Skip to Main Content

Turkey Pardon Fail, Starring Sarah Palin

Written by PETA | November 21, 2008

The moose-hunting, fur-wearing, pro-aerial-wolf-gunning governor is in the news again. On Thursday, Sarah Palin visited a turkey farm in Wasilla for the traditional pre-Thanksgiving turkey “pardoning.” Now, most people probably don’t think about exactly how the turkeys raised for Thanksgiving dinner every year meet their maker. But not to worry. Sarah has that under control. In this video, while responding to a reporter who asks about her post-election plans, Palin talks about how she wants to “promote a local business” and do something that won’t “invite criticism.” While turkeys are being slaughtered. Behind her. ON CAMERA.



Was that one of those “gotcha” questions, Sarah? Because it seems to me that showing the bloody reality of slaughter is just about the worst thing you could do to promote this business. Some people just won’t want to eat turkey after watching—especially when this happened the day after PETA released new undercover video from the world’s leading poultry-breeding facility. In that video, workers stomp on turkeys’ heads, punch them, and bang their heads against metal scaffolding.

This is a country of people who love animals—in fact, numerous polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that farmed animals deserve protection from abuse. The more that people are confronted with the ways that animals who are raised for food suffer—from the moment they’re born until the moment they’re killed—the more that people will start thinking about giving vegetarian meals a try. And then the factory farming industry will need a bigger bailout than the “Big Three.”

Written by Dan Shannon

P.S.—Sarah Palin should take a cue from our own “President Bush,” whose turkey-pardoning this year really was a “mission accomplished.”

Commenting is closed.
  • Scott says:

    I have to say as horrible as this sounds that I was expecting worse. A friend of mine told me that they were feeding turkeys into a grinder “Fargo” style. When I saw it I did see some struggle but I hope I go so quietly. I promise that the bird would not have met such a humane end if it got caught by a coyote in the wild. I agree that most people should know what goes on in killing these animals. I look at it this way we are programmed to be omnivorous and if your heart is able to overlook that programming then great if not strive to put pressure on the industry to make sure they are humane. Look at all the struggle that companies have had go through to greenwash after this summer’s go green fad. All it takes is the right kind of pressure. I myself will continue to eat turkey.

  • marianne says:

    I think she knew exactly what was going on behind her. Why would she be standing there! Its sick sad for the turkeys to be put on tv for this cruelty act. I cry for the animals. She knows. Damn her.

  • kathy stirrat says:

    As other people have commented I wasn’t surprised by this this women has no compassion or intelligence! I also think this heartbreaking video has been an eye opener for many people. I used to love turkey I don’t eat red meat but I can tell you from now on no meat of any kind will be on my plate again all I have to do is think of this video. Thanks Sarah you’ve helped me take that final step to becoming a vegetarian. So you have been good for something!!!!

  • Stephane LeClair says:

    That ”intellectcompassion handicaped” train wreck does it again…but this time she is promoting animal rights without even knowing it…many people still think that death in slaughterhouses are quick and painless. This video sure makes people talk but it is also letting them know the reality behind their plate…and that is a good thing although it is truly awful and sad. Palin’s blankness is weird she’s like an ”evil femme robot” from a bad scifi b movie

  • David says:

    Somewhere in Alaska a village has it’s idiot.

  • Lora says:

    I am only writing this here because anywhere else I would be chastised. I watched this video actually I “made” myself. I have this belief that seeing things that make me ache will make me strong enough to change the world I live in. After I watched it I sobbed for 20 minutes after wards. Watching that not to be dramatic was like watching a human being be cut and hung to bleed to death. I’m not saying it IS the same thing I’m saying it makes me FEEL the same. I truly hate some human beings. How can we be so disconnected that we could do that to living feeling beings? The truth of it is survival has nothing to do with it. Human beings can live without meat. Actually human beings live longer and healthier without it. Every nutrient we think we “need” from meat we can get from a vegetable fruit or grain. Eating meat is for the enjoyment of it only not necessity. The more of this pain we ingest the more it becomes a part of us. The more emotionless cruel acts I see towards the creatures we were created to protect the more I fear our fate.

  • Melissa says:

    It was very hard to watch this video but I disagree with most of the people posting when they are demonizing Sarah Palin. I’m glad this footage was caught on video because now people cannot pretend to be ignorant on how awful farm animals are treated. Why is everyone blaming Sarah Palin though? Why is she more evil than Barack Obama who ordered a corned beef sandwich at lunch today? I am not a fan of Sarah Palin but it doesn’t make sense to me to blame one person when the vast majority of Americans eat meat. Response to Karen I know it is sad for kids to see something like this but shouldn’t they learn the truth? I’m not going to let my kids go to the circus just because its too hard to explain to them that the animals are tortured behind the scenes. I think Sarah just helped a few families decide to forgo the turkey this year and that is what I’m choosing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

  • Margie Quirk says:

    Did she really say “this was fun being here today”? It was obvious when you watch the video that she knew exactly what was going on in the background. This will be my first year as a vegetarian at Thanksgiving. Watching this video makes me realize I made the right choice. Bring on the Tofurkey!

  • Dragon X says:

    Warning I am not a fan of peta or animal rights. No gory detials in this comment people in Alaska aren’t people in New York. They don’t life upstairs to their business they don’t go and take the subway. They don’t care either Alaskians have been known to a a traditional people and live on the land to live on. They hunt it what the Aluetians did when they first came there. It is what the one today do. They don’t care to go down in dirty. What do you think they do push papers? I understand PETA fans that ou love animals and I respect that. But some people don’t mind as much and some are not ready to let go of the traditions that they have carried since the first Americans came to Alaska. Palin is used to it its is normal day life. Hey governership is not bad she understands and suits the needs of Alaskans. She may not be suited for national office but she is suited for Alaska. And respect their ways.

  • Nefarity says:

    “At least this is fun” Fun? what fun? Murder and brutality in the background and she finds that fun? What a sadist bitch.

  • Brad says:

    I just wrote a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times in VA describing how factory farmed turkeys are kept and killed. If you write one to your paper too then maybe we can change the minds and hearts of two or three people…. or hopefully more!!!

  • lynda says:

    I am so sad and furious about this treatment of turkeys and all animals. I think it should be outlawed to treat them like this and to kill them in such a horrific manner. I am so upset and I want to do something to stop this. God Bless the turkeys and all of his fur kids. I know that as I grieve in my heart and soul for these angels that the Holy Spirit is grieving deeply and loudly. How could anyone do that to any animal. I am ashamed of the human race that we allow such a barbaric and hateful crime to come upon our animals. I am Republican because I am ProLife and that means all lives. I am changing to Independent as these are no friends of mine. I am vegetarian because I love animals and would never want one to suffer for my selfish wants or desires. No More! We have to stop this barbaric animal cruelty. I think the man who wasn on the camera should be charged with animal cruelty. I will never forget the way he smiled. Satan incarnate. Lord have mercy on the innocent helpless victims…the animals. Please God make it stop. Lynda

  • Jay says:

    Too many people have been brainwashed into thinking that meat just magically appears in the store. At least Palin and those who grow or hunt their own meat are realists. I’ve raised livestock for food and hunted for my meat. Its much more work but its worth it. My kids and I have a much better appreciation for the animals that we eat as a result.

  • Tiffany says:

    I was going to have turkey this Thanksgiving until I saw this video! I am going to Whole Foods and buying the “Tofurky Feast” for me and my family! I never really thought about all of the killing until I see it with my own eyes!

  • Timothy Hobbs says:

    Most of us grow up eating animal flesh.Unless you live on a farm and see slaughtering first hand all you know about the animal you’re consuming is the nice packaged product brought home from the grocery store. I was an omnivore until the age of fifty six.I was watching a documentery film titled “Brother’s Keeper”. Toward the end of the film there was a particular brutal botched slaughter of a pig. My stomach knotted and I felt so sad for the poor animal. I have not eaten meat of anykind since. Seeing the Palin turkey video just made me ill all over again. If people must continue to eat their fellow creatures can’t a humane method of killing be used? Why must the poor animal suffer and struggle while it is being put down? Why?

