The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on President Obama’s daughters to go vegan for Thanksgiving and urge their father to end the “offensive turkey pardon” ceremony.
In a letter Thursday to the president’s daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, PETA suggested the family follow its "values" during the holidays, citing the struggle for civil rights.
"You come from a family whose members don't hesitate to fight for those who have been oppressed by standing up for civil rights, women's rights, and LGBT rights," Rachelle Owen, a senior manager in the group's youth division, wrote to the Obama daughters.
"Obviously, you're familiar with the horrible ways that people often treat others who are viewed as 'different' simply because of superficial physical differences or cruel traditions. This year, we would like to ask you to lend your powerful and influential voices to another group whose voices often go unheard: animals."
Obama next week will pardon one of two turkeys from a farm in Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE's (R-Ohio) district. The tradition dates back to President Lincoln, and brings yearly protests from PETA.
PETA noted that millions of "sensitive, curious, loyal" turkeys — "who even purr like kittens when they're happy" — are killed each year for Thanksgiving.
"No animal wants to die, and if turkeys could, they would beg for your family to pardon not one but all of them from a lifetime of suffering and a violent, terrifying death," Owen wrote to the Obama daughters.
The group suggested the first family ditch the bird for "delicious, healthy alternative foods" such as “tofurky,” a vegetarian tofu-based turkey replacement.
"That's the most compassionate decision that you can make — and it also fights climate change and world hunger and sets a positive example for young people everywhere," the group added.