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Turkeys served as guests of honour at vegan Thanksgiving meal in Aldergrove

Turkeys guest of honour at vegan Thanksgiving
An animal sanctuary in Aldergrove decided to stuff some turkeys at the table instead of on the table at a vegan Thanksgiving feast. Jordan Armstrong reports.

A pair of lucky turkeys avoided the Thanksgiving dinner table at a farm in Aldergrove, B.C., Sunday.

Instead, resident turkeys Mo and Leonard were served as the guests of honour at a vegan potluck dinner hosted by the Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary.

The four-acre farm serves as a home for rescued, abused or at-risk farm animals.

The fourth annual sold-out event saw 50 farm volunteers dine with Mo and Leonard, who are described as social, sensitive and curious animals.

READ MORE: Vancouver vegans host fundraising dinner to buy Gertie the turkey a prosthetic leg

Indeed, the two birds seemed more interested in interacting with their human guests than dining on the plates of corn and greens they were served.

“They love the attention,” farm co-founder and director Stephen Wiltshire said. “Most people haven’t seen the turkeys up close and spent time with them, and when they do they’re surprised at how social they are.”

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The sanctuary says 20 million turkeys are killed for food each year in Canada and it believes the animals deserve better.

“You don’t have to have an animal that has suffered and been killed for your dinner,” Wiltshire said.

Co-founder Diane Marsh said the potluck is also a way to give thanks to the volunteers and donors who make the sanctuary run.

“Every single cent goes to the animals,” she said. “We don’t pay salaries, we don’t take any money ourselves. Everything we get goes to give these animals a better life.”

READ MORE: No fowl play suspected: Calgary’s Ramsay turkey avoids getting stuffed for Thanksgiving

The sanctuary is also home to goats, sheep and pigs, some of whom share the house with Wiltshire and Marsh.

Despite the rain, guests were happy to interact with Mo and Leonard while enjoying their Thanksgiving meal guilt-free.

“We hope to make a difference,” Marsh said. “All these animals, they’re a part of our family.”

Vegan Thanksgiving meal fundraises for turkey’s new leg
Vegan Thanksgiving meal fundraises for turkey’s new leg