When Rory Cockshaw met a ‘gorgeous’ turkey by the name of Harriet, he was inspired to undergo the race.
The 21-year-old said: “I met a turkey called Harriet at a sanctuary a few months ago and she was the most lovely animal in the world.
“It was the first time I’d met a turkey and I don’t think you realise what gorgeous creatures they are unless you meet them.”
Following his encounter with the gobbler, the bloke was shocked by a news article about turkey supplies.
He said: “I spotted a newspaper on a train that had an article about farmers trying to protect turkey supplies for Christmas.
“The word ‘supplies’ struck me as a very odd phrase because it was almost like they weren’t talking about sentient beings who can suffer.”
He added: “Hearing that farmers are trying to protect turkeys from bird flu so that they can be slaughtered didn’t sit right with me, especially after meeting a turkey myself.”
As part of the challenge to raise awareness for animal rights, keeping on theme, Rory will wear a turkey-shaped hat so people will ‘realise that veganism is possible’.
According to Statista, 11.3 million turkeys were slaughtered in the UK last year.
Rory’s Christmas Run for Animals will take place in Bushy Park, Richmond, on December 21 – the shortest day of the year.
He said: “There’s a group of us running throughout the day, some just for part of the marathon, some walking and others are taking on the full seven hours and 49 minutes.”
The vegan activist will raise money for Viva, a British animal rights group promoting veganism.
Rory has been leading a plant-based lifestyle since 2020.
While his family was ‘sceptical’ at first, some of his family members have now followed in his footsteps.
He said: “This year, my granddad will be having his first turkey-free Christmas dinner which he’s said he is looking forward to, which is very exciting to hear.”
And as part of this year’s Christmas roast, Rory will celebrate with a meatless chicken produced from wheat and soy protein.
He said: “The first time I tried it, I had to double-check the packaging to make sure it wasn’t real chicken because it tasted so realistic. Plus it’s way cheaper that buying meat.”
He added: “Going plant-based over the festive season feels much more Christmassy than the alternative.”Featured Image Credit: PA Real Life