As the United States prepares
to celebrate Thanksgiving, animal rights activists are busy trying to
make their case that meat eating in general, and the eating of turkeys
specifically, is cruel and unnecessary.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a special undercover investigative report on its web
site claiming to document cruelty at a turkey farm in Minnesota. PETA
urged people to write Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and other officials
with complaints about animal cruelty.
Interestingly, even PETA seems
to be recognizing that it has a credibility gap with its undercover investigations
after repeatedly providing misinformation and selectively edited videotapes
in previous undercover operations. A letter from Mary Beth Sweetland,
PETA’s Director of Research, Investigations & Rescue Department, to
a Minnesota prosecutor specifically mentions that the videotape of the
investigation is “a first-generation copy of the original videographic
No word yet on whether or not
Minnesota officials are investigating the case.
Meanwhile United Poultry Concerns
is going to protest the annual White House Thanksgiving ceremony. Keeping
with tradition, a live turkey will be presented at the White House and
President Clinton will then “pardon” the turkey.
According to UPC’s Karen Davis,
“Instead of sarcastically ‘pardoning’ a turkey to palliate mass murder,
food poisoning, moldering carcasses and rotting politics, we urge people
to join us in marching to a different drumstick this Thanksgiving and
A UPC press release on the
protest also claimed the pardoning ceremony was designed to “make fun
Meanwhile, to celebrate Thanksgiving,
PETA will be in Baltimore giving away fur coats to the homeless. The coats
have been donated to PETA over the years and have a red stripe painted
on one of the sleeves to make them worthless for resale.
Here’s my suggestion for PETA
next year. Why not get a bunch of people to donate Thanksgiving turkeys,
put a red food die stripe down the middle and pass them out as well? Couldn’t
Will Protest Presidential “Pardoning” Ceremony, United Poultry Concerns
press release, November 1999.
Turkey Farm Cruelty:
The Case, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals letter, November
Give Away Fur Coats To Baltimore’s Homeless, People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals press release, November 22, 1999.