The Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Pardoned Some Tofurky This Year, Proving the Whole Turkey Pardoning Thing Is Really Weird

Like John Oliver, I have always found the whole Presidential Turkey Pardoning thing exceptionally bizarre. But if there’s one thing that could be considered to be even weirder, it’s this: In honor of his city’s crunchy granola reputation, the Mayor of Seattle pardoned some Tofurky this year. And no, I am not kidding. There was Tofurky, and it was pardoned. For real.

According to a press release from the office of Mayor Ed Murray, the pardoning itself happened on November 21; not one, but two packages of Tofurky were saved from being devoured by Seattle’s vegetarian revelers this Thanksgiving. The one named Braeburn received the official pardon — and it seems the Mayor was feeling generous this year, since Braeburn’s understudy, Honeycrisp, was granted immunity as well. Why the two Tofurkys were named after types of apples is anyone’s guess.

But hey, at least it was for a good cause: The stunt drew attention to a food drive currently being held by the Seattle City Council and the Mayor’s Office. In a piece of friendly competition, both offices have until December 12 to collect as many non-perishable food donations as possible; the winner will have donuts delivered to their office by the loosing team. The donations will benefit the Ranier Valley Food Bank — which, incidentally, is where Braeburn and Honeycrisp will live out the rest of their natural lives (does anyone know when their sell-by dates are?).

The Obama White House on YouTube

For his part, President Obama also seems to realize that pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving each year is… well, kind of strange: According to DC-ist, the President commented during the ceremony, “It is a little puzzling that I do this every year.” Yes. Yes it is. I mean, think about it — we don’t even really know who’s responsible for starting the whole thing. According to the White House Historical Association, it might have been Lincoln… but it also might have been Truman. In any event, this year’s recipients of the Presidential Pardon, Mac and Cheese, will live to gobble another day. Congrats, boys. You've made it to the big time now.

Image: smiteme/Flickr