ThanksLiving 2012

Beatrice & Boone wolf down a buffet of amazing food

Every week I say it’s time to update the blog, and on this rainy Friday I finally have found some time. It’s of course perfect timing because now I can share my experiences from attending ThanksLiving at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary last Sunday, October 14!

If you are not familiar with ThanksLiving, its a very lovely concept: each year Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary hosts a banquet fundraiser which also acts as an event to celebrate the continuation of living for those animals who are fortunate to live at the sanctuary. The event focuses most adorably on the turkeys, who get their own little feast before every else gets to eat.

I had always wanted to attend ThanksLiving but never quite found the money or time – but this year I made a concerted effort to make sure I could go, and it was every bit worth the money. The event is always sold out, and with good reason – its extremely fun! A days worth of hanging out at the farm, in Woodstock in the autumn, with gorgeous weather and beautiful animals and people. The food, a full vegan Thanksgiving meal, was prepared by Kevin Archer,  along with desserts from the greatest bakery ever, Vegan Treats!

Along with food, there was a lot of wonderful things to do within the tent set up for the event. There was a silent auction, where you could bid on such things as VIP Daily Show tickets, a Vitamix, and vegan shoes. There was also an amazing raffle, including giftcards to amazing stores & restaurants, a Lush boxset, cook books, etc. The Woodstock Farm Sanctuary store was also set up, and so I bought a really nice t-shirt.

Inside the dining area for ThanksLiving

It was also wonderful because I bumped into Emily from Jersey City Vegan! Emily’s blog is one I admire a lot. Emily is extremely passionate about animal rights activism and her bubbly personality and enthusiasm is inspiring. She was volunteering there all weekend – something I’d like to try next year, as I am now becoming more and more familiar with the sanctuary! And I’d like to mention that with the event, each attendee receives a goodie bag of vegan gifts. Inside each bag also included an adorable mini Thanksgiving cookbook, with recipes by Emily! I am definitely going to try making these recipes for my family this year.

Emily, who was volunteering at the raffle table, was there to celebrate with me when I found out I won something!: a $50 giftcard to Turquoise Barn in the Catkills, an all vegetarian/vegan Bed and Breakfast retreat. I don’t normally win things, so this was wonderful. But even more rewarding was the fact that earlier in the day I had lost a necklace in Woodstock that meant a lot to me. I was upset in the morning but ended the day feeling a lot better. Especially after having attended ThanksLiving!

What is most important to remember about the event however, beyond the raffles and wonderful food, is that it is a fundraiser to help Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary continue to function throughout the year and take care of its 200+ residents.  Jenny Brown mentioned in her speech that it costs over $600,000 to run the farm yearly. Every little bit counts, so please consider sponsoring an animal or donating or buying a $50 membership, so that the residents of the farm can continue to live out their natural lifespans in peace.

For more photos (taken by Steven Matarazzo), click below!

Pictured here is the feast for the turkeys!

Here is Beatrice and Boone impatiently waiting for their meal.

And here we go!

Boone was crazily eating his food. Although Beatrice had her own plate, she kept trying to eat from Boone’s.

As you can see, Beatrice had no problem getting ugly and covering her face in pie.

Kevin Archer prepared this amazing Pumpkin Pie soup.

Folks, I present to you the best Thanksgiving meal of ALL TIME! Hyperboles cannot even encompass its deliciousness. It included Beyond Meat strips cooked in rosemary gravy and garlic, cornbread stuffing, sauteed greens, and cranberry compote. Steve and I both ate our entire plates – never have I had such a fulfilling meal! I haven’t had a Thanksgiving meal like that since becoming vegetarian in 2008.

You cannot forget the Vegan Treats, who provided a tray full of amazing, gorgeous mini-desserts: little cakes, cannolis and pies. Steve and I grabbed the peanut butter bomb and pumpkin pie, two of our favorites:

Steve and I love these things. They are giant peanut butter mousse-filled concoctions covered in chocolate.

After the wonderful meal, and meeting new friends, and listening to lovely speeches, we walked around the farm some more:

Until next year!

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