Quick Critique: Presidential Turkey Pardon

“the modern, inverted version of animal sacrifice: We raise a live one up to the gods, and then kill all the rest.” (Scully 2003, 33)

Rather than a divine act in which a people appease their god, the Turkey pardon becomes a symbolic gesture to deflect criticism that Americans are not “compassionate.” (Adam W.)

The naming of the event as a “pardon,” despite the turkeys’ innocence, reveals our hidden recognition that we are victimizing someone, that slaughter is somehow a punishment for not being human enough or at least in some way a cause of suffering, perhaps as opposed to euthanasia. We are not compelled to “pardon” the cabbage or the potatoes, which do not share the heart-/mind-symbol of blood. But those who feel the need to “pardon” the innocent turkey reveal above that they think under a framework of the “necessity” of such violence, as handed down by “nature” (i.e. nature torments). Actually, it is handed down by the habit, system, and cultural (rather than biological) justification of violence and is NOT necessary under a more rigorous moral framework. To the contrary: it is objectionable.

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~ by Louëlla on November 26, 2009.

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