before attending my first one. 300 people attended last year, when it was bitterly cold and windy. Tables upon tables (oh, those dreaded tables!) of vegan food that people brought…and then there were the tables of vegan desserts! It is a sight to see.
Of course before the humans eat we get the food ready for the Turkeys (and chickens and guineas!). All kinds of delicious goodies, painstakingly cut in small pieces by the kitchen elves, then spread out on a couple tables, which we put down in their yard for them. Terry gives a small speech about it all, and it’s all pretty sweet.
Last year there were people videoing. One woman asked me to tell what we were putting on the tables for the turkeys, assuring me that this was better than her taking notes. Assured that I was really just a talking scrap of paper, I listed everything on the tables. You can imagine my surprise (and horror!) when Terry said she’d found the video on YouTube, and that I’d “done a good job”!
It turns out that it was a pretty decent covering of the event, with a few interviews, and a great view of how much food there is and how long the line was.
I don’t know what this video was used for (aside from being put on YouTube!) but it is nice to see such positive coverage of events like the one held at various sanctuaries around the country. The feeling is so incredible, all these people there to brave whatever late November weather is being thrown at us, just so they can enjoy a celebration OF the turkeys, rather than the opposite.
Anyone else celebrating in this way for the upcoming (and often dreaded) November holiday? Or maybe you already have if you are Canadian or went to Woodstock’s ThanksLiving Celebration (a month early for weather reasons). I know Tristan went to Woodstock’s!
And finally, this week’s piglet video of Morty and Izzy. I had to use the thrilling Flip music to cover up the sounds of the wind in the microphone. That’s as fancy as I can get, sorry! (There is always the mute button!) They were so cute as they raced across the yard to Terry, and then Morty was happy to roll over for Belly Rubs. I’m still getting used to just how much they remind me of puppies, from their play with each other, to their interactions with people.