Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
04:44 PM Beirut time
25 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Obama to pardon Thanksgiving turkey
Agence France Presse
A turkey looks around its enclosure at Seven Acres Farm in North Reading, Massachusetts November 21, 2012, one day before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A turkey looks around its enclosure at Seven Acres Farm in North Reading, Massachusetts November 21, 2012, one day before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A+ A-

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama was poised Wednesday to "pardon" two turkeys ahead of the annual Thanksgiving holiday during which Americans will consume millions of their feathery compatriots.

Obama, just back from a tour of Asia, will reprieve the lucky birds -- Cobbler and understudy Gobbler -- during an early afternoon ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. Both are 19 weeks old and weigh 40 pounds (18 kilos).

Instead of ending up on the dinner table, the duo will live out their days in a custom-made enclosure on George Washington's estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia, the White House said.

Their names were chosen from submissions by elementary schools and, for the first time this year, the US public was able to pick which of the two would become the "2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey" by casting a vote on the White House Facebook page.

The annual tradition dates back to former president John F. Kennedy.

Thanksgiving was first celebrated by pilgrims who fled religious persecution in England. For many Americans, it has become a family-oriented day marked with an extensive meal that centers around a turkey, pies and a slew of side dishes.

Wednesday's pardon takes place amid criticism from animal rights group PETA, which urged Obama not to maintain the tradition.

"It makes light of the mass slaughter of some 46 million gentle, intelligent birds and portrays the United States' president as being in some sort of business partnership with the turkey-killing industry," it said in a letter.

"Turkeys do not need to be 'pardoned.' They are not guilty of anything other than being born into a world of prejudice."

As in years past since 2009, the president and his family will do some community service on Wednesday afternoon before celebrating the holiday on Thursday without any official engagements.

Home International
United States of America

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS