President Donald Trump conducted the traditional turkey pardon ceremony, in which First Lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump took part with their family. Presidential mercy spread to two turkeys, but only one of them fell under the sights of cameras.
US President Donald Trump, as required by American tradition, pardoned two turkeys on the eve of Thanksgiving Day. The ceremony, which took place in the Rose Garden of the White House, was also joined by US First Lady Melania Trump and their daughter Ivanka Trump with her family.
Rite of mercy Donald Trump made the second time. This year there were two whole turkeys: the pardoned birds called Peas and Carrots.
Both turkeys come from a farm near the city of Huron in South Dakota, but only one bird came to the meeting with the president – Peas. She was chosen for the ceremony by voting on the White House website.
“The winner was elected in a process of fair and open elections held on the White House website,” Donald Trump told the crowd. – It was a fair election. Unfortunately, Carrot refused to admit defeat and demanded a recount, so now we are fighting Carrots. ”
But Peas, the president of the United States, came to his liking: “I have never seen such beautiful turkeys,” Donald Trump said during the ceremony.
The tradition of sending the bird to the president began in the 1870s: then a Rhode Island farmer named Horace Woz began sending fattened turkeys to the White House on the eve of Thanksgiving Day. Whether these birds got to the presidential holiday table is unknown, but Horace’s farm became famous, and other farmers also began to take an example from him and send their gifts.
A century later, the custom of pardoning turkeys, which appeared in 1989, when the 41st President of the United States, George Bush Sr., granted freedom to a bird, came out of this tradition.
“This beautiful turkey will not fall on someone’s table – she received a presidential pardon and will live on a children’s farm not far from here,” George Bush announced.
The 41st President of the United States is considered to be the immediate founder of the tradition: after it, not a single presidential turkey suffered. However, in fact, before George Bush, not every donated turkey turned out to be on the presidential table. Richard Nixon also at one time decided not to sacrifice the tradition of birds. Once John Kennedy also took pity on the bird: in 1963, after stroking a turkey, he said: “And we will just let it go.” And in 1987, Ronald Reagan first used the word “pardon” in relation to this act, which we translate in this case as “pardon”.
However, pardoning this rite is actually difficult: turkeys intended for human consumption suffer from obesity, because they are deliberately fattened with soybeans and corn. Due to excess weight, they cannot fly and hardly move – the bone structure suffers from overweight. Therefore, the life span of a turkey, which is usually three to five years for a wild bird, is significantly reduced. So the tradition of pardoning turkeys is rather a spectacular and fun ceremony than a truly humane act.
Pardoned turkeys spend their days in veterinary centers, zoos and gardens, but, alas, they have very little to live. Most of them have only a few months after pardon.
The only exception is the bird named Tater, pardoned by former President Barack Obama in 2016 – it exceeded all expectations, having lived for two years.
Preparations for the pardon ceremony of turkey begins in July-August. Not only must turkeys comply with exact weight parameters, have perfectly white feathers and a certain size, they must be well brought up. Selected birds have individual cards that describe their eating habits, favorite pastime types, and music that they prefer. They even (unlike many people) have goals in life. For example, Turkey Peas likes to eat popcorn and wants to learn how to fly, and Carrots like to do yoga.
According to the National Federation of Indo-breeders, “from an early age, birds are being prepared for a unique experience of participation in the ceremony — cameras, flashes and loud noises.” The turkeys are sent on a tour of their home state, where they “take part” in children’s activities. Birds who were awarded a meeting with the President, upon arrival in Washington, live in the Willard InterContinental hotel in the city center. They also have a retinue of veterinarians and numerous other assistants.