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Turkeys are guests at Thanksgiving in Pacific Palisades

November 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A vegan group held their own version of Thanksgiving Thursday in Pacific Palisades. The celebration included live turkeys.

Every year we're used to seeing the president pardon a lucky turkey. But two birds living in Pacific Palisades may have an even better life. Their savior is Karen Dawn, who rescued them from being slaughtered.

Karen's Thanksgiving dinner is all vegan, with Tofurkey served on the table and real life turkeys walking outside.

"Turkeys are a lot more adorable than they are delicious," said Karen. "And Turkey Day is a lot more fun when the turkeys are alive and well."

Turkeys can't be house-trained, so Karen keeps hers outside, but she says they're wonderful pets.

One of Karen's main points is that turkeys are not nervous creatures, as is often reported. They really enjoy the feel of the human touch. Karen even washes and blow-dries her turkeys.

They birds are named after celebrities: Rosie O'Donnell, who recently tweeted about going vegan; and Martha Stewart, who's producing vegetarian cooking specials.

"I knew I was going to call them 'Rosie' and 'Martha.' I didn't know which one was going to be which," said Karen. "But then on the way home, one of them was making a lot more noise, just 'Ooh, ooh, ooh, what am I doing here?' And I thought that one has got to be Rosie."

Both "Rosie" and "Martha" love attention from Karen's guests, but both will soon be leaving her home headed for a turkey sanctuary in Malibu.

"I do this just to remind people that these are animals, and you don't have to eat them, and the people at your table who aren't eating them are still having a wonderful Thanksgiving, celebrating in another joyous way," said Karen.


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