H1: Come Cuddle Turkeys and Enjoy Vegan Pie at The Gentle Barn in Dittmer, Missouri

H3: A Unique Thanksgiving Experience Awaits at The Gentle Barn

Are you tired of the same old Thanksgiving routine? Well, The Gentle Barn in Dittmer, Missouri has an exciting invitation for you! Instead of the traditional family feast, why not come out and cuddle with some turkeys while enjoying delicious vegan pie? That’s right, turkeys! Founder Ellie Laks, who has been cuddling turkeys for over 20 years, recently joined us by video to discuss this unique experience and whether any self-respecting Missourian would be willing to give it a try. Let’s dive into the conversation and learn more about this heartwarming tradition.

How Did Cuddling Turkeys Begin?

Ellie Laks, who grew up in St. Louis and Boston, rescued her first turkey over two decades ago. It was a male turkey, but it wasn’t until a year later that she rescued her first female turkey. They developed a special bond and every morning, the turkey would follow Ellie around while she did her chores. They would have a morning conversation, with the turkey talking and Ellie listening, and vice versa. One day, the turkey followed Ellie for longer than usual and she started to worry. But when she sat down on the ground, the turkey climbed into her lap and fell asleep. And that was the beginning of Ellie’s love for cuddling turkeys.

Do Male Turkeys Like to Cuddle?

Unfortunately, Ellie learned that male turkeys are not big fans of cuddling. They prefer to show off and get attention, while the females enjoy cuddling and socializing. This has been the case for the hundreds of turkeys that have been rescued at The Gentle Barn over the years.

Join in on the Cuddling Fun

For the past few years, The Gentle Barn has been inviting St. Louisans to come and cuddle with their turkeys. But are people hesitant to try it out? According to Ellie, we are all hesitant to try something new. However, once people see how it’s done, they jump right in. And the majority of people who have cuddled turkeys at The Gentle Barn have even burst into tears from the heartwarming experience.

A Change of Heart

Do people who come to cuddle turkeys still plan on having a turkey dinner later that day? Ellie says that some people do come with the intention of going to their Thanksgiving dinner afterwards. But after cuddling the turkeys, participating in a Native American drum circle, and enjoying vegan pie, their hearts are opened and they may have to think twice about their dinner plans.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and heartwarming Thanksgiving experience, come out to The Gentle Barn in Dittmer, Missouri and cuddle with some turkeys. Who knows, it may just change your perspective on the holiday and the animals we typically associate with it.