LUTHER, Okla. (KFOR) – Jennie Hays doesn’t thing of Thanksgiving in quite the same way most people do.
“We call Thanksgiving Thanks-living,” she tells us while feeding a crowd of chickens, turkeys, and pot bellied pigs.
It’s definitely a time of plenty.
All her farm animals are healthy and very well cared for.
She lists her stock as, “goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys obviously, emu, and cattle of all kinds.”
The last Thursday in November is a time she and her husband Jason set aside to be thankful as well.
“So what does Thanksgiving look like around here,” asks a first-time visitor to the Hays farm?
Jennie responds with a giggle and a, “Well…”
But not even one of these animals is in line for stuffing, or smoking, or barbecuing either.
And the Thanksgiving feast?
It’s all for these creatures, including her rafter of turkeys.
Jennie says, “every year we give all of our animals, especially the turkeys, a bit of a feast. They get cranberries, and cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and all sorts of good vegetables.”
As you might have noticed, the Hays place isn’t your typical farm.
They call it Oliver and Friends Rescue Farm and Sanctuary.
Their non-profit organization takes in just about any traditional stock animal, most of them with special needs, and lets them live out their lives happy and safe.
“I truly believe in what we’re doing here,” Jennie states tearfully. “I love these animals ferociously.”
Oliver and Friends calls itself ‘the only vegan farm animal sanctuary in the Midwest’.
Her own, personal quest to treat stock animals in a different way might not reach very far beyond her gate, but for the animals, turkeys included, who’ve managed to make it here it’s a bit of heaven on earth.
“All animals matter, and all of their lives matter,” Jennie argues.