Oh boy did I have the BEST [no]Thanksgiving this year! That makes me feel absolutely Marvelous!
This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to score a volunteer spot at Farm Sanctuary’s Celebration for the Turkeys in Watkins Glen NY. I was able to go with Cornell Vegan Society of which I am a member. The perks of living in Ithaca and having my old Cornell ID get me a lot of places!
We left at 9:15AM in 30 degree blustery weather to make the half hour drive to the Farm.
[I was dressed in about a thousand layers]
There were ten of us total who went to volunteer. When we arrived we were treated to a tour of the Farm and info session. I was able to take a few pictures of the animals, pet them and learn a bit about their history.
This pig here was the leader. She would wait until the other pigs made their nests and then go shoo them out and take what she wanted for herself. The most popular nests were near the windows where the sun was coming in.
The pigs looked so comfortable nested in their hay. I wanted to join them it looked so comfortable!
I was able to snag a couple pictures with this white and black beauty here. She was a lot more photogenic than she seemed.
This got followed me around and caught me a couple times with his horns. He was unaware of how long they are due to having been abused and having his horns cut off most of his life.
All the animals were super friendly!
After the tour we were given our duties. The Celebration for the Turkeys is the biggest event at the Farm each year. Patrons pay about $80 for a ticket to view the farm, feed the turkeys, listen to speakers and attend a really delicious vegan meal [more on this later] at a fancy hotel. As volunteers, we were registering people, feeding them vegan snacks, directing traffic and cleaning up. I got registration duty which sounds pretty tame. Relatively speaking it was easy and I enjoyed it. The only problem was it was in a wind tunnel amounting to about 10 degrees below zero. After about two hours, I was chilled to the bone. However, we had a six hour shift that I shivered through. Things got A LOT better when I met this guy:
Gene Baur is the founder of the Farm and one of the most influential vegans I’ve ever listen to. I first heard his on the Rich Roll podcast and my fondness has grown every since. After we finished volunteering, he even talked to our group for about a half hour [completely random…he was looking for apple cider and found us looking for it too]. His passion and kindness would convert anyone to a vegan diet. Unfortunately, after this picture was taken, my phone ran out of juice 😦
After we were done with our volunteering shift, we drove to a local fancy hotel to eat. And EAT WE DID! Lunch was a sporadic munching of vegan cookies and apple cider and after shivering all day, we were all famished. I could have fallen asleep on the way to the hotel, but I am so glad I didn’t!
This was my meal [not including dessert which was catered by Vegan Treats. BEYOND DELICIOUS!] I had vegan beef wellington, sweet potato shepherds pie, creamed corn casserole, cranberry sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts. OH MY GOSH is was darn good! My friends and I were saying that it was the first time we had been to a fancy restaurant since turning vegan and did not have to worry about ingredients or ask what vegan dishes were available. Everything was!
All in all, this was the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had! I hope I can go again next year!
Have you ever been to an animal sanctuary?