Of the 10 billion land animals killed for food each year in this country, more than nine billon of them are birds. What’s worse is that these birds also have no leg to stand on, as  they are not protected by the federal Animal Welfare Act or the Humane Slaughter Act, and the sparse state cruelty laws pertaining to birds that do exist are rarely enforced.  Thanksgiving is an excellent time to educate others about the horrors of turkey production. Not only can this make a difference for turkeys – 46 million of whom are killed each Thanksgiving – but this type of advocacy is also an effective  tool for keeping your sanity and surviving the holidays as a vegan! (Read our Holiday Survival Guide here.) 

The millions of turkeys who are exploited for food are depending on us to speak up for them. When it comes to animal advocacy, everyone can get involved using  their own  special skill sets and interests, so read on for some ways to get started:  

Raise awareness in your community by leafleting with our Thanksgiving’s Toll on Turkeys flier. You can also ask friendly establishments if they will display Adopt-A-Turkey brochures. Leafleting is a simple way to educate thousands of people on a variety of issues – from the cruelties of turkey production to the reasons to start a new Thanksgiving tradition.

Fliers Are for the Birds

  • Order your free Adopt-A-Turkey Project literature here.
  • Don’t forget to drop off literature at your doctor’s office, dentist’s office, veterinarian, auto repair shop, or anyone with a waiting room. Many health food stores, cafes, restaurants, and book stores also have an area where you can leave literature. These are great places to leave Adopt-A-Turkey literature.
  • Read on for more tips on establishment outreach.
  • Leafleting is a numbers game. If you leaflet 100 people with compassionate messages, you will reach several who will learn about the cruelty involved in “food animal” production for the first time. The knowledge one leaflet can provide has the power to change a life forever.
  • Read on for some more tips on leafleting.

Table for Turkeys in Your Community

Set up a turkey table at a well traveled location in your community. Encourage your neighbors to adopt a turkey and dine with compassion this holiday with our Adopt-A-Turkey and Compassionate Thanksgiving Recipes brochures. This is an effective way to teach people about farm animal abuse and what they can do to stop it. Most people simply don’t know how turkeys and other animals used for food production are treated. Recent polls have demonstrated that when people do learn how farm animals are raised, most are against it.

  • Tabling is extra-fun and effective around the holidays! Check out our tips on tabling.
  • Every person you reach and teach is one more person who can save hundreds of animals in his or her lifetime by making cruelty-free choices.
  • Order your free tabling materials here.

Letters Needed in Support of a Compassionate Thanksgiving

Submit a letter to the editor about Thanksgiving’s toll on turkeys and encourage readers to adopt new traditions for the holiday. Use words of compassion to encourage a circle of thanks that extends out to our feathered friends.

  • Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) is perfect for the armchair activist.
  • Remember, any subject can be brought back to animal protection. You just need to find the right angle. Finding an angle for a letter around the holidays is easy! For example, if there is an article in your paper about “free-range” or “organic” turkeys then write an LTE to inform others about the Truth Behind Labels.
  • The LTE section of your paper is the most read section, aside from the front page. Check out our tips on writing LTEs.
  • For your LTE, please be sure to visit our Talking Points page.

Take to the Air(ways) for Turkeys with a Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Air a PSA on your local television station. Farm Sanctuary has two Tom-terrific Thanksgiving announcements: “Give a Turkey a Reason to be Thankful” with actress Persia White and “Save a Turkey” featuring actor Corey Feldman.

  • PSAs are easier than you might think to get on the air! We have a thorough guide to airing a PSA for your reference.
  • Take a look at and listen to our Thanksgiving PSAs!

A Turkey Will Thank YOU for Placing a Newspaper Ad

Sponsor a happy and healthy Thanksgiving advertisement in your local newspaper.

  • Learn more about how to run Farm Sanctuary’s “Give a turkey something to be thankful for” ad in time for the holiday.

Share a Compassionate Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving’s focus on food provides many opportunities for farm animal advocates. Not only do you have a platform to talk about turkeys, you can also share terrific turkey-free meals with your family, friends and neighbors.

More Resources

  • Join Farm Sanctuary’s Advocacy Campaign Team
    • Joining Farm Sanctuary’s Advocacy Campaign Team is a perfect way to stay on top of our national campaigns, local volunteer opportunities and inspiring activist stories. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Halloween or Earth Day, we often encourage holiday-specific activism, and we work alongside you to ensure that your efforts successful and fun. Find out more and sign up today.
  • Take Advantage of Our Tools & Resources
  • Make Hay With Us!
    • Farm Sanctuary’s Advocacy Campaign Team  blog, “Making Hay,” is a go-to place for all things activism-related! So add it  to your own personal blogroll, and sign up for our RSS feed to automatically get our updates. (Note: You can – and should! – also sign up for our RSS feed for our action alerts!

If you need additional support for your turkey activism, or if you have any questions about how to get more involved, let us know!

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