Morrissey Rips Obama for 'Thankskilling' Turkey Pardon

Singer calls tradition 'embarrassingly stupid'

Morrissey
Mat Hayward/FilmMagic
Morrissey performs in Seattle.
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Surprise: Morrissey is not a fan of the annual turkey pardon that takes place at the White House around Thanksgiving – or, as Morrissey calls it, "Thankskilling." The singer, an outspoken vegan, says the tradition is "embarrassingly stupid" in a new note posted on the fan site True to You.

He writes, "Please ignore the abysmal example set by President Obama who, in the name of Thanksgiving, supports torture as 45 million birds are horrifically abused; dragged through electrified stun baths, and then have their throats slit. And President Obama laughs. Haha, so funny!"

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Morrissey cites PETA in claiming that turkey "meat" (quotation marks are his) is one of "our nation's top killers," and says the meat industry is responsible for 51 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emission. "Therefore the embarrassingly stupid White House 'turkey pardon' is open support for a viciously cruel and environmentally irresponsible industry."

Turkeys have been presented to U.S. presidents since 1947. Although John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan each spared a bird, the turkey-pardon appears to have become an annual tradition starting in 1989 during the administration of George H.W. Bush.

It's not the first time this year Morrissey has acted on his vegan principles: the former Smiths singer in February canceled an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when he learned the other guests were the stars of Duck Dynasty. Morrissey called them "people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers." Kimmel responded with a tongue-in-cheek sketch about a vegan-themed version of the A&E reality show.

After health problems this year prompted Morrissey to cancel numerous gigs, the singer is scheduled to perform December 11th with Mary J. Blige, Jake Bugg and more at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.