At the Gentle Barn, Turkeys Are Cuddled, Not Eaten, on Thanksgiving

Playing Guests Cuddle Turkeys at 'Gentle' Thanksgiving Celebration

Instead of eating turkey next Thanksgiving, why not try cuddling one?

At the Gentle Barn, which has locations in California, Tennessee and Missouri, guests snuggled up with the birds for the center's 19th annual Thanksgiving event.

Ellie Laks, the founder of Gentle Barn, said she always felt very "lonely" around Thanksgiving time at tables weighed down with meat, so she started the yearly dinner as a way to bring together like-minded people for a meal of their own. The event includes a plant-based menu and plenty of cuddles

The Gentle Barn started as a sanctuary for abused and neglected animals to find healing, but Laks hopes it can help people too.

"It's something that benefits the world so greatly to love animals, to eat plant-based foods to nurture our bodies and to cause healing for the planet all at the same time," she said.

While there are only three locations, Laks' goal is to open a Gentle Barn in every state, hosting Gentle Thanksgivings to create a kinder world for all living creatures. 

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