Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo believes in celebrating the lives of the animals it saves. That’s why it invites the community to its events, such as the annual Fall Feast, which allows visitors to feed the animals on the 40-acre property – including a group of 22 rescued turkeys.  

Happy Hen says the purpose of the Fall Feast is to switch up Thanksgiving traditions in favor of a more animal-centered approach that all creatures can enjoy. 

Gina Sawaya, a visitor to the farm during the Fall Feast, said that as a vegan, she came to honor the lives of the animals.  

“It feels like a really strange holiday, especially being vegan and having this sacrificial turkey as the main star of the holiday,” Sawaya said. “I wanted to celebrate the lives of these animals and cherish them.” 

Since it was founded in 2014, Happy Hen has rescued over 1200 animals, including pigs, cows, goats and roosters. Animals at the sanctuary spend their days eating, playing and roaming the space.   

Dr. Sherstin Rosenberg, Happy Hen’s executive director and onsite veterinarian, hopes to give a voice to animals by opening the sanctuary to the public. 

“Instead of having people eat animals, we’re actually feeding delicious food to the animals, and we’re demonstrating compassion in doing that,” Rosenberg said. 

With Happy Hen’s Fall Feast, both animals–and humans–can be thankful this fall season.   

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