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PETA Speaks Out Against Presidential Turkey Pardon (And Ham was on the President’s Thanksgiving Menu)

The White House served Ham for Thanksgiving
<p> According to the White House, ham was on the President&#39;s Thanksgiving dinner menu! Photo courtesy of The Alabama Farmer&#39;s Federation.</p>

It seems even President Barack Obama is finding himself squarely in the crosshairs of the animal rights movement these days.  According to The Hill’s blog briefing room this week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday, demanding that the president skip the tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey.  According to The Hill, PETA said the president is in partnership with the “turkey-killing industry,” and stated that turkeys should not need to be pardoned because they are not guilty of anything “other than being born into a world of prejudice.” PETA urged the president to eat a tofu-based Tofurkey roast for the White House Thanksgiving dinner.  Seriously? Must they mess with everyone’s meal?

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation (NTF) has presented the President of the United States with a live turkey and two dressed turkeys in celebration of Thanksgiving.  Following presidential tradition, the live bird (and a “back-up” bird) are typically pardoned during a White House ceremony. The pardoned turkeys then live out their lives at George Washington’s former home, Mount Vernon.  In spite of PETA’s pleas, the president maintained the tradition and pardoned the bird again this year.

And here’s the rest of the story—according to the White House, the Obama family did go on to eat a real turkey as part of the Thanksgiving menu. But guess what? The official White House Thanksgiving dinner also included ham!

The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that there were 64,380 grocery stores in the United States as of 2010, and those grocery stores were providing the food to feed 114.7 million U.S. households. What if everyone decided to add a little pork to the Thanksgiving menu, too?  I had pork on my Thanksgiving table, how about you?

Here at National Hog Farmer, we’re very thankful for our hard-working pork producer readers. We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! If there was a particularly tasty pork dish on your table, let us know by leaving a comment here, or email [email protected].  If you need recipe ideas for your post-turkey holiday weekend table, remember to visit the Pork Checkoff’s Web site at

TAGS: Business
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