Skip to main content


Where Healing Begins...
ACE of the Month
About Us
Calendar of Events
Educational Classes/Day C
Spay/Neuter Programs
MINIS...Yes! We Have Them
MN Gelding Project
The Painted Horse, Inc.
Pet Matching Service
Pet Loss Service
Report Suspected Abuse
Rescues Helping Rescues
Silver's Recovery Fund
Tofu The Turkey
Animal Tranporters Needed
Wish List
Member Login
Contact Us


Meet Tofu, this sweet little guy fell from the transport truck on his way to slaughter. Extremely ill, injured and barely alive he was immediately quarantined and given all the gentle care necessary in hopes he would pull through. Tofu will not meet the cruel fate of slaughter for human consumption this Thanksgiving holiday. Instead, he will live out his life at our Sanctuary. This Thanksgiving we feel truly blessed to have this little angel alive, happy and healthy. He is truly a happy addition to our Sanctuary family. Welcome Tofu!

Note From Our Founder:
His condition was alarming to say the very least. He was extremely ill and quite injured. He was swollen, in pain and barely alive. While all his intake photos upset me-the photos of both left and right sides, and the front views of his very swollen face break my heart. As a woman, I have experience with not only abused and injured animals, but my own mother, as well as several other exceptional women in my life, all survivors of domestic abuse. The face of this little animal is no different than the faces of so many others I have had the absolute privilege of knowing, of loving, and to have as dear friends in my life. All survivors, all incredible, all beautiful.-Elisa of NARS


It never ceases to amaze me what love can do. And this little guy is certainly easy to love.

Update: It has been just 2 weeks since I found Tofu virtually lifeless and in such incredible pain. He has shown remarkable improvement and is now bright-eyed and a very happy boy. He began immediately responding to my voice and within a couple days, knew his name and comes when he is called. He began communicating with soft chirps and purrs which have turned into big, happy chirps and squawks. His first experience with a large, but very kind, orange rescue kitty resulted in a few little hisses and some puffing up of newly sprouted feathers and now kitties are his friends. He is intelligent, aware, loving and such a joy to have around. If he is not following me around the barn and "helping" with chores you can see him hanging out with his new best friend, Moe, a very handsome rescued bantam rooster. Soon Tofu will join all the other rescued fowl where we hope he will blend in nicely and live a long, happy life here at NARS.

NARS Founder, Elisa and the now infamous "Tofu" 9/20/2012

Thank you Tofu for reminding us what being truly thankful is all about. Because of you, we see and will celebrate Thanksgiving differently. We will not center our table around your death but in celebration of your life, of life in general. You have taught us that every creature, no matter the size, shape or specie, is one to be cared for, respected, cherished and appreciated. In your eyes I see hope, I see kindness and I see joy. You have opened our hearts as well as our minds. From now on, we will be reminded of you, of your pain as well as your courage, and we will celebrate life and will forever be thankful for this precious little turkey that came into our lives and touched the hearts of so many. You remind us all that
love and kindness can in fact heal the world. -Elisa, Founder of NARS

To see more photos of Tofu and please see our Northwoods Animal Rescue Sanctuary Facebook page and click on Photos/Tofu and go to our Facebook wall for updates and video.


Talking Turkey: 
Sharing Your Holiday Table With Meat-Eaters

Thank you Animal Rights Coalition of Minnesota for the following articles;

The holidays are right around the corner.  It's a time for joy and peace and goodwill toward all.  Or not.  For many vegans and vegetarians holidays are a time of stress and sadness because it means having to attend family get-togethers and meals where most everyone else is eating animals.
People who eat traditional American food tend to be defensive about their choices, while vegetarians and vegans may feel alienated.  Here are some tips to help you avoid a food fight at your upcoming holiday get-togethers:
If you're going to be eating a meal prepared by someone else, explain to your host ahead of time that you are committed to eating cruelty-free and that you are willing to be flexible about how to guarantee there are options for you.  You may want to suggest that you bring your own main dish or help the cook(s) veganize the side dishes.


If someone accuses you of being difficult, explain that you want to do whatever is least burdensome for others while not compromising your deeply held beliefs.
Refusing to eat animal products is a  serious ethical choice. Just as no one would expect someone whose religion shuns a certain food to eat it anyway, it is unreasonable to expect a vegetarian or vegan to make an exception during Thanksgiving.
You may not want to bring up your reasons for being vegan or vegetarian but it is almost guaranteed that someone will ask you why you are not eating animal products.  You know your friends and family best, so you can answer them accordingly.  With some, it might be best to suggest talking one-on-one after the meal to prevent a conflict.  With others, the table may be the perfect opportunity to explain animal rights to an attentive audience.  If the conversation turns hostile, recommend that people talk to you after the meal.  It's never a bad idea to have some Vegetarian Starter Kits on hand so you can offer a resource to curious family and friends.  ARC can provide you with a ready supply.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving, you are not obligated to forego your ethics in order to appease others' taste buds.  If people complain, explain that you understand why they might not want to attend a vegan Thanksgiving but that you're sure they'll be pleasantly surprised when they see the array of delicious foods. Also let it be known that you won't be offended if they turn down your invite.
Keep in mind that providing information and tasty alternatives to animal products is the best way to help turkeys this holiday season.


Bird Brains

We've all heard it, especially this time of year:  "Turkeys are so dumb, they'll stare up at the rain with their mouths open until they drown."  This "fact" is often used by meat-eaters as one of their justifications for killing and eating turkeys.  Aside from intelligence not being a morally justifiable reason for killing or eating anyone, this myth about turkeys drowning in the rain is exactly that -- a myth. 
Turkeys do not look up to see rain.  Like most birds, turkeys do not have binocular vision, that is, the ability to focus both eyes on an object at the same time.  They have monocular vision which means they have eyes on opposite sides of their heads, allowing them a wider field of vision in order to detect predators.  A turkey's eyes point sideways, so a turkey attempting to look at something above his or her normal plane of vision would tilt the head sideways not up.

The origin of this myth, according to Oregon State University animal science professor Tom Savage, appears to be a genetic condition called tetanic Tetanic torticollar spasms.  This neurological condition causes afflicted birds to cock their heads and stare at the sky for 30 seconds or more.
"It's an example of how a misunderstood animal behavior becomes identified as proof that the animal is lacking in intelligence," Savage says.  He adds,  "I've always viewed turkeys as smart animals with personality and character and keen awareness of their surroundings.  The dumb tag simply doesn't fit."
So the next time you hear someone say turkeys are stupid, set them straight.  And you might also point out that Benjamin Franklin felt so strongly about turkeys that they were his choice for America's national bird.  Maybe if Franklin had gotten his way Americans would be honoring these grand and friendly birds on Thanksgiving instead of slaughtering them by the millions.