Abusing and killing an innocent bird betrays the life-affirming spirit of giving thanks for our life, health, and happiness. Each year, the President symbolically "pardons" one or two turkeys while condemning millions of others to a cruel fate they did nothing to deserve.
The nearly 300 million turkeys killed each year in the U.S. spend their entire lives crammed in large sheds with little room to move. Artificially inseminated and bred to gain enormous amounts of weight, they suffer heart attacks, broken limbs, lameness, and death from their genetically-induced accelerated growth rate.
After 16 weeks of misery, they are hung on a conveyer belt, their throats are cut, and they are dumped -- sometimes still fully conscious -- into scalding water to strip their feathers. All birds whether "free-range" or conventionally raised - are excluded from coverage under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. All animals raised for food are excluded from the Animal Welfare Act.
Please urge the President, who recently won a Nobel Peace Prize for his belief in the nonviolence, to pardon all the turkeys bound for the dinner plates at the White House this year.
To get active and spread compassion this holiday season, please visit www.GentleThanksgiving.org
- President of the United States
Next month, you will be asked to participate in a publicity stunt for the National Turkey Federation by "pardoning" two turkeys. In light of your dedication to nonviolence, as highlighted by your recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize, we urge you to "pardon" all turkeys condemned to death for any White House celebration during this holiday season.
These animals have committed no crime deserving a death sentence. Killing innocent tortured birds is not a fitting way to give thanks for our health and happiness.
Today's factory-farmed turkeys are forcefully inseminated and bred to gain enormous amounts of weight in a short time, causing heart attacks, broken limbs, lameness, and death. Factory farm conditions are so harsh that turkeys must be pumped full of antibiotics just to survive long enough to slaughter.
We all profess compassion for our fellow humans. But it takes a special person to expand this circle of compassion to include the millions of innocent, sentient animals who are senselessly killed each year for our dining habits.
Mr. President, we trust that you are that special person. That you will spare all turkeys bound for White House dinners - not just those designed to promote the selfish interests of a particular industry.
Thank you for your consideration,
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