Opinion | The huge problem with turkey pardons

Eliza Barton | guest writer

Hated by many, and liked by very few, the U.S. Thanksgiving turkey pardon is a tradition that has been practiced for several years. 

President George H.W. Bush officialized this strange tradition, although we are unsure which previous president inspired him to do so. Every year on the holiday of Thanksgiving, two turkeys are presented to the U.S. President. 

They are usually young turkeys, and they have been bred to be eaten. Most commonly, they end up being overweight and very unhealthy. If the turkey survives the pardoning, they most likely have a fatal future ahead. The majority die from severe obesity or cardiac issues.  This tradition outwardly supports the prospect of animal cruelty, yet no one has tried pushing back!

The other major issue that comes with the turkey pardoning is the incompletion of actual pardons. Several people apply for official pardons each year and put a lot of time and effort into their case. 

According to the Washington Post “, nearly 14,000 clemency petitions sit in a sludgy backlog.” That is outrageous because pardoning a person is more important! This problem is an easy fix, but all of the presidents since the officialization have done nothing about it. Clearly, not enough attention is brought to the subject, but it should very well be. 

The U.S. Thanksgiving turkey pardon has both ethical, and moral reasons to be rid of itself. Quite obviously, having dire pardons in backlog is horrible and is a great example of how our government isn’t always as sustainable as we hope. 

The blatant mistreatment of the turkeys also puts into perspective the negligence that our government policies show towards animal rights. 

Therefore, this tradition must end, and it all starts with you. Start petitions, create websites, do anything that would inspire others to help stop the turkey pardons.

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