Each Thanksgiving, millions of turkeys are slaughtered for holiday feasts. However, scientists know that turkeys are intelligent animals who can recognize hundreds of other turkeys. Joe Hutto, a former turkey hunter, wrote a book (Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkeys) about his experience living with a flock of turkeys which then became a television documentary on PBS. He says:
As we leave the confines of my language and culture, these graceful creatures become in every way my superiors. More alert, sensitive, and aware, they are vastly more conscious than I. They are in many ways, in fact, simply more intelligent. Theirs is an intricate aptitude, a clear distillation of purpose and design that is beyond my ability to comprehend.
[Of one particular turkey, Turkey Boy] … Each time I joined him, he greeted me with his happy dance, a brief joyful display of ducking and dodging, with wings outstretched and a frisky shake of the head like a dog with water in his ears. Occasionally, he would jump at me and touch me lightly with his feet.
When you pet a turkey, you will be surprised at how soft they are. Each of these animals have their own personality: friendly, sassy, inquisitive. They like to stick together and explore the fields at Safe Haven.
Emma and her friends
These beautiful turkey girls were rescued from a factory farm at only days old. They were just cute yellow fluffballs and had already endured having the ends of their beaks and their toes cut off. Emma continues to thrive at Safe Haven.
Despite their rocky start to life, they have grown into happy and healthy young ladies, and enjoy spending their time poking around the pastures, lying in the sun, or hanging out with their human and animal friends. In fact, you can hardly walk anywhere around the barn without them right behind you!
Emma’s friends have died. Thankfully, there were able to enjoy their lives at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary with the loving care of the people working at the farm sanctuary and they did not have to endure the short and brutal lives of most turkeys who are raised at factory farms for the food pleasures of humans.