Thanksgiving’s Victims

Turkeys Suffer After Presidential Pardon

Every year before the Thanksgiving holiday, the president pardons some turkeys. But what happens to those turkeys once their lives are spared? Every year since 2005, the pardoned have been taken to live at Disneyland. But this November, a New York group that rescues farm animals is petitioning President Obama to send the turkeys to its turkey shelter instead. “Historically these turkeys have been actually sent to farms where they’re supposed to live out their lives, but they don’t live very long lives,” said Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur. “At Disneyland they don’t know how to properly care for them, and they feed them in such a way that they become overweight, which is what typically happens to these birds,” he said. And according to the statistics, that statement appears to be true: At least half of the pardoned turkeys that have been sent to Disneyland have died within a year of their arrival at the theme park. “We’re hoping the president will send them to Farm Sanctuary where they will get the best care possible,” said Baur.