Thanksgiving Q&A: Shannon Elizabeth's New Tradition -- Adopt A Turkey!

Shannon Elizabeth first caught the attention of audiences with her sexy turn as Nadia in the "American Pie" series. Now years later, the actress is not only garnering attention for her film roles, she's also making an impression with her animal advocacy work.

It was recently announced that Shannon is the spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary's Adopt A Turkey Project, where instead of eating a turkey for Thanksgiving, people can save a life and sponsor one of the rescued birds that reside at Farm Sanctuary's shelters in New York and California.

PLAY IT NOW: Peter Dinklage Takes Break From Game Of Thrones To Help Farm Sanctuary

Shannon recently spoke with to explain why this issue is so important to her, why she'll never eat meat again, and why being compassionate is an attractive quality. Why is Farm Sanctuary's Adopt A Turkey Project so important to you?

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Stars Who Go Green!

Shannon Elizabeth: I've been vegetarian for over 12 years, and I try to be vegan as much as possible. I think this campaign is so great, because it helps bring such awareness. It's weird to me that our traditions are something that have become such a cruel and inhumane act, and I don't think a lot of people think of it that way, but it is. I know with birds, in general, when you slaughter an animal that is scared like this, that is sick, that is terrified, they release hormones as they're being slaughtered and you're eating that. They have diseases and you're eating that, and people aren't thinking about what they're putting into their bodies. They're not thinking about the torturous acts that these poor animals go through.

Access: In that regard, I read that you feel just as much affection for turkeys as you feel for cats and dogs. So, why do you think people should treat turkeys just as kindly as they do cats and dogs?

Shannon: Because they have the same capacity to love. Most people don't realize turkeys are friendly, they're social, they're loyal, they have emotions. When I went and visited Farm Sanctuary, there's a turkey that's walking around that greets you and she followed us around the entire time and hung out with us. You can sit there and pet her, you can play with her. It's amazing. That was my first real one-on-one experience with a turkey and that's what really started opening my eyes to what amazing, smart animals they are.


Access: What made you decide to go vegetarian all those years ago?

Shannon: I went to an award show called the Genesis Awards and I was presenting the last award of the night. [The event] was about highlighting people that have brought to light and changed animal cruelty. I sat through the whole ceremony and I cried the entire time. They read excerpts of a couple of different things that had been written about how a cow gets to the plate, and how a lot of the time it doesn't die in the slaughterhouse. It goes to the butcher and the butcher starts cutting it up while the cow's still alive. The name of the article is called 'They Die Piece By Piece.' It affected me so deeply that never again was I going to touch meat.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Holiday Season: Stars In Santa Gear

Access: Since turkey tends to be the centerpiece of most American Thanksgiving meals, do you have any ideas for alternatives to turkey?

Shannon: There's four alternatives that I know of, but I haven't tried them all, so I can't testify necessarily for how they taste. One of them is called Gardein, one is Field Roast, and then Tofurkey, which a lot people know of, and then the last one is called Quorn. These are all turkey alternatives, and people can add some of their own touches to them; you don't have to just take it as is and put it in the oven. Make it your own, add what you would normally add to turkey, and you can build such an amazing meal around it.

Access: Do you have any advice for how people can get their family to get on board with that?

Shannon: I think that if you're someone who has a traditional family that is not part of that, the best thing you can do is bring some of your own dishes. I'm going to be going to a Thanksgiving party at a friend's house and they're not vegetarian or vegan, but I've been thinking of things that I can bring. That way I know I have food for myself to eat, and I can bring things that they'll love. That way I can start introducing them to the idea that you can have amazing food without hurting an animal.

Access: Going green is really catching on, so how is cutting out eating turkeys good for the environment, as well as a person's health?

Shannon: It's definitely good for people's health because when turkeys are bred the way they currently are, they get heart disease, they suffer from a lot of lung issues (because of contaminated air), and then you're eating that. They have a lot disorders because of what's being done to them. People need to realize that what they're putting in their body is very toxic and it's going to lead to a lot of health issues. You do it all the time and there's nothing green, environmental or humane about it.

Access: Assuming that you consider compassion an attractive quality, what do you think is sexy about being compassionate toward turkeys?

Shannon: Well, it's just being a compassionate human being in general, like when you're around somebody that cares about animals. If I'm around somebody who says, "I don't like dogs," I don't think I can even be friends with that person (she laughs). I mean, that doesn't make sense -- who doesn't like dogs? It's the same with all animals, turkeys included, we just don't all have turkeys in our homes as pets, but they have the same capacity, the same loving ability. I think compassion is an important quality in people in general.

Access: How can people get involved and Adopt A Turkey?

Shannon: People can visit, and there are a lot of great recipes on that website as well. They can also call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.

On top of being the 2012 spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary's Adopt A Turkey Project, Shannon also has a handmade, vegan jewelry line that she co-founded with her cousin, Tamsen Fadal. For more info, visit or go to Twitter -- @ShansenJewelry. And, in April 2013, she'll be appearing in "A Green Story," which chronicles the story of the founder of Earth Friendly Products.

-- Christopher Locke

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
  • Spain revises Q2 growth estimate upward to 0.8 percent Associated Press - 5 minutes ago

    Officials have revised Spain's quarterly economic growth figure for the April-June period upward, from 0.7 percent to 0.8 percent, welcome news for a country in its eighth month without a fully functioning ... … More »

  • Grain mixed, livestock mixed Associated Press - 14 minutes ago

    Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Sept. delivery was .50 cent higher at $4.0460 a bushel; Sept. corn was .50 cent lower at $3.27 bushel; Sept. ... … More »

  • Iran will join OPEC meet in Algeria: minister AFP - 30 minutes ago

    Iran will take part in an informal meeting of OPEC countries in Algeria next month, state media reported on Thursday. "I will take part in this session," Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told the ... … More »

  • Russia will work with US on response to Syria gas attacks probe: ambassador
    Russia will work with US on response to Syria gas attacks probe: ambassador AFP News - 34 minutes ago

    Russia will work with the United States on a response after a UN investigation found that the Syrian regime had carried out chemical attacks, Moscow's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Thursday. … More »

  • Markets Right Now: Stocks are slightly lower in early trade Associated Press - 39 minutes ago

    The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local): 10:10 a.m. U.S. stock indexes are slightly lower in early trading, while several companies fell sharply after reporting disappointing ... … More »

  • Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions Reuters - 42 minutes ago

    ** British broadcaster ITV said on Thursday it would not bid for Entertainment One after failing to persuade the owner of the children's TV character Peppa Pig to enter into a formal process. ** Berry Plastics Group Inc said it would buy AEP … More »

  • Average US 30-year mortgage rate unchanged at 3.43 percent Associated Press - 46 minutes ago

    Long-term U.S. mortgage rates didn't budge this week, remaining at historically low levels that continue to lure prospective home buyers. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average for the ... … More »

  • Chinese military will train Syrian troops: govt
    Chinese military will train Syrian troops: govt AFP News - 53 minutes ago

    China's military will provide training for Syrian armed forces, a spokesman for Beijing's defence ministry said Thursday, adding it would take place on Chinese soil. Beijing is a longstanding backer of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, … More »

  • Gold edges off 4-week low, awaits clues on Fed policy
    Gold edges off 4-week low, awaits clues on Fed policy Reuters - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    Gold edged off the previous day's four-week low on Thursday as the dollar retreated, but prices were rangebound ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week which will be watched for clues on monetary policy. Investors are … More »

  • Oil prices fall as production freeze expectation fades
    Oil prices fall as production freeze expectation fades Reuters - 1 hour 1 minute ago

    Oil prices slipped on Thursday as the market focused on oversupply and fading expectation of a production freeze. U.S. light crude oil was down 15 cents at $46.62 a barrel, after dropping 2.8 percent on Wednesday. Oil prices rose more than 20 … More »

  • Bold moves, tepid gains: Have central banks met their limit?
    Bold moves, tepid gains: Have central banks met their limit? Associated Press - 1 hour 1 minute ago

    The world's key central banks have worked themselves into contortions to try to rev up economic growth, raise inflation and coax consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more. They've pumped trillions ... … More »

  • US stocks open lower despite solid industrial, jobs data AFP - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    US stocks headed modestly lower in opening trade Thursday despite buoyant industrial production and jobless claims data that pointed to continued strength in the economy. Traders remained cautious ahead ... … More »