  • Neal Norvell says:

    I won’t be eating turkey for Thanksgiving this year. Thanks Palin. How in the heck did you become governor of Alaska. Must not be much competition. And to think you’re prolife.

  • kathleen w. says:

    This video is horrible! That heartless witch is trying to get publicity while animals are being killed behind her. That guy in the back looks like pure evil. Thanksgiving is a disgrace all it is to most people is a day of killing. I am so tired of hearing about “turkey day”. People need to open their eyes to the truth. Nikki get a grip on reality. Vegetarians vegans do represent the average person. We are growing in numbers every day and I don’t know know any animals that torture other animals like humans do before they eat them. There is no excuse for eating meat!

  • Cynthia Smith says:

    Sara Palin is the most ignorant person I have ever seen in my life. If there is Karma she will come back as either a wolf who is chased by helicopters and shot or a Turkey at a slaughter house. SARA SCUM

  • vegancoin says:

    There is no logic to soundbites. There is no logic to the american political scene andor the greedy consumerist nightmare that is loosely called the american dream. Sarah Palin is a disgusting human being as is the turkey slaughterer in the background. and that cup of coffee in her hand coupled with the stupid questionsanswers says it all. Dumb.

  • she is awful says:

    I’m picturing a cartoon where a turkey is talking and in the background a Sarah Palin character is held upside down and her throat cut to bleed out as she struggles there being held by some dumb jerk and the turkey is saying “I’ll be in charge of the Sarah Palin!” Yeah if Peta had the nerve….

  • she is awful says:

    Everything with her is all about her and is always totally selfcentered. That is how she always comes across. That is why she has no care about the suffering of her victims. Because everything and any view on anything is just all about her. “I like this! This is fun! We’re gonna win! I’m going to do the turkey! I like to hunt! I wink at people! I…” This is why she is so alarming as a candidate. Awful. But the media is so frustrating because they know that what is done to animals is horrible and evidence this by rarely mentioning it let alone showing the public. That’s right it is so terrible so instead of being against it and exposing it and becoming vegetarians lets cover it up. You know what let’s get Sarah Palin to stupidly go all over the place to all kinds of hellish places and yap her mouth so we can show what is actually going on and she can say how fun it is to be there and at least then we could show those in the public who might care what is really going on! Yeah offer her trips places all buddybuddy like Hey Sarah come visit this fur farm and this vivisection room and this hellhole and tell us about all your great ideas! It’ll be fun! She is like a facade behind which is torture and murder.

  • Lynda says:

    I am so upset about this. This is the most horrific and sad thing I have ever seen. I am so angry I don’t know what to do. I wish more than anything in the world this animal brutality and cruelness would be outlawed and stopped. People are the most selfish and hateful of all animals. I am so ashamed of the human race. Lord have mercy on all God’s creation especially his beloved animals.

  • antigone1000 says:

    Kurt K That is the first intelligent comment I’ve heard you makeyes you are ALL evil.

  • Stacy says:

    I cannot watch the video you are all commenting on. I tried but had to turn it off. Just knowing about it has made me feel horrible all day. I am disgusted with the apathy and disconnect that goes into the horrible treatment of animals. Here is an Albert Schweitzer quote that is very fitting for this time of year “The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo.”

  • Karen says:

    Sarah Palin is not only not bright or compassionate she’s thoughtless about the sensitivities of countless Alaskan families who probably were sitting down to dinner with their young innocent children taking time to watch the early evening 6 PM news so that they could have “family time” later. Imagine how the parents felt when the kids asked “what’s she doing now Dad? Why is that bird upside down?” And yes Palin knew exactly what was going on despite the koolaid defenses thrown up by her avid supporters over at The cameraman or perhaps it was the producer of the interview segment specifically asked her if this is the angle she wanted for the interview and she answered in the affirmative as noted by others above. What a crass attentionseeking idiot this woman is.

  • Kurt K says:

    I don’t understand what she did wrong. I understand that it was probably a little tacky and inappropiate for the worker to be doing his job in the back ground. She probably used bad judgement to let that be in the shot. But I don’t know why so many of you are calling her evil and psycho. She is a hunter she was raised eating meat. What makes her any different than 98 of Americans who aren’t vegan. Are we all evil?

  • Becca says:

    “I’ll be in charge of the turkey.” I find it hard to believe that she can find the thought of eating a turkey appetizing after standing in front of a slaughter house.

  • Jazmin says:

    I can’t stand This poor excuse of a womansomething is missing in her gene pool. After reading the “Sarah Palin’s Sleazy Safari” article at I was shocked at how prohunting antianimal rights antienvironment this horrible person is. She threatened to sue the EPA Bush administration if they classified polar bears as an endangered species! Why to protect the polar bear hunting season. Read this article it’s an eye opener how her her fellow Republicans fight against all animal’s rights to live a cruelty free life. I mean she speaks at the ‘safari club’ you know where they participate in the sickest type of hunts known to god and man ‘canned or trophy hunts’. And that’s just fine by Safari Sarah to hunt animals in a closed fenced in environment where they are raised by humans have no fear odf them then are blasted into oblivion by humans they’ve come to trust.

  • Ana says:

    Palin is neither bright nor compassionate. What a winning combinationNOT!!! Need to get her out of office…..this animal killing machine knows no boundaries.

  • yawning_greyhound says:

    Incidentally yesterday I heard on MSNBC that her response to the person pointing out what was going on behind here was “No worries!” sigh.

  • yawning_greyhound says:

    I’m a vet tech and this morning at staff meeting I told all my coworkers about this many of them are veg saying “Sarah Palin did more for PETA in 5 minutes than any other political figure EVER.” At least there’s that.

  • stray says:

    Palin is a psycho! Talking about how she’ll be in charge of the turkey this year as if it’s not gonna be one of those turkeys in the background struggling against its death. She acts like it’s no big deal smiling and talking aout how much fun she’s having as the animals are being slaughtered I fcking hate her red neck hillbilly ass

  • Monika says:

    Wow… And I thought she couldn’t go any lower in my book. This is just disgusting.

  • Canaduck says:

    As usual she resides on a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLANET than the rest of us. Evil evil woman.

  • Denise says:

    Doesn’t pardon mean to excuse? Yea it looks like she failed. But at least from what I can tell the turkeys look healthy but when that man was killing them I noticed the thing shaking. Made me sick I’m glad I hate eating turkey. TOO DRY! Plus it breaks my heart to see these animals or any tortured.

  • Pamela L. says:

    I direct this quote to Sarah Palin “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi

  • Shari says:

    You know I am familiar with SMALL town farms and some of their slaughtering processes. USUALLY the heads are chopped off THEN brought to the cylinders to drain the blood but this victim is STILL alive when brought to the drainer and I can’t make out exactly WHAT is happening is the executioner cutting his head off or just slitting its throat after pulling the head through the cylinder end? VERY ODD. Can anyone ENLIGHTEN me? Though this is NO where NEAR the DISASTROUS brutal murder the corp farms inflict but if turkeys ARE to be killed chopping off the head with a VERY SHARP edged hatchet in ONE quick stroke IS the MOST humane process possible but I can NOT make out in the video just exactly WHAT it IS that he is doing to kill it NEVER seen it done THIS way…EVER! I LOVE the beautiful birds I don’t partake in eating the mascot at Thanksgiving DON’T eat anything that previously had a face heart and soul but the ‘programmed’ majority KEEPING UP with the Jones’s MUST keep up with holiday tradition a but hypocritical in MY eyes of eating from death but IF the slaughter must PREVAIL then only the PROPER QUICK painless kill process should take place. I’m NOT pleased with what I witnessed as there were NOT a mass to be killed at one time yet the turkey seemed to be struggling for a while so death was NOT instant SLOPPY kill and THAT is the UNPARDONABLE crime! Same goes for PALIN an UNPARDONABLE crime! A COMPLETE JOKE! Thee most IGNORANT and so OUT OF TOUCH COLD hearted bitch whose words she speaks ARE WRITTEN for her a MASTER reciter and Carla is SO RIGHT she is EMPTY headed and VERY shallow with absolutely NO respect for life whatsoever. Absolutely NOTHING genuine about THIS governor who sold her OWN state out via GREED. Peace Love Truth HEY HELP US OUT HERE… Support Our Freedom Join The Resisters! http://www.grassfire.orghome.shtm httprestoretherepublic.netGreenEyes We NEED you!!!

  • Michele Mooney says:

    Thank you Obnoxious Woman you’ve done more for vegetarianism thaan all of my pleading to my carnivore friends . Maybe PETA will make you Honorary Member of their great club

  • doodles says:

    The thing that really sticks in my craw about this footage is that the asshole waited to put the animal out of its misery until Carribou Barbie stopped her yapping. So it had to stay upside down for over three minutes waiting to die. Although I have to give this she devil credit for practicing what she preaches while the rest of America hides their eyes from the truth. You’re eating something that had a really crappy life and a horrifying death.

  • Chris says:

    Uh Carla Animals on this planet are eaten everyday and a lot of them are eaten by other animals too just a fact of life if you can’t except this than maybe you should get off the planet because Vegetarians and Vegans are a very small percentage of the population and do not represent the average person especially in places where people don’t care what they eat because food is scarce so any food they can get their hands on animal or otherwise will be eaten.

  • Nikki says:

    I am not a big fan of the taste of turkey but after watching this video I don’t think I will even take a tiny piece this year from the Thanksgiving table. I have pretty much lost my appetite for all things poultry.

  • Eric S. says:

    Prolife she is NOT! Apathetic and cold she is.

  • Lars says:

    Exactly the kind of cluelessness you’d expect from this worthless jesusfreak piece of trash. But personally I’d rather have my head chopped off than ever be “pardoned” by that skank.

  • Colionne says:

    If more “ordinary folks” had to kill their “meat” before eating there would be a whole lot more vegetarians. Why can’t we get more to understand that we don’t need meat….and all the downside that’s associated with it?

  • Nina says:

    In our culture of generations of vegetarians we believe that our sins from this life will haunt us during our next lives. Which means the people in slaughter houses that treat those poor creatures the way the do will suffer the same fate in their next lives. We cannot prove or disprove that but do we want the remotest possibility of becoming those animals in any life? People realize that human beings need to be trated with respect and not like”animals”. They have life and intelligence too just because they cannot talk back to us we assume we can treat them any way we wish. Shame on us!

  • Nesha says:

    This bitch is evil! Even if she doesnt care would it be so hard for her to turn her damn back so we didnt have to see this! I cannot believe this!

  • Ruth Cummings says:

    Sarah Palin is a disgusting human being and a disgrace to women……first we know that she had NO feelings involved for the Pardon it was a media event. Second maybe she raises her kids to see nothing wrong with killing but that is not the way the rest of the country lives. It probably raised great awareness…….but oh my…. I think I am getting too old for this….. And then the elephant just rescued who is 2000 lbs underweight…….

  • Carla says:

    Someone needs to help them!!! She needs help!!! She’s a witch in someone eles’s shell!! And the piece of crap in the back ground is a piece of poop with arms!! Sarah I will help you… GET THE H OFF THIS PLANET!!!

  • Bill says:

    I almost feel sorry for her. Almost. It would be bad enough for her to have conducted the interview in front of this at any time but she had JUST “pardonned” a turkey then she starts waffling about her son in Iraq etc. She is just a walking disaster. Those poor turkeys. But it’s true that nobody who actually eats turkey should be under any illusion about this

  • Jack says:

    What’s interesting to me about this story isn’t so much Sarah Palin as the nature of the coverage it’s getting. Yesterday on Countdown David Shuster was all “We have to warn you this is incredibly graphic and disturbing so get the kids out of the room etc.” but somehow even in all that there’s not even the hint of a recognition that it’s disturbing beyond this particular incident … that it’s like monumentally disturbing on a massive fing scale. According to some reports I’ve read Sarah Palin knew that this was happening in the background but didn’t care. Which is at least more ethically consistent than all these reporters who recognize that it’s scary and gross and weird but can’t take the logic that tiny but ohsoimportant step further.