VIDEO: Meet Mayflower, the Turkey Changing Folks’ Minds About Thanksgiving

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Meet Mayflower, a baby turkey who was found at a Pennsylvania auction, about to be carted off to slaughter and destined to become a sad Thanksgiving centerpiece. In a stroke of luck, a PETA staffer and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature—an animal-advocacy organization—helped rescue him and a dozen other sickly baby turkeys and ducklings, saving them from miserable deaths.

Mayflower is now safe at his new permanent home, Broome Animal Sanctuary in Middleburgh, New York.

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Just like all turkeys, Mayflower has a unique personality. After being rescued, he befriended Lucy and Ethel, two chickens he now roosts with.

He was smaller than Lucy and Ethel when he arrived. Now, he’s at least twice their size, healthy and thriving. But even though he’s grown, the inseparable trio still do everything together, including cuddling up for naps, foraging in the grass, and enjoying fresh fruits and veggies.

Mayflower was saved before he could end up as a Thanksgiving meal. We hope his sweet story will inspire others to choose delicious vegan meals for the holidays and all year round.


Every year, more than 44 million sensitive turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving alone. Birds just like Mayflower are imprisoned on farms and denied even the simplest pleasures—like breathing fresh air, running, building nests, having families, and raising their young. On farms, portions of these animals’ toes and upper beaks are cut off with hot blades, all without painkillers. At the slaughterhouse, their throats are slit, sometimes while they’re still conscious. Turkeys feel pain and fear, just as we do. They shouldn’t die for our dinner.

Just as someone’s kindness saved Mayflower, we can all help to save turkeys and other animals. Thanksgiving is about appreciation and kindness, and this year, we want everyone to help spare the lives of hundreds of animals and help us feed families in need—by taking our vegan “persuasion pledge.” Click the button below to give thanks:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind