Turkey Day Done Right!
Turkeys. Most people don’t know one personally. But, once you get to know them, you see how sweet, loving, and inherently valuable they are!
Luckily, there are people out there like Rachel McCrystal who provide beautiful sanctuary to turkeys and other farmed animals who escape human exploitation. McCrystal is the executive director of Woodstock Sanctuary in High Falls, New York, where every Thanksgiving is celebrated with a touching and joyous ThanksLIVING ceremony.
Check out her interview here!
At Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, the turkeys are honored the way that they should be. Humans feed THEM delectable treats like cranberries and pies. The turkeys really enjoy the celebration.
Pandemic: Relief for Turkeys?
There aren’t too many upsides to this pandemic. Does the fact that people won’t be gathering in the ways that they usually do mean relief for turkeys? Unfortunately not. McCrystal explains that the farmers still bred just as many as they normally would. That also means breeding them extra large.
“Because people are not having these big gatherings, the farmers have discovered that they bred them too big to sell,” McCrystal explains. “Now the farmers put them on crash diets to basically starve them to be down at the weight that they think they’ll be more sellable. There will be no lives saved if people don’t eat them this year. It’s just a tragedy”
Preventing Future Pandemics
Rethinking our relationship with animals can prevent the next pandemic.
“We are very vulnerable for the next bird flu. So, even once we’re able to get past this immediate pandemic that we’re in, we’re still very vulnerable.” McCrystal explains that the brutal, crowded, filthy conditions in which our society raises animals for food is what leaves us vulnerable to future pandemics. “They’re just having all these birds crammed into these areas. They’re sick and they’re dying. Every animal that we rescue from farms comes in with salmonella, e-coli, parasites…they’re so sick. And those animals are our food system.”
COVID-19 is a result of humans exploiting animals. It’s a zoonotic illness that jumped from animals to humans. If we continue to disrespect and torture animals, the next pandemic might not be too far off.
The Beauty of Sanctuary
Sanctuaries such as Woodstock Farm Sanctuary provide essential relief for the animals who manage to get out of the brutal system. These idyllic rescue centers also allow people the chance to meet a farmed animal up close.
The humans get to see these magnificent beings for who they are: individuals, each with a unique personality. Woodstock Farm Sanctuary has a host of really innovative programs. During COVID, you can get a digital tour!
In fact, these digital tours have allowed Woodstock Sanctuary to reach far more people than would have physically visited the sanctuary during the same time period. You can schedule a virtual tour for a company zoom meeting or an online party. It’s a blast to see a cow or a pig join a zoom that would normally only feature people.
You can also sponsor a turkey, chicken, cow or one of the other farmed animals. It makes a great gift. Sanctuaries are one of the few places, in the modern day world, where people can experience animals who are otherwise treated as mere property. Often, people leave with a totally different attitude toward animals. They stop eating them!