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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.”

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  • Kurt K says:

    Antigone I don’t hate animals I freaking love animals. They are a beautiful part of this world and I can understand your anger towards the people who intentionally abuse animals. Beleive me I can. I would be the first one to kick the shit out of a person who makes dogs fight starves horses uses animals for fur etc. Useless violence towards animals is sick and should be stopped. We just see things a little differently. I can tell you have a lot of energy and passion in your life and that is a great thing. I just don’t like it when you draw conclusions about me by knowing very little about me personally. I’ve said this before but I’m sure you would like me if we ever met in real life. Its hard to tell what you are like just be reading your posts. Whether that will ever happen is not probable but it would be interesting.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Kurt K Hatred for animal abusers not only will not destroy me it keeps me going. As a bigot you will never understand the desire to hold a human accountable for animal abuse. Sadhatred based on cruel acts committed is logical. Hatred based on species is not.

  • Crista says:

    I find this video shocking! When I first saw Sarah Palin I thought she was a pretty lady. After seeing how she just stood there talking like she doesn’t have a care in the world while that poor turkey was getting killed. It shows how evil and ugly that woman really is. How can she just stand there giving an interview and agnore what’s going on right behind her as if she can’t hear the animal struggling and in pain.

  • vegancoin says:

    “Why doesn’t PETA broadcast a commercial with the Palin videotape. No sound just text saying “Maybe being a vegaterian is so dumb. Maybe.” End of clip. To unthinking morons it would mean nothing. To compassionate human beings it may put them in the veggie column. Plus it would be a PETA commercial that didn’t overtly insult anyone.” Good idea jimmyc but something tells me the message of that piece would get lost and easily sidetracked in the translation. and anybody can watch animal abusefactory farm videos and put the pieces of the puzzle together. i haven’t watched more than a few precious minutes of Earthlings but i do get the message. It’s undeniable it’s the truth and it’s impossible to miss and even harder to ignore. The fact is a nation of indecent undernourished and immoral “head in the sand” flunkies whose only real religion is dull minded incourageous and requisite NIMBYist apathy and smallmindedness probably wouldn’t get the message. They don’t know how and we live in a culture drowning in misinformation dopey disinformation and expedient mass media propaganda. After all having a brand new gas guzzling SUV in immeasurably more important they have better things to do. In the land of hollow materialism and synthetic greed where a credit card is sine qua non and where you don’t have any true freedoms where the Talking Heads do your thinking for you anything is possible. “This animal killing has to stop! We are better off in this world if we coexist with mother earth’s harmless creatures.” i agree totally with this statement. There is no getting around it. Remember peace begins on your dinner plate.

  • Derek, MD says:

    After finding out I attended a WWE event and purchased the Wrestlemania PPV while in medical school one of my old friends once said “There is a little bit of white trash in all of us.” In Palin’s case there is a lot…money can’t buy class and she is the posterchild for that statement.

  • Rod says:

    What if some super species came to Earth and started locking us up in dirty farms and eating us?Sarah Plain can kiss my ass!Did you know they make the turkeys so fat they can’t even mate! The farmersmurderers literally siphon the sperm from the male turkeys and inject the sperm in the females!

  • Sheryl Kearns says:

    Palin is worse than I thought and incredibly stupid. As far as I’m concerned she has no apathy concerning animal abuse. She’s colder than an Alaskan igloo. I wonder what her take is on the danger of polar bears becoming extinct? One thing she accomplished by allowing that hideous animal slaughter in the background to be seen I am now a fullfledged vegetarian!

  • JS says:

    Even if you tried to ignore that turkeys were being SLAUGHTERED behind her Palin still is a walking disaster. She can’t get through ONE COHERENT SENTENCE! Is it a crime to speak in grammatical sentences nowadays? The answer is no. Obama speaks in coherent sentences and look where he is.

