By Jenny Canham, Guest Contributor, Sanctuary Spotlight

Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, but the good news is this needn’t be at the expense of the lives of innocent animals! Luckily, there are now plenty of vegan options available to have your own cruelty-free Thanksgiving. Or better still, why not mark the occasion with rescued turkeys that are thriving in their well-deserved freedom? There are several sanctuaries that organise their own compassionate Thanksgiving, and are inviting you to join them! This is an opportunity to celebrate with like-minded people, enjoy some delicious vegan food, and chill out with some rescued animal friends. Here are some sanctuary events for Thanksgiving 2015:

Farm Sanctuary’s Famous Celebration for the Turkeys

Sheep Rescue

“If you care about farm animals, our popular Celebration for the Turkeys event is one you won’t want to miss! This year, we are offering four unique events on the East and West Coasts.”

When/Where: 
November 14th, 2015 at Citizen Fox in San Francisco, CA
November 15th, 2015 in Acton, CA
November 21st, 2015 in Watkins Glen, NY
Details: www.farmsanctuary.org/events/celebration-for-the-turkeys/

Adopt A Turkey Programme: www.farmsanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-turkey/

Cheerful Compassionate Thanksgiving at Happy Trails

Children with a goat at Happy Trails Animal Sanctuary

Kids love to visit Happy Trails Animal Sanctuary

“500 people yearly look forward to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary’s annual Compassionate Thanksgiving, a Thanksgiving celebration designed to kick-off the holiday season with kindness and compassion for animals! In addition to the amazing, traditional Thanksgiving buffet created by the Master Chefs at Todaro’s Party Center, an inspiring presentation by Happy Trails Founder and Director, Annette Fisher, is always a highlight of this event.”

When:  Saturday, November 14th from 5.00pm
Where:  Todaro’s Party Center, 1820 Akron Peninsula Rd., Akron, OH
Admission:  $55 per person. Buy tickets here.
Details: Facebook

Tasty Potluck at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

Franny lives at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

Franny lives at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

“Come celebrate Thanksgiving WITH the turkeys – join our friendly turkeys and all their friends in celebrating a cruelty-free Thanksgiving potluck. Please bring a vegan (no meat, dairy, or eggs) dinner or dessert item to serve 8.”

When: Saturday, November 21st 12 noon – 4.00pm
Where: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, 15200 Mt Nebo Rd, Poolsville, Maryland
Admission: $10 suggested donation.
Details: www.animalsanctuary.org/events/2015-events/

Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary’s Sweet Seventeen Annual Thanksgiving

Bandit lives at Ching Farm Sanctuary.

Bandit lives at Ching Farm Sanctuary.

“A vegan feast for the whole family with seitan and gravy donated by Vertical Diner/Sage’s Cafe/Cali’s Natural Foods! Side dishes prepared by volunteers with ingredients donated by local businesses.”

When: Saturday 14th November 5.00pm
Where: Wasatch Presbyterian Church, 1626 S 1700 E, Salt Lake City, Utah
Admission: Adults – $27, Seniors and kinds under 15 – $15. Buy tickets here.
Details: Facebook

A Gentle Thanksgiving 2015 at Gentle Barn

These three lovely ladies were rescued in TN from Thanksgiving.

These three lovely ladies were rescued in TN from Thanksgiving.

“Come celebrate life with us! Cuddle rescued turkeys, break bread at our table with people from all over the world, eat a delicious, gourmet, vegan, meal, and end the evening with a Native American drum circle. It’s the best event of the year!”

When: Thursday 26th November 3.00pm – 8.00pm
Where: The Gentle Barn, 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA
Admission: $175 per person. Buy tickets here.
Details: Facebook

Adopt A Turkey Programme: www.gentlebarn.org/landing/sponsor-a-turkey