By Karin Bennett
First, can we just address the fact that the yearly presidential pardon of two turkeys for Thanksgiving makes no sense? Presidential pardons are meant to forgive the questionable—or criminal—activities of people. Turkeys don't cheat, lie, or kill (OK, sure—their flesh can kill, but that's not the birds' fault). Every turkey is innocent—and inquisitive and smart. And they all suffer immensely on factory farms, on crowded trucks, and in slaughterhouses.
That having been said, in advance of this year's presidential pardon of two turkeys, PETA's ally and true-blue friend to animals Bill Maher has used his razor-sharp wit to pen a letter to President Obama on our behalf, urging the commander in chief to send the birds to a reputable animal sanctuary. For the past several years, pardoned turkeys have been shipped off to Disneyland and various tourist attractions—hardly a peaceful "retirement" for crippled birds, many of whom die before the next year's turkeys make it to the Rose Garden. Bill wrote, "I realize that in this election year it hasn't been easy for a Democrat to stand up for freedom, but it can be easy for everyone—including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and yes, even Tea Baggers—to stand up for compassion."
While we wait for President Obama's response to Bill Maher's letter, please encourage everyone you know to stand up for compassion—and turkeys—by celebrating with PETA's vegan holiday recipes. They're sure to satisfy every craving, from a savory start to a sweet finish—and all delicious bites in-between.