Ginnifer Goodwin: Adopt (don’t kill) a turkey for Thanksgiving

september issue 2 090909

Here’s my confession: I’m not any kind of animal rights activist, and yet I love animals. I love eating meat, but I know I wouldn’t want to if I saw how it was made. I know so many livestock animals are treated poorly, but you’ll only take this chicken wing from my cold, dead hand. I know so many animal rights people have their hearts in the right place, and when they start in about one of my most beloved meats, I get upset. So it is with Ginnifer Goodwin.

Ginnifer is trying to destroy Thanksgiving. Instead of eating a juicy turkey with fluffy mashed potatoes, all slathered in gravy, Ginnifer wants us to skip the whole bird-slaughter stuff. She’s become a vegan, and she thinks we should adopt a motherf-cking turkey. Now… here’s the thing. I don’t hate vegans, and I don’t hate Ginnifer for adopting all of the turkeys her little heart desires. But asking me to skip the turkey? On Thanksgiving? Seriously?

Thanksgiving may be weeks away, but Ginnifer Goodwin thinks it’s time to talk turkey. The star of HBO’s Big Love is urging the public to skip the savory poultry this holiday season and adopt a turkey instead.

Goodwin – who went vegan last year – has teamed up with Farm Sanctuary to launch the animal protection organization’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project, which is designed to rescue commercially-raised birds from ending up on the dinner table.

“After spending time with the rescued turkeys at Farm Sanctuary’s shelter and seeing how similar they are to my furry companion animals at home, I knew I needed to do everything in my power to protect these friendly and curious birds from the daily pain and suffering they endure on factory farms,” says Goodwin.

The organization has rescued more than 1,000 turkeys since 1986 by giving people the opportunity to adopt a bird, who will live at one of Farm Sanctuary’s two shelters in New York and California. For a one-time donation of $25, the turkey sponsors receive a special certificate with a color photo of their rescued bird and fun details about their new friend.

With than 45 million turkeys slaughtered each year for Thanksgiving, Goodwin wants people to consider what they’re eating for the holidays.

“With so many delicious, cruelty-free Thanksgiving dishes available, there is no reason why any living being should be treated like an unfeeling commodity,” says Goodwin. “I encourage everyone to start a new, compassionate Thanksgiving tradition this year and Adopt-A-Turkey, rather than eat one.”

[From Radar]

Fun fact about turkeys: Ben Franklin once wrote that the turkey should be America’s national bird. He wrote in a letter to his daughter: “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” See, now if the turkey were the national bird, we couldn’t kill it or eat it. I also love the idea that Ben Franklin makes distinctions between birds “of bad moral Character” and more respectable birds.

Another fun fact about turkeys – a turkey once attacked my mother’s car. She was driving down the highway and a wild kamikaze turkey threw itself into my mother’s car, shattered her windshield and she had to be hospitalized. My point? I don’t give a sh-t if they have good moral character, they’re dumb birds and I’m going to eat them.

Here’s Ginnifer at the screening of ‘The September Issue’ at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on September 9th. Images thanks to Johnny Louis / .

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59 Responses to “Ginnifer Goodwin: Adopt (don’t kill) a turkey for Thanksgiving”

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  1. TwinkleToes says:

    Aw. How cute this kid is and you, too Kaiser. Did your mom drive off the road? Turkey droppings reek just like chicken coups. My town allows horses but not poultry, so I’m out.

  2. Kaiser says:

    Twinkle – She was able to get to the side of the road, but when the windshield shattered, her arms got cut up. She was fine. And we have turkey every Thanksgiving.

  3. HEB says:

    I like Gennifer Goodwin and I am a big fan of Big Love

    But telling people to adopt turkeys is only going to make the turkeys suffer longer–very few people have the farm land to properly keep a turkey. They aren’t pets for crying out lout.
    This is irresponsible.

  4. HEB says:

    (sorry I didn’t see the part that says they’ll live at the shelter-you can delete that comment)

  5. Oi says:

    I am so with you Kaiser. I am a proud meat eater too. Bring on the turkey! (Gald to hear your mom as OK after the accident too. I hit a deer once, and it was really scary.)

    And about these shelters: are they really any better than the corporate farm the turkeys were living on before? That also seems like a typical Hollywood cop out. Lecture people and throw money at some charity or another while staying very far away form the problem, then have your personal chef (with advice from your personal nutritionist) cook up something cruelty free.

  6. Rose says:

    It’s not exactly difficult to not eat meat in this day and age and still enjoy food. If people did really like animals they wouldn’t pretend they don’t suffer terribly for dietry pleasure. I hate it when people bury their head in the sand about the mass factory production of poultry and livestock and the terrible vicious meaningless misery they endure before being killed.
    Honestly, if you did try to learn about factory farming, you’d never eat an animal or turkey again. That’s not me lecturing either, I ate meat for years before I did exactly just that. After I watched a few animals getting slaughtered and saw the fear and pain in their eyes I soon changed my eating habits.

  7. Praise St. Angie! says:

    but turkey tastes good.

    and sorry, but they’re NOT similar to “furry companion animals”.

    they’re dumb, dirty, and aggressive.

    honestly, would you want a turkey snuggling up next to you on the couch?

    on a different note, Goodwin is beautiful. such gorgeous skin and eyes.

  8. QB says:

    Meat an animal products are the biggest part of my dietary pleasures and I’m not going to give them up , unless I develop a life treatening allergy.

  9. Firestarter says:

    I like Gennifer, but I LOVE TURKEY!

    I love animals, but that doesn’t mean I am going to become a vegan. Sorry!

  10. Oi says:

    @Rose: I’m inclined to ask did you actually go to a slaughter house and see this, or was this a video? Because there are a lot of totally fabricated videos and “reports” of how slaughtering supposedly is done. In this day and age, the vast majority of livestock/poultry are killed by putting a pin through their brains. They die instantly and painlessly. How they live before that is frequently another story, which is why I buy meat from locals who are not any part of corporate farming. This isn’t always easy to do I realize. I think everyone knows corporate farming and their practices have got to go. Its bad for the animals, the meat itself isn’t as good or healthy, farmers would be able to make a much better living, and most importantly, someone could be held responsible for any wrong-doing.

  11. HS says:

    I think that book ‘skinny bitch’ turned a lot of meat eaters into veggies. I was veggie for about 15 minutes after I read it, but Thanksgiving w/o turkey??….

  12. princess pea says:

    This is easy for me, because I work in the meat industry, kind of. I love poultry; it tastes awesome and pays my bills. I like animals, too, but let’s be logical for a second.

    If we all give up turkey, do you REALLY think people are going to farm them, feed and shelter them, and lavish them with attention? They won’t. As noted, turkeys are not sweet pets. It’s great that there’s one shelter that wants to raise all these birds to old age, but that’s not a sustainable business; it will rely on public donations to support those turkeys. And there’s no way they could get them all the turkeys in the US on one farm. So what they’re really advocating is a severe drop in the population of turkeys at all.

    Also, just for kicks I’ll point out that she missed a huge market. We Canadians had Thanksgiving last weekend, so if she’d made her speech one week earlier she could have saved so many more innocent birds.

  13. jule says:

    we just had Canadian Thanksgiving, and I really loved the Turkey!! yum yum

  14. moo says:

    They are incredibly dumb birds… my sister told me if they look up while it’s raining, they’ll drown. Not sure it that’s true… but they taste good anywaze…………….

    Ginnifer needs to drink more Ginn! Who the F**k is she anyway??? like I care…. nevermind.

  15. Jules says:

    I too have watched all kinds of videos of animals being butchered and the factory exposes. Hell, I’ve even shot my own deer and watched it be hung up, gutted and butchered in my driveway. I still love meat and will always eat it. So to all you vegans and vegetarians, I say “Enjoy your tofu and leave me alone with my bacon.” Your constant badgering only makes me want an In n Out burger that much more. Please, make that a Double Double!

  16. zonalpony says:

    turkey! get in mah belly, turkey! imma eat’choo!!

  17. Rae says:

    Kaiser – I think crazy kamikaze turkeys are an epidemic in the south! My sister was also driving down the highway (in my dad’s car) when a huge turkey flew in front of the car. Obviously, her turkey had more of a head start because it made it to the driver’s side before losing momentum and taking off the driver’s side view mirror. My sister called my dad, FRANTIC, wanting him to come look for the turkey to make sure it was ok. FYI, he opted NOT to scour the highway looking for the bird.

    Incidentally, same sister moved to SD several years ago. That was her first year making Thanksgiving dinner and she called my mom’s house for advice. I happened to answer the phone, and she asked me how long she was supposed to cook the turkey because she’d had it in the oven for about 3 hours at 450 degrees, and that darned button just wouldn’t pop. Needless, to say I collapsed to the floor with tears of mirth rolling down my face.

  18. Squirtle says:

    Oi: Most of the slaughterhouse videos are fabricated? Give me a break!!!! Do you work for a slaughter house or have you ever been to one? My boyfriend went to a slaughter house last year to do some work for them and he came back completely sickened by what he saw. You might change your mind. Do you think they bring one cow in at a time and give it a little kiss on the cheek and it goes “night night” for good? No, they line them all up and lead them into the building where they are slaughtered so that every cow knows what is going to happen, they can hear and smell the death they are about to endure, that’s incredibly frightening for an animal. Many people around the world are able to survive without eating meat, I could understand if you lived in a village in Africa where you couldn’t drive 5 minutes to a grocery store and you had to slaughter your animals for food, but that’s just not the case for the majority! There are so many substitutes for meat these days, it’s not like you have to eat raw tofu to be a vegetarian, go to any grocery store and you can pick up substitutes for chicken, beef, pork and it tastes much better than biting into a veiny piece of meat. I know I won’t be killing a turkey to celebrate my Thanksgiving this year.

  19. Firestarter says:

    No one ever said the killing of cattle, pigs or fowl was a fun and pretty sight. It’s bloody and brutal.

    I am certain cavemen were not exactly killing their food in a humane way either.

    Killing of animals is sad, but a part of life,as far as food goes.

  20. QB says:

    There is no substitute for meat , meat is meat. I’m not going to replace it with Tofu , Quorn , Seitan ,Tempeh.

    If you enjoy eating them good for the person but I like real meat a healthy balance diet include every food group of food. Humans are omnivorous.

    I have no doubt in my mind that if the turkey( or any other animal that we eat) could eat me he would with out thinking it twice.

    Everyone has their opinions but that does not make the person right or wrong.

  21. andrea says:

    my sister is a fish-a-tarian (no meat, but eats fish) and my cousin is a vegan. im all for it for the health benefits and no question the industries need to be changed – however, there still is something to be said for the fact that we are at the top of the food chain and it’s entirely appropriate to eat animals. that’s just nature. i agree with changing the industries, i dont agree that humans should never kill animals for consumption.

  22. AW says:

    GOBBLE, GOBBLE! That’s what I’m gonna do to that turkey come Thanksgiving!

  23. Munkey says:

    We have a few flocks (herds? gaggles?) of wild turkeys where I live and they’re really mellow. I’ve been outside while they were passing through and, if anything, they just scamper in the other direction. Not a kamikaze in the bunch. But, then again, maybe the crazy ones live in another part of the country.

  24. Oi says:

    Yes, I have been to slaughterhouses, beef and poultry. I live in a rural area and am around livestock frequently. And yes, it has been proven that there are fabricated video, pictures, etc distributed by PETA and the like about what goes on in slaughter houses. And I never said it was pretty.

  25. meow says:

    Kaiser- I feel for your mother. We had pair of turkeys when I was a child, they used to chase and attack me when I went outside. I am not a big meat eater, but I love turkey.

    Last yea,r the White House pardoned turkeys came to WDW. They were in the parade. It was all over the news here in Orlando. They should have been the centerpiece on a family’s table that went without a Thanksgiving meal, not the centerpiece in the WDW parade. I was asked by someone new to this country why we did this when there are people starving in this country. I could not even begin to explain why.

  26. Rose says:

    Oi, I’m irish- and yes I went to an actual slaughter house to see where my meat/dinner came from. Between the transport, unloading/ penning, ‘tunneling’ and eventual slaughter of steers/bullocks and aged milk cows, the process left me reeling with distress. I honestly could not believe how upsetting the whole process was for the animals involved. I had always believed the eventual death was swift, but this was not the case. From unloading to airgun/spike-the known slaughter here- the process was violent, traumatic and rife with cruelty.
    My goal is not to be holier than thou, people can eat what they wish, but be aware and be mindful of what an animal must go through and then ask yourself ‘is this what I want to be part of’ for me the answer was no.

  27. notsoanonymous says:

    Turkey for yu and turkey for me, gonna eat that turkey while watching Biiiiiig Love.

  28. Kayleigh says:

    I love her, but no. Just no. I love my white meat and holidays too.

  29. original kate says:

    i am veggie and enjoy thanksgiving without turkey. that is my choice. they weird thing is, i always have thanksgiving with a large group of people (family, friends, friends of friends, etc) and sometimes people will hassle me for not eating turkey. last year a guy who works with my sister in law couldn’t believe i wasn’t eating turkey. he sat right next to me and kept saying “mmmmm….this is SOOOOOOO good! you don’t know what you’re missing!” seriously, WTF? i told him to enjoy the colon cancer he would probably develop in about 20 years and to leave me alone.

  30. Tess says:

    More pontificating from our moral superiors.

    Oh, Ginnifer thank you.

    Don’t you just gobble up these pearls of wisdom?

  31. Umilatte says:

    I have to say that I just spent a good ten minutes rolling around laughing hysterically about a bird being of good or bad moral character. Kaiser…I am always a fan. Only you could make me tear up. In regards to your mother, I am going to eat the biggest mother effing turkey this year. Just for her.


  32. Ben says:

    I’ll never stop eating meat, but I think the average person should eat less meat – red meat in particular. I know people that eat it 5-6 days a week.
    I do love me meat though, something about biting into a rare steak is just so satisfying.

    I’ve never been to a slaughter house but I have killed kangaroos and I didn’t have any qualms about that.

  33. cara says:

    That’s so funny the writer, Kaiser, wrote of their mother having her car attacked, because I was going to say that Goodwin wouldn’t be so anti kill turkey’s if she too had ever been attacked by a wild turkey while on a nice, irie hike in the Green Mts. They are vicious animals. I have no qualms about eating turkey and would even, post-revolution of course, shoot my own one with my hand made bow and arrow.

    p.s. I stopped eating meat when I was a tiny chillin (Upton Sinclair can do that to a person) but during my first pregnancy, I devoured a steak in minutes. However… each there own, you know. Freedom, it’s the American way. I’m really sick of these self rightious a-holes telling us how to live. Becuase. that’s not really being free, now is it. And I’m actually a tad more Nugent in my meat eating views now. I just think I’ll wait till I NEED to kill my own meat.

    p.p.s I should add I’m a TOTAL animal/life freak!! I always say sorry when the need to kill comes up. Be it an ant, spider or fly. I honestly do. I actually try to get them outside if I can and spare their life if I can. But vegans….plants are alive too. And the majority of soy in America comes from bio-tech seeds.

  34. westward ho says:

    okay. okay. i’ll adopt a turkey this year. but someone else is gonna have to stuff the damn thing if it’s still kicking when i put it in the oven.

  35. Kathie says:

    I’m vegan and I don’t care what anyone eats or drinks as long as they leave me alone. I am curious though at the intense hostility that choice engenders in others. Why is it so hard for meat eaters to just own up to the fact that they are participating in the death of another living creature and be at peace with that fact without making the animal “stupid” or “useless” as an excuse. I ate meat for many years it didn’t particularly bother me to eat it nor did it bother me if people didn’t eat it!

  36. ligeia says:

    with all due respect…i like my turkey nice and baked with crispy skin and a side of gravy and cranberry sauce….mmmmmmm

  37. Lauram says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 8 years now, and it kinda makes me sad how the word has become synonymous with “preachy-self-righteous-tofu-eating-hippy”.

    I try not to make it an issue, it’s my own choice and I don’t force my values on others.

    I do think more people should know where their food comes from, but all the information is there for them if they want it- screaming at meat eaters about the horrors of slaughter houses isn’t going to change anyone’s mind…..

    Definitely agree with original kate though, it’s just as annoying when people try to entice me to eat meat.

  38. Nicole says:

    I love animals too, in fact I cry when I read stories about abuse. Though I have to say that I also love meat. I would probably be really turned off if I saw what went down in factories, but I doubt that it’d make me stop eating meat altogether.

    It’s difficult to change one’s eating habits. I’m not saying that it’s impossible, but it’s definitely hard and requires a lot of willpower. I’ve eaten meat all my life and I can’t imagine cutting it out.

    On another note, I wish people would be more respectful of each other’s dietary choices. If a person goes vegan, then I give major props to them. I won’t bug them about how great meat tastes. Conversely, I hope that people will also show the same respect for my choices. I don’t want to be nagged at while eating my meals.

  39. Persistent Cat says:

    Turkeys, cows, chickens, etc were bred to be eaten. They were “domesticized” thousands and thousands of years ago and that’s just how it is.

    Thanksgiving was last weekend for me and we always have turkey, as we do at Christmas and Easter. I don’t care for it but I love everything that goes with it (read: dressing/stuffing!!!!!).

    I love animals but I’m an unapologetic meat eater. Nothing beats a good, bloody steak.

  40. Kevin says:

    If we weren’t supposed to eat turkeys God wouldn’t have made them say gobble.

  41. Kelly says:

    I cannot believe you people! I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 20. Do I bother you meat-eaters? No – it’s on your own conscious – if you actually have one. Do you people bother me? Every damn day. You would think I committed a crime by cutting out American meat. My favorite – I’m gonna use this here shotgun to kill Bambi’s mom and then I’m gonna gut her and eat her. Also, the slaughter movies are not fake – talk about living in a fantasy world that makes you feel better about pretending the animals say bye bye and then lay down and die. Check out the documentary Death on a Factory Farm which aired on HBO. If you can laugh that off and still make fun of those of us who chose to reduce the suffering – YOU HAVE NO SOUL.

