November 22, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to You and the Animals
Mouthwatering food; beloved companions, animal and human; and a bounty of fall wildlife—all these are blessings that we can agree deserve our gratitude in this season of Thanksgiving.
To help you enjoy your holiday, The Humane Society of the United States offers suggestions for preparing a memorable holiday meal, keeping your pets safe and happy, and appreciating the iconic bird of Thanksgiving. We even have a movie suggestion for you!
Cooking with inspiration
- Before planning your holiday meal, nibble on this food for thought about industrial turkey production, and consider buying from a sustainable farmer.
- More people than ever are planning their holiday menus to focus on plant-based foods. Why not join them by picking out a few recipes from our collection?
Rosemary roasted potatoes
White bean and kale soup
Baked acorn squash
Pumpkin and corn soup
Sweet and white potato salad with greens
Wild rice with peas, lemon, and tarragon
See our list of favorite recipes for more menu inspiration.
Keeping pets safe
Keeping safety in mind will get you and your pet through the season unharmed.
- The excitement of a party may overwhelm some pets, so provide your cat or dog with a quiet, out-of-the-way room during holiday parties.
- Avoid the urge to give your pets table scraps, especially bones. Bones easily splinter and can cause serious health problems, even death.
- Carefully consider whether to take your pet with you on a trip (air travel can be dangerous).
- If Fluffy and Fido are staying home while you travel, be sure to choose a pet sitter or boarding kennel wisely.
- Wherever your pets spend Thanksgiving, dogs and cats should all have collars and tags with ID and a way to reach you.
- Keep your pets well during cold weather.
Treasuring turkeys and other wildlife
- A fun, animal- and family-friendly way to get in the Thanksgiving spirit is to enjoy the new animated film “Free Birds,” Woody Harrelson and co-star Owen Wilson provide the voices of two turkeys who travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving trying to remove turkeys from the traditional holiday menu. Harrelson told The HSUS that his Thanksgiving menu this year includes sweet potatoes, collard greens, corn on the cob, and Tofurky.
- Most of the turkey products Americans eat are consumed in the last two months of the year. Industrially produced turkeys are crowded into warehouses, bred to grow so fast that they may have trouble standing or walking, and are unable to mate naturally. If you eat turkey this season, please consider buying from a farmer invested in sustainability and animal welfare. If you're in the mood for an alternative, there are more meat-free products on the market than ever before, or you can make your own (see menu above).
- Wild turkeys are making a comeback in some areas, and you may see them foraging in your neighborhood. Enjoy watching their activities, and keep an eye out for them while driving, but don't feed them, please. Wild turkeys may be numerous enough to become pesky in some areas. Try our effective, non-lethal ways to get these flocks to move along. Hint: Scaring them away is much better than killing them.
- Whether your local wildlife consists of birds or is more down to earth, there are always ways to enjoy the wildlife around you. See our tips on watching fall wildlife, get tips on feeding all backyard birds, and see ways you can help wildlife in your own yard.