  • Julie Warner says:

    Sarah Palin could care less is turkeys are being slaughtered behind herof course she knew what was going on behind her. Her family photos include dead moose. What do you expect? Loser!

  • jimmyc says:

    Why doesn’t PETA broadcast a commercial with the Palin videotape. No sound just text saying “Maybe being a vegaterain is so dumb. Maybe.” End of clip. To unthinking morons it would mean nothing. To compassionate human beings it may put them in the veggie column. Plus it would be a PETA commercial that didn’t overtly insult anyone.

  • John says:

    This animal killing has to stop!We are better off in this world if we coexist with mother earth’s harmless creatures.

  • Kurt K says:

    I really don’t think I could ever understand the logic PETA and the followers use to justify these pointless arguements. Antigone I’m not sure I like you any more. I can’t believe you called me evil. If I am evil and your hate spewing mouth is the example I am suppose to live up too I think I will stay evil then. I have never met anybody who can hate some many good people based on one known fact. Eating meat. You are no different than white supremicists hating blacks or Nazis hating Jews. You need to get rid of that hate or someday it will destroy you. I pity you!

  • Marina says:

    This is absolutely disgusting. I have been a vegetarian for many years and after seeing this video I cannot conceive of how anyone could possibly eat a turkey after this let alone any other animal!!! What baffles me about Sarah Palin is how could someone who is so PROLIFE not give a rat’s ass about an animal’s life?! LIFE IS LIFE folks! But I do thank Palin for inadvertently doing us a favor by exposing how turkeys REALLY make it to the Thanksgiving Day table. So many people just want to hide their heads in the sand and not think about HOW these animals are killed and WHERE their meat comes from! Well wake up America! I hope that more people have a meatfree Thanksgiving thanks to this video.

  • Shari says:

    To Gretchen! You are 100 right! I don’t eat meat but if I DID all the above would be the ONLY way I would allow it in my life. I am also familiar with the small farm processing being from the north woods and as I stated above also the small farmer DOES care about the welfare of its animals raised for food it was the killing cone I was not familiar with as it’s been about 35 yrs since I witnessed fowl killing and it was chop off the head then place it in the drain cone and I can remember the cats on the farm were having a FIELD day with severed heads. Either way thee ONLY way to kill fowl it NEED be done. GREAT post Gretchen! Peace Love TRUTH!

  • Gretchen says:

    The method being shown is the “killing cone” method. It is very commonly used on small farms for chickens as well. It’s considered one of the more “humane” options when killing a poultry bird in small farm operations. People who have not witnessed the slaughter of poultry as I have don’t often realize that chickens turkeys etc. almost always flap around wildly for 30 seconds to sometimes 2 minutes after they are desensitized and are dead. It is a reaction of the nervous system. You can cut the head completely off a chicken or turkey and the body will still do that. That is why you see the turky here moving around so much. The cone method allows you to slaughter birds without it flapping about and disturbing the flock andor risking injury to yourself or others. Not everyone who has raised and killed their own food is “sick” and “twisted”. I am fully aware of the nature of the animals that I have raised in the past the same with the vegetables and flowers I’ve grown. It’s given me more respect and reverence for life and where my food comes from. I think anyone who eats meat should be comfortable with the process of how it got to their table the slaughter included. Being aware of and thankful for the life that was taken so that I may eat too does not make me a “monster”. Not everyone thinks like the lot of you… do you all feel everyone SHOULD think just like you like religious zealots? Or are you open for a little debate or the opposite side of the coin?

  • susan says:

    Finally Peta…Finally Finally I have continually sent letters regarding the b…h Sarah Palin being an animal hater but they were never prionted! I talked to anyone who would listen to me about her. She is evil! I despise this clown. Nothing that she does anymore regarding animals surprises me. I hope she burns in hell!!!

  • Rose says:

    Sarah Palin is completely idiotic. It’s hard enough to watching the horrible cruelty in the background of the video but to hear her blabbing on about herself and her family while a worker is draining the life out of an innocent animal adds insult to injury. Enough of her she’s a self involved moron!

