One would think PETA would be happy about President Obama saving the life of an animal. Not so, apparently.
Ironically enough, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has objected to the President’s annual turkey pardon — in which he saves the life of one Thanksgiving bird — claiming the ceremony ”makes light of the mass slaughter of some 46 million gentle, intelligent birds.”
PETA sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday, asking President Obama to skip this year’s pardon ceremony. In the letter, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk called the event outdated and said it “portrays the United States president as being in some sort of business partnership with the turkey-killing industry.”
The organization also compared the killing of turkeys to — get this — the marginalization of African-Americans, women and members of the LGBT community. “I am asking you to consider other living beings who are ridiculed, belittled, and treated as if their sentience, feelings, and very natures count for nothing,” Newkirk wrote. She objected to the idea that a turkey would even need a pardon, saying they are not guilty of anything that would require it.
It seems unlikely that the President would respond favorably to PETA’s request. The White House Facebook page has posted pictures of two turkeys, Cobbler and Gobbler, asking people to vote for whichever one they want to see pardoned by the President. And in 2009, the Obama joked that year’s turkey was only pardoned because of daughters Malia and Sasha because he really wanted to eat it.
PETA has suggested the President enjoy a Tofurkey dinner instead.