In this case PETA's statements reflect my sentiments precisely.
PETA to Obama: Don't Pardon Turkeys
By Sarah Parnass
It's a White House tradition with a century and a half of history behind
it, but PETA is asking the White House to skip it this year.
Today President Obama is set to pardon two turkeys - Cobbler and Gobbler
- just as every president since George H. W. Bush has. The tradition
finds its roots in a moment of sympathy Abe Lincoln's son, Tad, had for
their table's turkey back in the 1860s.
Now Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals, says the turkey pardon has got to go.
"It makes light of the mass slaughter of some 46 million gentle,
intelligent birds and portrays the United States' president as being in
some sort of business partnership with the turkey-killing industry,"
Newkirk wrote in a letter sent to President Obama today. "Turkeys do not
need to be 'pardoned'-they are not guilty of anything other than being
born into a world of prejudice. They are innocents who should be
respected for who they are: good mothers, smart birds, and interesting
"You understand so well that African-Americans, women, and members of
the LGBT community have been poorly served throughout history," Newkirk
writes, "and now I am asking you to consider other living beings who are
ridiculed, belittled, and treated as if their sentience, feelings, and
very natures count for nothing."
Those are turkeys she's talking about.
When asked if the comparison of turkeys with minority Americans was a
little extreme, PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne answered that turkeys
feel pain and fear, just like humans.
"Everyone deserves to be free from suffering, and that includes
turkeys," Byrne said.
So will the White House forego the fowl tradition and opt for Tofurkey?
Last year PETA similarly took issue with the term "pardon," asking the
White House to say "spare" instead. But the White House went along with
its usual use of the p-word .
Byrne said this Thanksgiving gives Obama a new opportunity to connect
with his constituency and go vegan like another Democratic president -
Bill Clinton - who gave up his beloved hamburgers, all meat in fact, for
health reasons after leaving office.
"With more Americans than ever cutting meat out of their diets, we hope
that the president could see this as a way to get with the times," Byrne