  • vegancoin says:

    “Why is everyone blaming Sarah Palin though?” If you stop and think about it it is what Sarah Palin represents. The dying fragments of the american dream and our disappearing freedoms. For my money she is an insensitive arrogant psychopath and a sadistic and fractured soul we don’t have to argue about that. But more precisely what she actually pretends to represent is the typical and all too familiar incomprehensible NIMBYist apathy and irresponible behavior coupled with a totally irresponsible lifestyle. Selfish greed long lost in the material world of imaginary give and take. But what can you expect from someone who is an avid hunter and who shot her first rabbit when she was only 10 years old and goes on to kill caribou with her dad during her teen years? Cruelty on a stick. She now mercilessly bangs the drum for cruel and totally sadistic aerial wolf hunting and wants the polar bear to not be listed as an endangered species get this now so she can still hunt and cruelly torture these creatures. In a word insanely inhumane. That is not typical responsible behavior she is a typical insensitive nonthinking coward personified. The media of course bends over backwards to paint this as respecting nature in one form or another instinctdriven survivalist actions andor as being inspired by the great outdoors. The Big Lie. She represents the thoughtless cruelty that goes on behind the scenes. i don’t think that this video did more than any AR activists have accomplished in the past no in fact this signifies business as usual for the comfortably numb the tragically inept and the greedy consumerists whom live their entire life with both eyes wide shut. The american way. It is morally reprehensible behavior but yet here it is “rewarded”. Notice that cup of starbucks coffee in her hand almost like magic and the attention span far removed from reality grounded in halftruths outright lies and propaganda yes it is indeed tragic that this “political” misfit represents visions of success and hardwork for some misguided neanderthal americans.

  • Shari says:

    To Circe Thanks for clearing this up for me I’ve never seen it done this way I always saw the tree stump and hatchet then place it in the drainer but this way is quicker…more like killing 2 birds with 1 stone ‘ NO pun intended ‘ YES you are 100 right Circe thee MOST humane way to slaughter a bird if NEED be done. PEACE

  • andi says:

    This is what our “civilized” society has come to acceptance of the unacceptable. Acceptance of horrific acts towards animals in every which way they can be used and abused and acceptance that giving a narcissistic idiot like Palin the dignity of an interview is not completely insane. I am disgusted. Now after having seen this you know that recent undercover video of a turkey slaughterhouse where workers were stuffing feces in the turkey’s mouth? Well I can think of a much better mouth to put those feces into now… Good eating Palin!

  • Shari says:

    To Cindy No I believe he sliced the birds head off swiftly as the bodies WILL thrash about afterwards for a certain amount of time nerves muscles shutting down depending on their size and THIS poor victim’s size is MASSIVE therefore heshe thrashed and flinched hard for quite some time after decapitation. Actually as I stated previously if an animal must be slaughtered for ANY hideous reason then THIS process is the ONLY way to go about it as it’s quick and painless no long agonizing death for the reason I stated this is NO WAY part of the corp factory farms this is a privately owned small time turkey farm that DO have compassion and DO care for the comfort of their products. The corp world with its fast food JUNKIES are what KILLED the small family farmer and THEY were the ones who CARED for their animals they considered them part of the family and NEVER treated or confined them as slaves. I’ve been fighting for a LONG time to get these farms back they are the ONLY moral and ethical answer for the abuses perpetrated on the innocent by the addicts who refuse to stop eating meat ‘ PEACE LOVE HAPPY THANKSGIVING DON’T EAT THE MASCOT

  • Danielle Bourgholtzer says:

    Wow… I knew something like this would happen. Her encouraging the slaughter of animals… And the sad part? She’s proud of it. She disgusts me.

