ORLAND - Devoted vegetarians Dino and Barbara Collaro drove two hours
to California's farm belt to attend a Thanksgiving feast where no one
dared ridicule them for refusing to eat turkey.
The honored dinner guests were turkeys -- real ones -- and the menu
catered to the birds' favorite tastes rather than people's taste for
The Collaros and 250 other people each paid $30 Saturday to feed
pumpkin pie, squash and cranberries to Blossom, Lala, Tinkerbell and
other rescued turkeys at the Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit retirement
home for farm animals.
The group's Celebration of the Turkeys turns the table on the American
holiday tradition that can find vegetarians squirming under the raised
eyebrows and stares of their meat-eating friends and family members.
"You can feel like an outcast," said Barbara Collaro, a Martinez
resident. "This is fun. I have wanted to do this for years."
The Collaros still plan to attend an extended-family dinner on
Thanksgiving with meat eaters.
On Saturday, however, vegetarians ruled the roost at the sanctuary for
farm animals, including sheep, cattle, ducks, chickens and donkeys.
Before eating a vegetarian meal featuring mashed potatoes, broccoli
slaw and soy-based Tofurkey, the people served platters of vegetarian
fare to 26 farm turkeys.
Eleven of those turkeys were lucky to be there.
They were among 40 that survived a cargo plane trip from Detroit to
San Francisco in August while en route to a commercial farm to become