Farm Santuary

NOVEMBER 2, 2006
12:56 PM

CONTACT: Farm Santuary
Tricia Ritterbusch, 607-583-2225 ext. 233, or

Farm Santuary Says, 'Adopt a Turkey, Don't Eat One'
Compassionate Consumers Celebrate National Adopt-a-Turkey Month

WATKINS GLEN, New York - November 2 - Instead of eating a turkey this year, why not adopt one? That is the message that Farm Sanctuary is spreading and word is catching on: More than one thousand turkeys have been rescued though the organization since 1986 and the annual Adopt-A-Turkey Project continues to grow in popularity. This year, thousands of compassionate citizens will "adopt" a turkey rescued by the nation's leading farm animal protection organization.

The Adopt-A-Turkey Project offers two ways for anyone to save a turkey:

1.) Sponsor "adopt" a turkey living at Farm Sanctuary's Watkins Glen, N.Y., or Orland, Calif., shelters. For a one-time adoption fee of $20, sponsors receive a color photograph of their turkey, an adoption certificate and a year subscription to Farm Sanctuary's quarterly newsletter. This sponsorship provides funds for feed, bedding and veterinary care for the turkeys and helps Farm Sanctuary encourage millions of people to celebrate a compassionate Thanksgiving for all.

2.) Home adopt and provide a safe, loving and permanent home for two or more turkeys. Individuals interested in adopting turkeys as companions must complete an adoption application. If approved, adopters will be placed on Farm Sanctuary's Turkey Express schedule.

"As consumers learn about the cruelties involved in raising turkeys for Thanksgiving, more people are choosing compassionate holiday alternatives," said Tricia Ritterbusch, communications director at Farm Sanctuary. "We encourage people to rethink traditional holiday menus, opting instead for a delicious cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal."

Every year, nearly 300 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered in the United States -- 45 million alone for Thanksgiving. Most are slaughtered at only five months old, when male turkeys (toms) weigh a massive 25 to 32 pounds and females weigh 15 to 18 pounds. To meet consumer demand for white meat, commercial turkeys have been bred to have abnormally large breasts. As a result, the birds can not reproduce naturally and the industry now relies on forced artificial insemination as the sole means of reproduction. In addition, most factory-farmed turkeys, comprising the vast majority of turkeys raised for holiday dinners, have their beaks and toes amputated, because they are allotted only three square-feet to live out their lives.

More information on Farm Sanctuary's National Adopt-A-Turkey Project can be found at which includes the 2006 "Turkey Adoption List," adoption applications and a number of helpful Thanksgiving resources, including compassionate holiday recipes, videos and literature.

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y. and Orland, Calif. provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.