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These Turkeys Survive Thanksgiving

November 20, 1994

PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) _ Seven plump turkeys were the main attraction at Karin Yates’ pre- Thanksgiving dinner, and they weren’t even the main dish.

They were among more than 100 turkeys rescued in August after their containers fell off a truck on the highway.

A group called Farm Sanctuary, based in Watkins Glen, N.Y., raised the turkeys as pets for its national ″Adopt-A-Turkey″ program, and brought them to what’s been the nation’s top turkey-growing state for a decade, producing 61 million birds just this year.

The adoptees arrived at Yates’ house Saturday. She was running a little late, but before anybody could squawk, she whisked the meal out to a table in the yard and her guests dived into the spaghetti with soy margarine sauce, lettuce and cranberry salad, corn and pumpkin pie.

The human guests, that is.

As for the turkeys, their new families took them home after the vegetarian feast.

Shelley Burleson adopted three of the gobblers: ″I’m doing it because I have a turkey who needs some friends.″

The turkey lovers hope to persuade Americans to stop eating farm animals, but an industry spokesman wasn’t ruffled.

″It’s a free society, and thankfully, we can do what we want to do,″ said Ed Woodhouse, executive director of North Carolina’s Poultry Federation.