21 November 2017

The Presidential Turkey “Pardoning” Ceremony

The Turkey Pardoning Ceremony: What Does It Mean?

President Obama in the Rose Garden pardoning a turkey.
Shame on Obama

For these humiliated and abused birds, every day is “Thanksgiving.” Toward the birds he “pardoned,” Barack Obama was just as mean, smirking and heartless as Trump is likely to be toward them today.

Nov. 20, 2017, NPR’s American University station WAMU published this article about the turkey pardoning ceremony scheduled for today in the White House Rose Garden.

chickenadvocate commented:

The "turkey pardoning ceremony" is part of a ritual of demeaning turkeys and making fun of them in the run up to TG Day, but there is nothing funny about demeaning any victim. In my book MORE THAN A MEAL: THE TURKEY IN HISTORY, MYTH, RITUAL, AND REALITY, I devote a chapter to a history and interpretation of the turkey pardoning ceremony. This ceremony is so expressive of the heartlessness that some people think it is funny to exhibit toward the vulnerable and defenseless among us. Women who are rightly angry at how certain men view and mistreat women’s bodies might want to think about how it feels to be a bird or any animal at the mercy of humans who think nothing of abusing and degrading these animals' helpless bodies.



For those interested in learning more about the turkey “pardoning” ceremony, read Chapter 7 in my book, More Than A Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality. Begin on page 111. The chapter runs from pages 111 to 124.

As I note near the beginning of the chapter, “In a way, it was the turkey pardoning ceremony that inspired this book.”
- Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns


Turkey Blossom stands in the grass with friend looking out over a pasture.
Blossom and friend, Minnow. Photo by Abbie Hubbard.