I received the certificate below in the mail this week from Farm Sanctuary. It’s a tangible representation of “Faye,” our adopted Thanksgiving turkey. Farm Sanctuary offers a beautiful and alternative way to celebrate “turkey day” — by making a contribution toward the well-being of a rescued turkey on one of the sanctuary farms (New York or Northern California).
Click adoption certificate for more information about Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary is an actual refuge and also an advocate for farm animals. I recently finished founder Gene Bauer’s book Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. I admit it had been a while since I’d read a book on the farm animal issue. But one such book was a life-changing read for me: Animal Factories by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. I picked it up when I was 18 and it forever changed my view toward our food production system, and altered my lifestyle dramatically.
I’d grown up overseas for part of my childhood, in bucolic settings, never fully shielded from the reality of animal slaughter which was traumatic enough for an animal-loving child. But until I read Animal Factories I never dreamed that our farms had evolved into Metropolis-style industrial machines. Fritz Lang’s film was unknowingly prescient in more ways than one.
Bauer’s book immersed me once again in the reality most farm animals face in terms of a mechanized existence. The most difficult aspect for me is that more than 20 years since I cracked open the cover on Animal Factories many of those same issues exist, compounded by our own choices of where we spend our food dollars.
Still, I’m grateful to pioneers like Bauer and his fellow advocates — for the life of Faye and other fortunate and less fortunate animal souls. And with the public’s increasing understanding of more sustainable and humane plant-based options, I hope the movement toward a better model is consistent, even if incremental.
And finally, a photo of one of our semi-urban wild turkeys, the ones who become the bane of gardeners’ lives, but who — to my delight — occasionally cross my path in the parks I frequent.
RELATED POST: A Turkey-Friendly Thanksgiving (Nov 2009)