Obama once again pardoned a turkey this year, amid jokes and laughter. Cobbler and his understudy, Gobbler, were raised specifically for this occasion, but they are domestic turkeys, which means they will live only about a year. Domestic turkeys have been bred to be so freakishly large, they cannot mate naturally (domestic turkeys are artificially inseminated) and have a very short life span.
As if on cue, one of the two turkeys pardoned last year, Peace, just recently passed away.
Turkeys don't need to be pardoned. They haven't done anything wrong. Yet I'm sure that Obama will eat turkey today like millions of Americans. One of the turkeys who was not lucky enough to be "pardoned."
And once again, Mercy for Animals filmed cruelty and abuse at a Butterball turkey farm. As a result of last year's expose, one Butterball employee pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty, while a state Department of Agriculture employee pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and resisting, delaying or obstructing officers. While people might think these instances of cruelty are unusual and extreme, they aren't. They are routine at factory farms all over the country. But regardless of how well they're treated or whether they grow too large, the animal rights view is that we do not have the right to slaughter them and eat them.
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