(AFP) Former Beatle Paul McCartney, a long-time vegetarian, has joined a campaign by animal rights group PETA to encourage Americans to celebrate a turkey-free Thanksgiving this week.
The British rock legend, sporting a gray shirt with an “eat no turkey” design, is featured on the website of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“This Thanksgiving, Paul McCartney is urging you to say ‘no, thanks’ to turkey and ‘yes’ to a delicious, cruelty-free holiday meal,” the group says.
More than 45 million turkeys will make their way onto American dinner tables on Thursday, and another 22 million are consumed at Christmas, according to PETA.
Each year, US presidents grant a pardon to one or two turkeys — a tradition that only dates back to president George Bush in 1989, even though Thanksgiving was first celebrated by pilgrims who fled religious persecution in England.
The pardoned birds spend their golden years on George Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia.