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Media Page – ThanksLiving 2014

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ThanksLiving at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary – where the turkeys were the guests of honor instead of the main course!

Woodstock Sanctuary’s unique vegan banquet celebrates in a fun way the lives of turkeys and other farm animals with a meat- and dairy-free feast. The event raised $60,000 to support the Sanctuary’s operations.

Sunday, October 12, 2014: 275 guests arrived at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary for the ninth annual ThanksLiving celebration. Advance tickets for the popular event sold out in a record-breaking twelve hours this year, leaving over 250 hopefuls on the wait list. Upon arrival, the guests mingled while bidding on silent auction and raffle items that were donated by animal-friendly businesses and artists across the country.

Guests also mingled with the VIP’s of the event, the Sanctuary’s 300 rescued animals: cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and more. But the real stars of the event were the sanctuary’s turkeys, who put on quite a show for onlookers as they were served their own gourmet feast.

“This all-vegan event started by treating our resident turkeys to a special meal,” said Jenny Brown, the sanctuary’s co-founder. “They’re such friendly, sensitive and social individuals, but sadly more than 45 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving alone. Serving a cruelty-free holiday dinner is a kinder way to gather with friends and loved ones in the spirit of giving thanks for our lives, health, and happiness.” The turkeys, all rescued from the animal agricultural industry, enjoyed plates of stuffed squash, cranberries and pumpkin pies served by our guests, while sanctuary staff talked about the turkeys’ rescue stories and personalities.

Vegan chef Rachel Klein, from the Philadelphia-based Miss Rachel’s Pantry, prepared food for the human guests. The feast featured a coconut sweet potato bisque with fried shallots and smoked coconut; a shaved brussels sprout salad; potato “au gratin;” and chickpea-seitan dusted with pumpkin seeds, filled with wild rice and shiitake mushroom stuffing, smothered in Dijon maple gravy. Bethlehem, PA-based Vegan Treats Bakery provided a platter of rich desserts for each table.

The event is held more than a month before the traditional Thanksgiving holiday for the gorgeous fall colors and to give attendees ideas to take back to their families and friends for their own compassionate vegan celebrations.

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The turkeys got to eat before the humans.  (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

The turkeys got to eat before the humans. (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

Feeding the turkeys.  (Photo: Derek Goodwin)

Feeding the turkeys. (Photo: Derek Goodwin)

Tommy greets some guests.  (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

Tommy greets some guests. (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

Jean the turkey digs in! (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

Jean the turkey digs in! (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

The turkeys got to eat first!  Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

The turkeys got to eat first! Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

A guest satisfies Sparky Sparky the sheep's need for affection. (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

A guest satisfies Sparky the sheep’s need for affection. (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

The turkeys got to eat before the humans.  (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

The turkeys got to eat before the humans. (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

WFAS Co-founders Jenny Brown and Doug Abel (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

WFAS Co-founders Jenny Brown and Doug Abel (Photo: Melissa Cacioppo)

Desserts by Vegan Treats

Desserts by Vegan Treats

Eggplant Rollatini with Basilicotta (Regal Vegan). Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

Eggplant Rollatini with Basilicotta (Regal Vegan). Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

Doug and Jenny's presentation. Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

Doug and Jenny’s presentation. Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

A full house!  Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

A full house! Photo: Melissa Cacioppo