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Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây

23/12/201419:10(Xem: 2245)
Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây

Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây



Tổng thống Mỹ Barack Obama hôm qua đã xá tội cho 2 con gà tây trong một nghi thức truyền thống tại Nhà Trắng trước lễ Tạ ơn.

 
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 1
Hai con gà tây may mắn được xoá tội là Liberty và Peace, nhưng chỉ Liberty xuất hiện trong buổi lễ hôm qua.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 2
Tổng thống Obama dắt tay 2 con gái Malia và Sasha bước ra cổng phía Bắc của Nhà Trắng để tham dự buổi lễ.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 3
Con gà tây Liberty 19 tuần tuổi và nặng 20kg.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 4
Liberty là nhân vật trung tâm của lễ xá tội.
  
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 5
Ông Obama có bài phát biểu ngắn trước khi thực hiện nghi lễ ân xá.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 6
Tổng thống Obama tuyên bố ân xá cho Liberty.
 
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 7
Đông đảo mọi người chứng kiến lễ ân xá.
  
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 8
Buổi lễ ân xá cho gà tây tại Nhà Trắng thường diễn ra một ngày trước lễ Tạ ơn, rơi vào ngày thứ Năm cuối cùng của tháng 11 (năm nay là ngày 24/11).
 
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 9
Truyền thống ân xá cho gà tây tại Nhà Trắng có từ thời chính quyền Tổng thống Harry Truman.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 10
Cô bé Sasha...
 
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 11
... và chị gái Malia vuốt ve con gà tây Liberty sau khi nó thoát khỏi cảnh bị làm thịt.
 
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 12
Gà tây là món ăn truyền thống trong bữa tiệc mừng lễ Tạ ơn của người Mỹ.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 13
Sau nghi lễ ân xá cho gà tây, gia đình Tổng thống Mỹ đã đi phân phát đồ cứu trợ cho những gia đình gặp khó khăn tại Washington nhân lễ Tạ ơn.

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 14
Mẹ của đệ nhất phu nhân Michelle, bà Marian Robinson (áo xanh), cũng tham gia buổi lễ.
 
Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 15

Hình ảnh Tổng thống Obama ân xá cho gà tây số 16
Ông Obama bắt tay và trò chuyện vui vẻ với một cụ bà.

I love Thanksgiving. So do most Americans, ranking it as their second favorite holiday of the year after Christmas.

There is much to like about Thanksgiving. There's the concept of gratitude -- something we perpetually forget in our hectic day-to-day lives. There's the warmth of family -- gathering around the dinner table to laugh with our loved ones. And there's the secular appeal -- Americans of all faiths today celebrate Thanksgiving with equal enthusiasm.

But there is something we as a society should reconsider about Thanksgiving: the turkey. Around 46 million turkeys will be slaughtered in the U.S. for Thanksgiving this year, accounting for close to one-fifth of all those killed in the entire year.

TurkeysSoniaFaruqi-thumb

Turkeys (Sonia Faruqi)

Almost nine out of 10 Americans eat a turkey at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. But most Americans do not stop to consider how their turkey was actually raised and killed.

I have investigated animal farms around the world, with an eye to improving animal welfare in the industry internationally. Among other farms, I have visited turkey operations. Confined in the thousands to stinking, ammonia-swamped warehouses, many turkeys today are genetically bred to grow so fast that their heart and legs can't keep pace with their ballooning bodies. Many suffer heart attacks and leg collapse.

As one turkey contract grower explained to me, "The body weight of turkeys increases 300 times between birth and slaughter...Their genetics are crazy."

Every year, the president of the United States ceremonially "pardons" a turkey, giving the animal a reprieve from slaughter. Thanksgiving is "one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey," President Obama jovially noted in his 2011 turkey pardon. He continued that Liberty, the turkey he pardoned, is probably "the luckiest bird on the face of the earth."

Not quite, Mr. President. Most pardoned turkeys tend to drop dead in under a year because of their grievous body structure.

Killing poses another ethical issue. I have witnessed a callous disregard of animal welfare at slaughter plants. In the United States, turkeys and chickens are not even protected under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, even though they constitute 97 percent of farm animals slaughtered every year.

A more subtle issue with slaughter is: How many Americans would eat a turkey at Thanksgiving if they had to kill it themselves? Not many, I imagine. This speaks positively of Americans, and is not the case with all cultures.

In early October of this year, 1.6 billion Muslims, or close to a quarter of the world population, celebrated Eid-al-Adha, the largest Islamic holiday of the year, with the "sacrifice" of 100 million cows, goats and sheep. Just as Thanksgiving is often called Turkey Day, Eid-al-Adha is often called Bakra Eid, which translates to Cow Feast or Goat Feast. While Eid slaughter is often decried as barbaric, Thanksgiving slaughter isn't, even though the only difference between the two is who wields the knife -- the consumer or the worker. Muslims tend to purchase the requisite cow, goat or sheep, and kill the animal themselves in their backyards; Americans purchase turkeys that were killed behind closed doors by largely Mexican, underpaid, exploited workers in American slaughter plants.

Thanksgiving is about bringing family together, and that fortunately has nothing to do with turkeys. The roots of Thanksgiving, in fact, lie in expressing gratitude for harvests of crops. That's right -- Thanksgiving is actually a harvest festival.

Let's have a Thanksgiving where we celebrate life over death and enjoy the bounty of the autumn harvest.

Sonia Faruqi is the author of Project Animal Farm, forthcoming in July 2015, and available for pre-order on Amazon. The book traces her journey investigating animal farms around the world.

barack-obama-turkey-pardon-467US President Barack Obama gestures during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) on November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC.Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Two turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler are going to have a much happier Thanksgiving than most of their kind this time of year.

The feathered twosome are the beneficiaries of a long-running White House Thanksgiving tradition, in which the President of the United States pardons a turkey from the national meal.

PHOTOS: Barack and Michelle's wedding anniversary album

"You know, they say that life is all about second chances. And this November, I could not agree more," recently re-elected President Barack Obama joked during a Wednesday Nov. 21 ceremony in the Rose Garden. "So in the spirit of the season, I have one more gift to give. And it goes to a pair of turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler. The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward."

PHOTOS: What the stars are doing for Thanksgiving

The holiday tradition of "pardoning" a turkey at the White House stretches back to the days of Abraham Lincoln, said to be egged on by his son, Tad; but in 2012, Americans voted for the turkey to save via special Facebook page.

"Now, I joke, but -- but for the first time in our history, the winners of the White House turkey pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote," said Obama, joined at the ceremony by daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11. (Cobbler was the first bird to be pardoned, with Gobbler also spared in case his pal can't fulfill his duties.)

PHOTOS: Stars vote in the 2012 Election!

Obama, 51, noted that his daughters would tag along with him to a local food bank later in the day on Wednesday.

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