The White House wants you, America, to decide which of two turkeys President Barack Obama crowns the “National Thanksgiving Turkey.” Both turkeys — named Caramel and Popcorn — are getting presidential pardons Wednesday morning, so online voters aren’t picking which bird dies and which bird lives. The reality is actually worse: Both Caramel and Popcorn will soon die regardless of the public’s vote. [...]The article goes on to explain that, because the turkeys are bred to be eaten, they are overweight, and don't have long lives. Most pardoned turkeys are dead by the next thanksgiving, and in the interim suffer multiple health problems.
So who started the turkey pardoning thing anyway? Well, it was dabbled with by several presidents, but one made it an official tradition. Guess who?
The Definitive History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon