Cruelty-free Thanksgiving

Last year, I attended the Feast for the Turkeys at Pasado’s Safe Haven. This year, the event is already sold out. To make up for disappointment, Hubby surprised me with reservations to a prix fix vegan Thanksgiving meal at Plum Bistro. That’s not until next week though. In the meantime, I’ll show you what last year’s event was like.


Instead of having turkey, the turkeys had us! Butterball was the official host, but Stacie, our lovely guide, took us on the tour. First stop: Turkeys, of course!


Turkeys are gentle and kind. It’s not true that if it rains and they look up, they drown. On the contrary, they’re smart birds who protect each other, “talk” to their friends (including people), and are loving parents to their little ones. I got to pet Butterball–what soft feathers! As smart as she is, I’m not sure she noticed that I color-coordinated with her today.

At Pasado's

Next, we met these little piggies, who were rescued from a fire. They loved eating the popcorn, carrots, apples, and bananas we brought.

mini pigs

While I was taking their picture, look who snuck up on me! (You might recognize that mug from my banner.)


I gave him a carrot, and he was happy. As we fed the goats and sheep, I spied a rooster, well, roosting.

roosting rooster

I found lots of chickens in the coop next door. The white ones are rescued laying hens. To think they used to live in cages with no more room to move than if they were standing on an iPad. They love their freedom now! And they’ll never end up in a pot.


They loved eating lettuce and grapes. Look at that blur–she sure was a fast one!

feeding the fowl

This photo doesn’t show how big these two pigs are. They’re each over 600 pounds! Splash, on the left, saw her siblings slaughtered and escaped certain death by swimming across a river where a startled, but loving woman took her in until she could find a proper home for the pig. Nora, on the right, was rescued from a horder and was starving. They’re both happy, healthy, and safe now.

Splash and Nora

The cows loved the carrots I brought for them, but they look a little suspicious of me, don’t you think?

Eddie Cheddar


After an amazing tour, we toasted the animals with a glass of bubbly and went inside for a feast!

I got teary-eyed as our hosts read the menu: Autumn vegetable samosas with plum chutney, carrot miso spread on baguettes, and baked chickpeas; red kuri squash and coconut soup with cashew cream and beet reduction; massaged kale salad with pomegranate, hazelnuts and pears; parsnip apple puree, root vegetable latkes, orange balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts, and maple baked tempeh with apple cider glaze; pumpkin cake with chocolate-hazelnut ganache.


I was overcome with emotion because as we dined on our vegan meal, rescued animals were snuggling in their stalls in the barns next door. Animals that would have been pork chops, turkey cutlets or hamburgers. I wished for peace for all living creatures and longed for every restaurant and household to serve delicious, cruelty-free meals like this.

What a wonderful time! I hope you take a tour of Pasado’s or a similar sanctuary in your area. They’re amazing places.


10 thoughts on “Cruelty-free Thanksgiving

  1. It looks like you had an amazing Thanksgiving last year Jean (and you look stylish in your red boots and scarf!). Thanksgiving at Plum Bistro sounds pretty good too! Have fun!! Celeste 🙂

    • Oh yes–I had a lot of fun. The boots were practical (it was muddy on the farm) but I found a way to make them look like part of my outfit 🙂 I’m looking forward to this year’s feast at Plum too! You know it’ll be great!

  2. I got teary eyed just reading your post! Thanks for posting this. It’s a nice reminder of why we are doing any of this at all. For the animals. It must have been such an amazing treat to see animals as they are, doing what they do. I hope one day to be able to visit such a place.

    And the picture of that goat…those eyes!

    • Aw, thank you. I was really moved by the experience. I’ve been to sanctuaries before but never for a meal. Eating vegan food in the vicinity of animals usually regarded as food really hit home. I hope you get to visit a sanctuary someday. They’re amazing! It’s nice to offset the bad news we hear with good experiences. And yeah, that goat was the best!

  3. I got teary-eyed reading your post and looking at the photos!! It is wonderful to see animals being treated with kindness. After all i have been seeing at the pig vigils, bearing witness to the horror, this is a heaping, helping dose of compassion!!! Just what I needed!!

    Great photos and I love your boots!!

    The turkeys remind me of Titan, a funny fellow who I think thought he was a rooster because he hung out with them. He was so comical and made smile.

    The goat looks like he’s saying, “feed me!”

    I am thankful that there are kind people in the world who truly care and make a difference. We can all make a difference, one person at a time, saving one animal at a time. ♥

    • It’s the complete opposite of the pig vigils! These animals started their lives facing the same fate but the outcome was totally different. These animals are all so unique, and so much fun to be around. I loved seeing them live their lives as they want to. They’re not commodities.

      Yes, I thought that goat was saying “feed me” as well. So I did 🙂

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