  • Wall St opens lower as investors await Yellen
    Wall St opens lower as investors await Yellen Reuters - 1 hour 18 minutes ago

    REUTERS - U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday as investors nervously awaited Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's take on interest rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 26.6 points, or ... … More »

  • Investor group rebukes Sports Direct, wants review of management
    Investor group rebukes Sports Direct, wants review of management Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago

    An investor group whose members manage 850 billion pounds ($1.1 trillion) of UK equities has taken the unusual step of publicly rebuking the management of Sports Direct and calling for an independent review. The Investor Forum, which speaks for … More »

  • Poland first in Europe to issue Chinese 'Panda bonds'
    Poland first in Europe to issue Chinese 'Panda bonds' AFP News - 1 hour 57 minutes ago

    Poland on Thursday said it became the first European country to issue government bonds on the Chinese market, opening the door to new sources of financing as Warsaw plans to run a record deficit next year. The Polish finance ministry said it had … More »

  • Fiscal spend in richer euro countries would help periphery - ECB paper
    Fiscal spend in richer euro countries would help periphery - ECB paper Reuters - 2 hours 14 minutes ago

    Fiscal spending in "core" euro zone countries, such as Germany, would help weaker economies in the region's periphery at a time when European Central Bank rates are stuck at zero, an ECB research paper showed on Thursday. The authors argue for … More »

  • Standex posts 4Q profit Associated Press - 2 hours 21 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Salem, New Hampshire-based company said it had net income of 95 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.31 per share. The equipment manufacturing company ... … More »

  • Two of China’s Biggest Banks Hold Back Rising Tide of Bad Loans Bloomberg - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    Investors are looking for any signs that China’s banks are getting on top of their bad loans, estimated by analysts to be much higher than the levels officially reported. Likewise, Bank of Communications executives cautioned that it was too early … More »

  • Poland first in Europe to issue Chinese 'Panda bonds': ministry AFP - 2 hours 53 minutes ago

    Poland on Thursday said it became the first European country to issue government bonds on the Chinese market, opening the door to new sources of financing as Warsaw plans to run a record deficit next year. ... … More »

  • China graft inspectors call on energy agency to speed up reforms Reuters - 2 hours 55 minutes ago

    China's graft inspectors have called on the nation's energy regulator to intensify oversight of the approval process for new projects and accelerate reforms of its massive oil, gas and power sector as Beijing cracks down on widespread corruption. … More »

  • Global stocks wilt ahead of Fed gathering, dollar wobbles
    Global stocks wilt ahead of Fed gathering, dollar wobbles Reuters - 2 hours 59 minutes ago

    European stocks saw their biggest fall in three weeks on Thursday and currency markets were noticeably subdued as investors took to sidelines ahead of one of the big global central banker gatherings of the year. Japanese and Chinese stocks had … More »

  • 'Queen of Knitwear' Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86
    'Queen of Knitwear' Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86 AFP News - 3 hours ago

    Sonia Rykiel, the French fashion designer known as the Queen of Knitwear, died on Thursday at the age of 86 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, her daughter told AFP. "My mother died at 5:00 this morning at her home in Paris from the … More »

  • Navios reports 2Q loss Associated Press - 3 hours ago

    On a per-share basis, the company said it had a loss of 29 cents. The shipping and logistics company posted revenue of $105.7 million in the period. The company's shares closed at $1.03. A year ago, they ... … More »

  • Deutsche Boerse, LSE submit merger to EU regulators for approval
    Deutsche Boerse, LSE submit merger to EU regulators for approval Reuters - 3 hours ago

    Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange Group have submitted their $29 billion merger deal to European Union competition regulators ahead of a Sept. 28 deadline for a preliminary review. The European Commission's antitrust department, whose … More »

  • European equities slide in choppy trade
    European equities slide in choppy trade AFP News - 3 hours ago

    European stocks slid Thursday in choppy trade as investors eyed poor German data and recent oil price falls, on the eve of a speech by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen. In late morning deals, Frankfurt sank 1.0 percent, London lost 0.3 percent and … More »

Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
to view quotes in your portfolios.


  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg

Market Data

  • Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change