A Turkey By Any Other Description – Is Still the Governor of Alaska by Walter Brasch + video

by Walter Brasch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov. 21, 2008

President Bush, as has every president since his father began the practice in 1989, annually pardons a Thanksgiving turkey.

Amid hundreds of spectators, most of them members of the media, the president makes a few cute comments, issues a pardon for the turkey and a “runner-up” (in case the Main Bird can’t fulfill all the duties), and then sends the turkeys off to a petting zoo or ranch, where they live about a year. Why they live only a year is because domestic turkeys are bred to become so pleasingly plump so quickly that disease takes over their bodies if not slaughtered. A domestic turkey has a 26 week life span; wild turkeys, if not killed by natural predators, have a 12 year life span.

Why domestic turkeys have to be “pardoned” is another matter. The birds did nothing wrong, nothing illegal. All they did was to be born and be turkeys. But, the entire ceremony is a good PhotoOp for the president, while encouraging the sale of turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. Americans will eat about 46 million turkeys this Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation.

The Federation first gave Harry Truman a bird in 1947. While most media declare that was the beginning of the pardons, there’s no evidence that Truman did anything other than eat turkey for Thanksgiving. In 1963, days before he was murdered, John F. Kennedy chose to spare the life of the turkey he was presented, but did not grab the salivating media to watch him “pardon” a turkey. The Federation gives each president a live turkey and two dressed ones.

And now comes a turkey disguised as a human. While most turkeys might be offended at the comparison, “turkey” might be the best way to describe Gov. Sarah Palin.

The former Republican VP nominee, at home in Wasilla, Alaska, went to the Triple-D farm, Thursday, accompanied by a willing press corps. There, she declared, apparently in all sincerity and unaware of the great irony, “I, Governor Sarah Palin, friend to all creatures great and small.” Yes, the same Sarah Palin who recently cooked moose chili while being interviewed on TV, who regularly kills animals, who approves the killing of wolf pups in their dens, who sees nothing wrong with violating every “fair chase” rule of hunting by encouraging aerial hunting. That Sarah Palin.

But, her “pardon” actually gets even more outrageous. She said she was pardoning the turkey because it was almost the national bird, that “it is not at all clear that this turkey even had a trial, let alone a fair trial by a jury of his or her peers,” and that Alaska doesn’t have a death penalty. So far, except for her squeaky unmodulated voice and lack of complete sentences, combined with the chortle her line about “friend of all creatures” must have provoked, no harm no foul.

And then she walked outside the pen into the fresh air and sunlight. While a KTUU-TV reporter interviewed her about returning to Alaska, behind the governor, and clearly visible to the camera, a worker was feeding turkeys into a metal funnel grinder, and grinning at the TV camera. The videographer told Palin what was happening behind her shoulder; her response was “No worries,” as she continued the three-minute interview, upstaged the entire time by the worker and the slaughter.

During the interview, she explained she went to the Triple-D farm to help promote local business, and because, “You need a little bit of levity in this job.” Near the end of the interview, she acknowledged she was a controversial figure, and threw out an off-hand comment about the work being done behind her: “Certainly we’ll probably invite criticism for even doing this too but at least this was fun.” It certainly wasn’t “fun” for the turkeys.

Although most Americans have no problem with eating meat, the scene that Sarah Palin willingly became a part showed not just ineptness but insensitivity.

“The word ‘turkey,’” said Sarah Palin, is “considered a term of endearment in casual conversation.” There is no way that referring to Sarah Palin as a turkey can be misconstrued to be a “term of endearment.”

[Walter Brasch’s latest book is the second edition of Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (October 2007), available through amazon.com, bn.com, and other bookstores. Dr. Brasch has covered several Presidential campaigns, usually away from the “press gaggle.” You may contact Brasch at brasch@bloomu.edu or through his website at: www.walterbrasch.com]



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Sarah Palin interviewed while turkey is slaughtered



Sarah Palin Turkey slaughter full interview and more (2008)

A Thanksgiving Day Fast For Peace By Gary Corseri

Stacks of dead presidents or flesh and blood companions?

Palin’s Wolf-Killing Program Results in 14 Wolf Pup Deaths

Death Becomes Her: Let’s Make Her Our President By Jason Miller

No Wolf Whistles for Sarah Palin’s Compassion by Walter Brasch

6 thoughts on “A Turkey By Any Other Description – Is Still the Governor of Alaska by Walter Brasch + video

  1. Pingback: Freedom & Life: Of Turkeys & Men by Sibel Edmonds + Bagram Prison Exposed « Dandelion Salad

  2. More like real death.

    But good point. People should know the reality of where their McMysterymeat comes from.

    I think if we’re gonna play the carnivore game, we should have to run it down on foot and kill it with our teeth and claws.

    This raising animals for slaughter, or hunting them with lures and high-powered rifles can’t be morally correct.

    So instead Palin legislates for shooting natural carnivores, wolves to benefit livestock production, when each wolf is as wonderful as your family dog. Can this be the best way to behave?

    These large animals are not brainless vegetables, they have minds and feelings, families and friends, like us. Time to find something less sentient to eat!

    Same warning above applies to video link here– no sense having fantasies of family fun and frolic on Turkey Day or around the grill with this going on, at least people should know, so they can make an educated, moral choice:


    Somehow after this film, the idea of eating them or not is no longer intellectual or idealogical, it’s just not acceptable. At least that’s my ‘gut’ response.

  3. Hopefully the video will be seen by many people who will then decide to forgo the turkey on Thanksgiving and perhaps even give up consuming poultry forever. More people need to see how farm animals are being raised and slaughtered.

    Our entire society is based on a culture of death and destruction. It’s obscene.

  4. Maybe this outrage and horror will usher in a generation of new young vegetarians, the world will be a better place for morality, and for Turkeys.

    What would the Wampanoag say?

    This is the best thing Impalin has done: Expose what really goes on to create thanks giving, even in a ‘small business’ farm– you dont wanna see the ‘animal factories’ (now let’s look at how we get christmas hams, and ‘roast beast’).

    Amazing to me people would create war against all arabs after the beheading of Daniel Pearl by similar-looking sinister ignorant brain-deficient maniacs like this deranged retard in the background, and yet when the reality of the horror of beheadings of ‘others’ appears on TV, people like Mathews Joke about it.

    But I can nearly guaruntee that most backwoods red***** (I’m not supposedta use that word) have no problem with this horror.

    What ‘elitist’ liberals from foi-gras feasting cities don’t get, is that there’s a huge tradition in the woods of videotaping the kill.

    We need to get real about what is wrong with the USA, there is a reason they love horror flicks, hunting and harpooning ‘hadjis’.

    This is the culture we’ve dominated a p-reviously pristine continent to create. All who idealize cowboys, pioneers, loggers, the ‘joe the real americans’, this is what they’re about: Toothless ignorant blood-drenched inbreds from Deliverance killing things and smirking as their helpless victims struggle and the blood splatters ‘Vlad the Impalin’ style.

    Never forget almost half the electorate rolled out for this femme fatal.

    Goddamn amerigaah. Now can we make that evil wench go away please?

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