  • Joseph says:

    This was stomach turning. It was probably the most televised nonundercover investigation into the turkey farms they didn’t even try to hide anything. PETA didn’t NEED to put out a PSA She did it for us without knowing it. When asked if she was sure she wanted that as a backdrop she said “No worries.” Horrible Right? What do you expect from someone who hunts wolves from a helicopter? She’s one person this would would be better off without.

  • Heather says:

    I didn’t think I could dislike Sarah Palin anymore than I already did until I just saw this video. I’ve been a vegetarian for a year because of practices such as this and I don’t understand how anyone who knows this happens can continue to eat meat. I’m happy to prepare my Tofurkey this year!! Hopefully this video will make others do the same!

  • Janie says:

    This is absolutely horrid. 1 reason why I am a vegan. Did you see how long that turkey was flopping around in pain?! We don’t even let our serial killers and rapists on death row suffer that long as they die. People need to wake up and realize that animals feel pain and are exploited and tortured just to feed them! It’s not worth it. If you say you love animals then you shouldn’t eat meat.

  • Sarah says:

    I would no more trust a person who is only compassionate to other people than I would trust someone who is only compassionate to animals. In other words beware of people who are not compassionate to all living creatures. Spoken from experience.

  • Rex's mom says:

    This is to Aneliese who said she is glad she is Canadian and said “I couldn’t stand to be in America or an American like her and people who are like her”… Aneliese what country slaughters baby seals?? CANADA!

  • Christina says:

    I am a meat eater but this is just dumb. What person in hisher right mind would be seen in front of this guy who looks like he just walked off the set of Deliverance killing turkeys? When I think of turkey somehow I always imagined them being hunted in the wild not slaughtered like pigs cows etc. Why in the heck would any politician or celeb want to be seen in front of a nasty bloody animal farm? Thanks Sarah Thanksgiving will never be the same

  • Jeanne says:

    i saw the clip on TMZ late last nite and there was NO WARNING as to what was to follow. it was shocking and i am sickened and horrified. palin is an idiot…i would love the chance to get face 2 face with her and that ASS behind her it was shown AGAIN this morning about 12 an hour ago on Fox WHY IS THIS FILM CONTINUING TO BE SHOWN????? how many times are they going to run this obscene piece?

  • Cathleen says:

    When will the media stop paying attention to this illinformed obviously dumb woman??!!! Let Palin and others like her fade into the past! She has helped many people turn away from eating turkey this year so at least that is a positive… Final statement PALIN IS AN UNCOMPASSIONATE BITCH!!! I am ashamed to share the classification of “woman” with her. Enough said…

  • bbr says:

    Not that I am justifying the situation but it really coulda happened to anyone. Yes she should have been more careful what was in the background. And being in the public eye these people should always be on the look out for things that could “accomplish”. My husband mentioned this video to me when it happened. I have no watched it. Who is to say that she even cared about pardoning a turkey anyway. Everything these celebs and such do is for publicity. Behind closed doors who knows how she really feels. She’s gonna pardon a turkey BUT she’ll be eating a different one on Thursday? Yeah that totally makes sense right? I’m not foolish enough to believe that what we see is what we get. Obama Biden McCain and Palin gimme a break. They all have their true colors. We are fortunate enough to only see a few of those colors.

  • Sara Venney says:

    This is probably the one and only thing I will ever thank Gov. Palin for but here it goes… “Thank you Sarah Palin for inadvertantly bringing the abuse of turkeys into the mainstream and into public awareness. Hopefully after seeing your turkeygate fiasco video which has been plastered all over the internet these past few days many meateating individuals will realize that meat is murder and will find vegetarian alternatives to their Thanksgiving turkey feasts.”

  • Shauna says:

    Makes me wonder if Hitler did the same kind of interviews in front of the people killing machines. This is sick.

  • chel says:

    I cried watching this video that poor turkey was kicking his lil legs and fighting for his life how can this be considered ethical it took minutes for that guy to kill that poor turkey it wasnt fast it was terrible and sooooo inhumane…I dont understand how someone can hurt a defenseless animal its so incredibly sad..

