Two Turkeys ‘Pardoned,’ 49,999,998 to Go

Published by PETA.
Bush pardons a turkey.jpg

Here’s something. Today, George W. Bush “pardoned” a pair of turkeys, for whatever misdeeds they’ve been capable of packed into a filthy, windowless shed throughout their painful little lives. Two birds (out of the approximately 50 million turkeys who will have been killed for Thanksgiving this year) would at least be a start, if it weren’t for the fact that the pardoned animals are usually sent to a place called “Frying Pan Park,” which is about as unpleasant a retirement home for birds as it sounds. In case that isn’t enough of a downer, the turkeys (who are morbidly obese because of the drugs they’ve been given to make them grow) aren’t likely to live for more than a few months after their reprieve without specialized care. This year’s lucky turkeys are being sent to Disneyland, to replace the turkeys who died last year shortly after their pardon. As we normally do around this time of year, PETA sent a letter to the president to point some of this stuff out. He hasn’t gotten back to us yet, but we did get some good coverage of the story in the media, which you can check out here.

On a lighter note, I’ve been reading a bunch of stories recently about the increasing number of people who are going to be having themselves a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Fox news has a great article on the topic this week, and Business Week had a big piece on the success of Turtle Island Foods (which makes Tofurky products). The company “is turning a robust profit and expects $10 million in sales in 2006, despite dramatically lowering the cost of Tofurkys over the years.” So, while this isn’t exactly going to stop me from freaking out about the way turkeys are treated by companies like Butterball, it’s pretty damn encouraging.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind