The Quaker Arthur Morgan School in Celo, N. Carolina, dating back to 1962, is a peace-loving, consensus decision-making, community-minded home away from home for teenagers looking for an alternative to the traditional school system. For most of its history, it was a vegetarian school, believing in the principles of Francis Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet. Staff and students are committed to living a life as sustainably as possible.
Each year, students and staff invite their families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, at which they serve mock meat, but also turkeys to please the meat eaters.
In 2004, the school community decided to raise its own turkeys for the annual celebration. Some three quarters of the student body and about half the staff volunteered to participate in the slaughter.
On November 24, 2010, our Friend in Brevard Meeting, North Carolina, Carol Hoke, wrote to the young people, of which this is part of her letter:
Dear Young Friends at Arthur Morgan School,
I was very sad to learn that you are raising and then killing turkeys to eat. You have good intentions, however, and I believe that you would take a different path if you knew that turkeys feel pain and terror just as you do.
In the hope of fostering a sense of compassion in your hearts, I have adopted a turkey in your name from the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. Her name is Daphne, and at their website (http://www.farmsanctuary.org/) you can read about the wonderful work the Farm Sanctuary does. The Farm Sanctuary will soon be sending you her adoption certificate, and you will be her official sponsor.
I hope that you will turn your energy to projects filled with kindness and concern for all animals.
QCA is delighted that Carol should have thought of adopting a living turkey for the students and that this will encourage them to look at our fellow creatures with different eyes.
Here is Daphne, with thanks to Farm Sanctuary for giving us permission to show her: