Last weekend the weather was perfect-indeed it was unseasonably warm, with a bright sunny sky and crisp clean air. We arrived at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary just after noontime. After signing in and giving our financial donation, we ambled over to the rows of white-clothed tables to place down my Tupperware container of rice and cranberry salad. There were already all sorts of foods set out on the table--everything from mashed squash to black bean and sweet potato chili. Clearly today was going to be as always a glorious vegan feast. But first we had to pay our respect to one of Poplar Spring's more famous residents--its sole white turkey,Opal.
She was standing by the little house next to a food and water dish. Amazingly everyone else was just strolling past, not noticing her. I went over to say hello and stroke her soft white feathers. She is 6 years old now, very old by any standard since turkeys are usually slaughtered around 4 months old. My heart does a jig every time I see her. She is so sweet and friendly, when as a turkey once destined for slaughter she has every reason not to be.
I for one give thanks this year and every year for Terry and Dave and the volunteers at Poplar Springs not only for taking in animals like Opal but also for letting us come together at the sanctuary every year. Hundreds of strangers coming together for a cruel-free feast--what a true joy. Let's be honest--where else can you have a peaceful, argument-free Thanksgiving? Here you won't find that obnoxious uncle who overindulges in the beer or the aunt who insists on arguing that being vegan is so dangerous to one's health. At Poplar Spring, we all unite in peace for love of all animals, to truly give thanks for them and for each other in a life-affirming way. Isn't that what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about?