PETA Pressures President Obama to Give Up Turkey Pardon

Spare the country from poultry pimping, says group.

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President Barack Obama pardons the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Cobbler as daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen  look on during an event on Nov. 21, 2012 at the White House in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, center, and Malia carries on a Thanksgiving tradition and saves Cobbler the turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon" on Nov. 21, 2012, at the White House. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

'Twas a week before Thanksgiving and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk penned a letter to President Obama asking him to spare the country from the annual Presidential Turkey Pardon.

[READ: All of President Obama’s Pardoned Turkeys Are Dead]

Newkirk alleged that the ceremony was nothing but "pimping for poultry producers."

"As president, you don't endorse soft drinks or shoes, so please stop promoting an industry that wreaks havoc on the health of American people, contributes to environmental devastation and abuses millions of animals every year," she wrote.


Whispers reported earlier this week that all of President Obama's pardoned turkeys have died. Cobbler and Gobber, the birds brought in for last year's ceremony, passed away in August and February, respectively. Liberty, a bird from 2011, was euthanized in April.

"Do you know why there are two turkeys?" Newkirk wrote. "It's because they are at such a high risk of falling ill or even dying before the ceremony: On today's factory farms, the birds are bred and often drugged to grow so large so fast that they might well experience a heart attack."

[PHOTOS: White House Turkeys Through the Years]

Whispers asked the National Turkey Federation to chime in, but the query went unanswered.

This year's ceremony is scheduled for next Wednesday, with this year's two Minnesota-raised birds staying at the Willard Hotel.

More News:

  • Cobbler the Turkey Pardoned, But Last Year’s Turkey Has Been Euthanized
  • Gobbler, the Turkey Pardoned by Obama At Thanksgiving, Is Dead
  • Bird Is the Word: Your Guide to a Successful Thanksgiving