Whenever I speak to animal activists about burnout, I always recommend they spend some time at a sanctuary for farmed animals. Heck, even if you’re not worried about getting burned out, spending time with animals is a good thing. Whether you take a tour or volunteer each month, sanctuaries help reconnect you with the very reasons you’re active in the first place. Plus, they are great places to learn and meet like-minded animal advocates.

 

With Thanksgiving coming up in the U.S., a number of sanctuaries will be offering special events in celebration of the animal Ben Franklin suggested as the official bird of the United States.

 

“Turkeys are a misunderstood species,” says Kim Sturla, executive director of Animal Place, which will be hosting its first-annual ThanksLiving event on November 22. “Often thought of as stupid, turkeys are actually quite intelligent and form incredibly strong social bonds with other turkeys, sometimes other species! Animal Place wants the public to celebrate these birds, not eat them.”

 

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, sign up for this great event at Animal Place. Yours truly will be speaking there, along with long-time activist lauren Ornelas.

 

Meanwhile, that same day, in Southern California, Animal Acres will hold its Celebration for Turkeys.

 

If you call Colorado home, you likely already know about Peaceful Prairie. Their Living at Thanksgiving! event will take place on Sunday, November 23.

 

In Maryland, the Poplar Springs sanctuary, home to eight lovable turkeys, will celebrate Thanksgiving with the Turkeys on November 22.

 

I don’t know anyone who has done more to help people appreciate turkeys than Karen Davis. Her organization, United Poultry Concerns, in Virginia, will host its 18th-annual Thanksgiving Feast on November 29.

 

Residents of New York State have two celebrations to choose from. Farm Sanctuary’s Celebration for the Turkeys will take place on November 22, and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary will have its ThanksLiving gala on November 23 (though I understand that event is already sold out).

 

This is just a partial list of the sanctuaries offering special events this Thanksgiving season. Check the Website of your local sanctuary to see if they have something planned. Even if they don’t, do yourself a favor and pay them a visit!