PETA Statement: PETA Questions the Fate of This Year’s ‘Pardoned’ Turkeys

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

St. Paul, Minn. – Below, please find a statement from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk regarding the “pardoned” turkeys who are being shipped to the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and who may endure fates similar to those of Peas, Carrots, Bread, and Butter, the turkeys relegated, each alone, to a concrete-floored dog pen at Virginia Tech:

If past years are anything to go by, these birds have been sentenced to a life of privation in barren dog run–like pens at a university agricultural program in a top turkey-killing state, unable to feel sunlight, with no ground to scratch in and nothing to do or see. To some, life in solitary confinement is a fate worse than death.

PETA urges everyone to eat vegan and to see this public-relations gimmick for what it is: a meat industry–backed White House whitewashing that leaves turkeys miserable long after the president, the press, and the public have forgotten the whole fiasco.

Instead of living out their lives at a sanctuary, as was requested, the birds “pardoned” by former President Donald Trump ended up sorely neglected and confined to barren, concrete-floored enclosures at Virginia Tech and Iowa State University, unable to perch, dust-bathe, or engage in any other species-specific behavior vital to their mental and physical well-being. Photographs and more information about the fate of previously pardoned birds are available here, and a list of vegan holiday recipes can be found here.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that, “animals are not ours to eat.” For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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