  • KD says:

    Dear “the Majority of People” as well as Kurt and Chris in these comments Albert Schwitzer German physician author Nobel Peace Prize 1952 stated “It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. It was once considered foolish to suppose that black men were really human beings and ought to be treated as such. What was once foolish has now become a recognized truth. Today it is considered as exaggeration to proclaim constant respect for every form of life as being the serious demand of a rational ethic. But the time is coming when people will be amazed that the human race existed so long before it recognized that thoughtless injury to life is incompatible with real ethics. Ethics is in its unqualified form extended responsibility to everything that has life.” Just because you reside in the majority doesn’t mean that the majority is right. It only means that more education on compassion is needed. Humans have the ability to reason and it is that ability that requires us to behave with morals and ethics. It is our responsibility to protect life in all forms. And while animals may kill each other for food it is what nature intended them to do. Humans do not need to kill for food or clothing or transportation entertainment ect. as it has been proven over and over again that a plant based diet is better for the human the environment and the animals. But it all goes back to morals and ethics. Respect all life not just humans.

  • Cindy says:

    Shari you asked what that man was doing to that bird. I wondered too because it was certainly a slow death. It seemed as if he was sawing the poor birds heads off unless Palin had told him before hand to “drill baby drill” …Kharma is a good thing.

  • Cindy says:

    Oh you know Sarah Palin does this kind of crap for attention and the backdrop was purposely chosen by her for media controversy. She is a real whack job. Ever see that old movie where Dan Akroid is a psychiatrist? In actuality he is a mental patient only pretending to be a psychiatrist and pulling it off. This is Palin’s world ..she is a true nutcase playing professional and the media buys and a few others buy into it. Speaking of movies… that disgusting turkey slaughter and the redneck doing it reminded me of that chippershredder scene in the Movie ‘Fargo’. If anything good came from it the turkey that died made me become a devout vegetarian. Happy Thanksgiving Sarah. I only hope you choke on your turkey.

  • Mac says:

    o.k. keep in mind Sarah IS NOT looking through the camera to setup the shot… The NEWS CREW is they could have just as easily recorded the interview at a different angle that would’ve kept the worker out of sight but they DIDN’T…

  • mlo says:

    Correction Kurt K. 93 of Americans consume meat. There are a lot more vegansvegetarians than you think and the number is growing everyday. I’m sure Sarah P. helped increase the numbers before Thanksgiving. Turkey pardoning is a joke! People are so vain to “pardon” an innocent turkey from slaughter so they can feel less guilty eating it. Give me a break!

  • Figg says:

    I couldn’t watch the video either but I’ve seen it all before it’s why I don’t eat meat. The thing which distresses me which was brought up earlier in this thread is the detached response I’m hearing across the net and networks. There seems to be a lot of “yuck” and “gross” without any real connection to the brutality and cruelty of the meat trade. I can’t help but think that we have indeed reached that point addressed in “My Dinner With Andre” where Andre suggests that one day we will be so desensitized because of overstimulation that people will pay $10000 to get castrated. When I read about these “new” hunters getting into the sport because they finally feel “connected” to life I always think of Andre. It’s a sad statement that we’re missing this intermediary step between ignorance and apathy and then outright graphic shock.

  • Joyce Tryon says:

    To the poster that couldn’t figure out how the turkey was murdered. The man shoves the turkey in the killing funnel. Then slits it’s throat. The reason he holds it for so long. The turkey bleeds out slowly. Not a quick death. I can’t stand this woman. She is a cruel heartless piece of work. My husband and I saved two little turkeys last spring. We are old timers and they were in a pet shop. The runts and almost dead. One of the staff showed them to us and begged us to buy them. She knows we are tender hearts. I would like all who eat turkey to know a bit about Mort and Icy this is their names. They will only live I understand to about 3 years of age. If they are lucky. The breeding of these wonderful turkeys cause a short life. Mort and Icy are huge. They love us and we love them. They know their names. Follow like puppies. Love to be hugged and stroked.Play with their beach balls. Love to see people visit and greet them with lots of turkey talk. When we first got them Mort was to weak to eat and had given up. Icy kept taking bites of the food and held it up to weak little Mort’s mouth. She did this over and over for several days. Even though I was feeding him with a drooper too. She cuddled him and rubbed his head with hers. If Mort or Icy lose sight of each other they panic and call out. Then come running to each other. These are not dumb animals put here for our eating pleasure to be murdered. Mort and Icy have more compassion and love then many people I know. Grandma Joyce

  • Jenn says:

    She’s “happy to be invited to participate in this.” in her nice pretty city girl clothes sipping her latte. Eww. But I guess that’s an “average person” of the economically powerful first world seeing nothing wrong with the slaughter of animals for TASTE PREFERENCE not pressing nutritional needs due to limited fooddistributionaccess etc. Vegans and vegetarians may be a small part of the population at present but so were abolitionists at one time. Sorry but I’m choosing to evolve further toward a compassionate world for all of us critters and eating the vegan option this Thursday. I reject the apathy the disconnect and the prepackaged fake holiday consumerism.

  • Aneliese says:

    Well done Sarah Palin. How horrible can this woman get?! Thank goodness I’m Canadian I couldn’t stand to be in America or American like her and people who are like her who think hunting and wolfshooting is ok.

  • Circe says:

    Shari this turkey is most likely being killed by being placed in the cone for restraint and having its throat slit just under the beak. This is a very common slaughter method for small farmers and homesteaders.

  • Rain Mashlan says:

    Being a smart and compassionate human being I am vegan after all I tend to pity stupid people like her. I would except she hunts…and she wears fur…and she eats meat…and she’s a Republican!!!

  • Jackson says:

    Yes this absolutely horrible but we must not allow misogynistic bigotry to inject itself in discussion e.g. use of slurs like “bitch” and “skank” not to mention “she devil”. My God people there’s no need to demonize a gender just because Sarah Palin happens to have been born a girl. I hated Alberto Gonzalez and yet I didn’t use racial slurs against the man. Again the only good that can come of this is that people are finally forced to deal with the brutal reality that is having meat as dinner. This is disturbing video but something more Americans should see.

  • heather says:

    how the hell is this dumb whore prolife?!

  • Louise says:

    Animals that are bred for human consumption should not be mistreated in any way especially at the time of their slaughter. These poor animals are clueless as to what their fate in life will be and to face death the way those poor turkeys are…is a sin and a sacrilege. I feel the person who is slaughtering that poor turkey by putting his head in a grinder alive should have this happen to him…as for Palin she is an insensitive cold hearted disgrace to women…I know from this point on I will never eat turkey again…

  • janna harriss says:

    ???? Turkey pardon?? While turkeys are being killed right behind her? And then she talk about going home and being “in charge of cooking the turkey.”?” Plus she’s still giving THE SPEECH. What did the RNC do implant a microchip into her brain? What a brainless twit.

  • Sandy says:

    About 2 months ago I saw a horrific video on the inhumane slaughter of animals for the purpose of fur coats. Since then I have become a vegetarian. I am proud to be a huge rice and beans eater now. Sarah Palin is the most monstorous person alive at this moment. She is ignorant stupid inhumane and just a plain dumb ass. I cried last night when I saw that video on TV. But what was shown will hopefully help to destroy the turkey business this Thanksgiving. I don’t know how anyone watching will be happily eating Turkey this holiday season. I feel Palin did a justice to this slaughtering act and actually ruined it for alot of businesses. People I am quite sure were unaware of how these turkeys get from the farm to their tables and lot of people will have this impacted in their brains now. Thanks Palin for your stupidity fore it has educated alot of people!