Instead of chowing down on turkey this Thanksgiving, Full Circle Farm Sanctuary is asking Western North Carolina residents to consider befriending one instead.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Xander the turkey will be the guest of honor at a pre-Thanksgiving gathering at Hendersonville’s Sanctuary Brewing Co. Attendees will be able to mingle with the feathered ambassador — and drink cruelty-free beer — at the ThanksLiving soiree.
With nearly 300 million of the birds being killed each year in the U.S., Xander is one lucky refugee.
“Xander is a wonderful ambassador for others of his kind who are every bit as special and full of personality as he is but unfortunately are never given the opportunity to live out their lives in peace without being killed to end up as a corpse on a plate,” explains Kayla Worden, the sanctuary’s founder and executive director.
Farmed turkeys are bred to grow unnaturally large, and the majority are forced to live in crowded, filthy conditions on factory farms — many of which have been the subjects of shocking undercover investigations. Despite a natural lifespan of up to 10 years, they’re killed at just five months of age.
“Xander is friendly, gregarious and curious,” she adds. “He loves being around people and regularly hangs out with volunteers here at the sanctuary. He regularly eats out of my hand.”
Speaking of eating, Xander will be enjoying some of his favorite foods at the soiree, including crushed apples, sliced grapes, greens salad, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree and popcorn.
Xander made his way to Burnsville’s Full Circle Farm thanks to the actions of a compassionate farmer’s son in Tennessee. When his father was going to put Xander up for auction (to become someone’s future entree), the son begged him to reconsider.
“He [the farmer] had a change of heart and allowed us to provide Xander with a loving, lifetime home here at Full Circle,” Worden says.
In addition to Xander’s spread, humans will have edible options, too. Following his meal, there’ll be a vegan bake sale from 6 to 9 p.m. Items available for purchase will include dark chocolate truffle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, caramel-pumpkin spice bark, chocolate mini squares, chocolate pumpkin pie, zucchini bread and much more.
And of course, there’ll be beer, wine, and cider for sale from Sanctuary Brewing.
“If you believe it is wrong to hurt animals, then you already believe in a cruelty-free vegan Thanksgiving,” adds Worden. “In this day and age when we know that the best thing we can do to help animals, improve human health, end world hunger, stand up for social justice and the environment is to embrace a healthy and humane plant-based diet, it’s really a no-brainer to consider making this year’s celebration a gentle vegan Thanksliving.”
Xander would totally appreciate it.
You can become a monthly sponsor to Xander or any of the other rescued animals of Full Circle Farm Sanctuary by visiting FullCircleFarmSanctuary.org. For details about the vegan bake sale and the ThanksLiving event, visit the event’s Facebook page.