Thanks For Nothing

disney-turkey-comic.jpg Axe Me No Questions

Quietly, yet in broad daylight, the Magic Kingdom has colonized another area of human existence. Disney has appropriated the pardoned national turkey.

truman-turkey.jpg Since the Truman Administration a beloved annual photo-op involving large birds and uncomfortable men in suits has played out before the cameras, nowadays live on your many newsnets.

Earlier birds are lost in the mists, but for some fifteen years prior to 2005 the pardoned turkeys would live out their days at Frying Pan Park in Virginia. It is days – these born-to-die white meat wonders have little shelf-life even while ambulatory.

But 11/22/05 changed everything.

That year an unholy alliance of PETA, Big Turkey, and the House of Mouse kidnapped the beloved tradition, turning the Presidential ceremony into but a prequel to Disney’s relentless exploitation of the animals in the “Disney Thanksgiving Day Parade. bush-disneyland-turkey-parade.jpg

The Los Angeles Times explains how the Musketeers moved in:

“We sent a letter to President Bush early last week, as we have for the last five years in a row, asking him to send the birds to a better environment than Frying Pan Park, where they shiver in a 10-by-10 shed with no mental or physical stimulation and tend to die within six months,” said Bruce Friedrich, director of vegan campaigns for PETA. “Really, the pardon for the last 15 years has been more like a death sentence…The park, an animal sanctuary in Herndon, Va., that re-creates a 1930s farm for visiting schoolchildren, denies that it has mistreated the turkeys, which it considers honored guests…”The claims of poor or inhumane treatment were a little painful for our staff, because they take pride in the care of the animals,” said spokeswoman Judy Pedersen. “Many of these turkeys are bred for the table. They don’t tend to have a long retirement.”Disney said it scored the presidential turkey with a request to the National Turkey Federation, a Washington-based advocacy group, which has provided a Thanksgiving bird to the commander in chief since 1947.”

The pardoned 2005 turkeys were raised listening to the hellish sounds of “The Happiest Place On Earth” to ready them for the Disney parade.

Marshmallow & Yam: The Bitter Years bush-disney-yam-and-marshmallow.jpg

They marched, and were retired at Disneyland, where they died as fast as the ones that used to go to Frying Pan Park.

“…sadly, Marshmallow died in April and Yam passed away in August, both living about 18 months. Most turkeys are killed after 18 weeks…They lived longer than they would have, if they had made it to the dinner table.” Valarie Sukovaty, Disney Mouthpiece

In 2006 Disney’s MousePlanet heartlessly discussed the 2005 and 2006 turkey’s rapid demise:

“Indeed, as with last year’s pardonees, Yam and Marshmallow, it is unlikely that either Flyer or Fryer will have to worry about making friends with new roommates next year. Modern domestic turkeys have been bred to grow large and grow fast, and since they are to be processed for consumption well before their first birthdays it doesn’t really matter if there are health affects. Neither Yam nor Marshmallow made it even nine months after their pardons last year.So Flyer and Fryer are already on borrowed time and here’s hoping that they defy the odds and in a few years crowding becomes a problem at Big Thunder Ranch.”

The nation has accepted this traducing of our national symbol without protest as far as I have been able to detect. Thinkprogress mentioned the 2005 change last year, but true to his Clinton/DLC roots Slate‘s “Has-Been” Bruce Reed mentions the Disney corporate role without comment.

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