Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala: A Haven For Turkeys

Kindred Spirits / Facebook
Isn't it nice to see turkeys eating, instead of the other way around?
This isn't a warm and fuzzy time for American turkeys. To provide fodder for millions of tryptophan comas, roughly 45 million birds meet their makers every November.

But at Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary in Ocala, turkeys aren't for eating. Instead, they live out their lives in peace and comfort. Plus, they get cuddles.

Life on some factory farm isn't pretty. Turkeys are hatched in large incubators, and never see their mamas. Their beaks and toes are chopped off, and they're bred to grow as large as possible, as quickly as possible. Their living conditions are horrific. Some birds die of heart attacks from the stress, while others peck each other to death. Then, at around 12 weeks-old, they're slaughtered.

"The female turkeys have it the worst because before they die they artificially inseminate them, which is this awful process that involves lots of giant tools and young babies at that point -- at 12 weeks -- the turkey is still a baby," says Logan Vindett, the sanctuary's director.

Remember that infamous Sarah Palin video? Yeah, ugly stuff. We won't go into too many more gory details, but read up and it's pretty damn disgusting.

But not so for the turkeys at Kindred Spirits. The sprawling sanctuary has four birds in residence -- Mia, Maddie, Cynthia and Libby (short for animal liberation). These are some lucky birds. When content, turkeys make a sound that's almost like purring, and we heard it for ourselves from these pampered fowl.

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