  42. Wresa says:

    She only “went vegan” last year. Isn’t that a little soon to get on your high horse?

  43. Squirtle says:

    Part of life! WOW I hope that theory helps you to sleep better at night. It’s not part of my life, and there are many people who can live happy healthy lives without eating meat.

  44. princess pea says:

    Kelly – that attitude is a response, I think, to the one that you can see exhibited by Rose, above. She says she doesn’t care what other people eat, but goes on to explain how we are all heartless and when we say we care about animals we are lying. It really is unfortunate that vegetarians/vegans are all stereotyped as fanatics.

    In all fairness, though, you must know some especially dicky omnivores. I don’t put people down for their food choices, personally. Sorry that those jerks aren’t cool.

  45. teresa says:

    What a wonderful & compassionate thing to do! Farm Sanctuary is a wonderful organization. I’m supporting them later this month in their annual “Walk for Farm Animals.” It’s simple: If you love animals, don’t eat them. If we cannot even show compassion for non-human animals, how can we extend it to anyone else? It’s time to evolve!

  46. Firestarter says:

    @Squirtle- I sleep very well at night, especially after a nice juicy turkey dinner and glass of cold milk! Yum!

  47. Praise St. Angie! says:

    but teresa, I DO love animals.

    they taste GOOD.

  48. Fat Elvis says:

    princess pea: You took the words right off my keyboard. Thank you!

  49. Someone says:

    Its time to evolve? Honey, we have already evolved to eat meat. Take our mouths for example. Species that are meant to eat meat, such as humans, have teeth called canines that are used for tearing pieces of meat. Herbivores such as rabbits have only incisors, premolar, and molars. Our digestive tracts are not meant to eat only plant life. We can’t digest it properly and our stomachs have not evolved to do such (and they probably never will) like cow’s digestive tract.
    BTW, animals such as cows were breed by us for food. Thats why we have cows that are meant to just produce milk and cows that are breed for meat production.
    I am an animal lover but i also know about science. However ever i will make a deal with you non meat eaters. The day that lion out on the plains of Africa decides to eat some grains instead of that delicious gazelle, i will become a veterinarian.

  50. original kate says:

    someone: “The day that lion out on the plains of Africa decides to eat some grains instead of that delicious gazelle, i will become a veterinarian.”

    a veterinarian? you’re either joking or insanely dumb.

  51. Someone says:

    vegetarian. sorry typo. geez.

  52. JaundiceMachine says:

    Hey man – I don’t want to rip on anyone’s dietary choices, but if you’re going to eat meat, at least respect the animal by acknowledging how it dies.

    This willful disconnect between the slaughterhouse and the table is really shameful and arrogant (especially given America’s propensity towards obesity and fuel consumption). And this “from my cold dead hands” stuff really reads antagonistic and ignorant.

    Enjoy your meat. I mean that sincerely. Really enjoy the process of preparing your meal, and put a lot of love and energy into every plate – especially your turkey. Let the meat nourish and invigorate you. Let it be the centerpiece for a relaxing, homecooked meal with your family and friends. That’s what the holidays are all about!

    But please pay your respects to the animal that gave its life to make your meal possible. Eat it all – don’t let it waste in the back of your fridge.

    And maybe, tomorrow, have a salad?

    -Vegetarian for 10 years.

  53. NFLer says:

    Who cares what this little punk says. Tradition mandates that we sacrifice a turkey. Turkeys must die!!! And besides no other meat like turkey really goes with stuffing and cranberries.

  54. LOUANN BROWN says:

    Please keep you vegan opinions to youself,Ginnifer. The rest of us can
    eat turkeys. I’m sick and tired of hearing this crap from vegans. This is all part of the food chain. Get over yourself.

  55. Rose says:

    Get over yourself Princess Pea, if you’re going to attempt to put words in my mouth don’t bother- I was very clear in what I said, don’t project.

  56. Bil says:

    There is plenty of room for all of God’s creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.

  57. Emily says:

    WAIT! please im begging you guys. Don’t just think of them as dumb or mean please!
    You can at least admit that they feel fear right? So how is it so hard to believe that they can be happy or sad or angry? Please, im so afraid to say this at all too because some of you are saying your going to eat more animals because we love them. Theres nothing wrong with loving something right? Please, just because someone or somethings not as smart as you doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to live. Please try to love more.

  58. We from the Team from Germany read this and laugh a lot.
    We aren’t Fans from Ginnifer Goodwin :)

    Kisses from Germany

  59. Who cares what this little punk says. Tradition mandates that we sacrifice a turkey. Turkeys must die!!! And besides no other meat like turkey really goes with stuffing and cranberries.