First Daughters Called On: Have a Vegan Thanksgiving, Make This One for the Birds

peta2 Asks Sasha and Malia Obama to Take a Stand for Turkeys This Holiday

For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2014

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Washington – This morning, peta2, PETA’s youth division, sent a letter asking Sasha and Malia Obama to give turkeys something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving by choosing not to eat them—and by encouraging their father to cancel the “offensive turkey pardon,” which promotes the violent poultry industry. In the letter, peta2 points out that more young people than ever are opting for healthy, plant-based foods over the holidays and that by taking an opportunity to champion a lifesaving cause, the younger Obamas could wield unprecedented positive influence.

“You come from a family whose members don’t hesitate to fight for those who have been oppressed by standing up for civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. … This year, we would like to ask you to lend your powerful and influential voices to another group whose voices often go unheard: animals,” writes peta2 Senior Manager of Youth Campaigns Rachelle Owen. “No animal wants to die, and if turkeys could, they would beg for your family to pardon not one but all of them from a lifetime of suffering and a violent, terrifying death.”

Approximately 300 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. every year—46 million for Thanksgiving dinners alone. At slaughterhouses, turkeys are electrocuted and many are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re plunged into scalding-hot water in defeathering tanks. Because turkeys are bred and drugged to grow so large that their legs often become crippled under the weight of their massive upper bodies, turkeys “pardoned” by the president typically die less than a year later because of medical conditions.

peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—offers tips for enjoying a vegan Thanksgiving on its website.

 

peta2’s letter to Sasha and Malia Obama follows.

 

November 20, 2014

 

Sasha and Malia Obama
The White House

 

Hi Sasha and Malia,

Since you are two strong, influential young women who serve as role models for other young people all across the country, I’m writing to you from peta2, PETA’s youth division, to encourage you and your family to follow your values this holiday season by having a vegan Thanksgiving and canceling the offensive turkey pardon.

You come from a family whose members don’t hesitate to fight for those who have been oppressed by standing up for civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. Obviously, you’re familiar with the horrible ways that people often treat others who are viewed as “different” simply because of superficial physical differences or cruel traditions. This year, we would like to ask you to lend your powerful and influential voices to another group whose voices often go unheard: animals.

Every year, millions of turkeys—sensitive, curious, loyal animals who even purr like kittens when they’re happy—are slaughtered for a holiday that is supposed to be about gratitude. These animals have nothing to be thankful for. They’re crammed into crowded, filthy sheds to be fattened up until they’re sent to slaughter at just 5 or 6 months old—while they’re still just babies! Once they get to the slaughterhouse, they’re yanked out of the transport trucks and hung up by their legs, and then their throats are slit—all while they struggle desperately to get away. No animal wants to die, and if turkeys could, they would beg for your family to pardon not one but all of them from a lifetime of suffering and a violent, terrifying death.

Whether it’s for ethical reasons, to save the environment, or to improve their own health, more young people than ever before are ditching the dead bird for delicious, healthy alternative foods, such as Tofurky. That’s the most compassionate decision that you can make—and it also fights climate change and world hunger and sets a positive example for young people everywhere. The power to make a difference for animals who need your help is in your hands every time you sit down to eat.

We wish you and your family a wonderful, compassionate holiday.

Very truly yours,

Rachelle Owen
Senior Manager of Youth Campaigns

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