Every Thanksgiving, a few fowl are symbolically spared from the American dinner table.
The man behind such holiday benevolence is none other than Barack Obama. It's part of a Thanksgiving tradition dating back to the days of Abraham Lincoln, who would “pardon” two turkeys on the national day of giving thanks.
PETA, however, doesn't feel so warmly about the tradition. In fact, the group's president, Ingrid Newkirk, has asked the White House to abolish the practice, ABC News reported.
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"It makes light of the mass slaughter of some 46 million gentle, intelligent birds and portrays the United States' president as being in some sort of business partnership with the turkey-killing industry," Newkirk said in a letter sent to President Obama the day before Thanksgiving. "Turkeys do not need to be 'pardoned'-they are not guilty of anything other than being born into a world of prejudice. They are innocents who should be respected for who they are: good mothers, smart birds, and interesting animals."
Newkirk added, “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.”
This isn't the first time PETA has tried to end the age-old tradition. Last year, PETA asked Washington to use the word “spare” instead of “pardon.” The White House reportedly declined.