The "pardoning" of the Thanksgiving turkey every year is outdated and gimmicky. It's a tradition that should be done away with. No one reasonably expects that a fully grown turkey will somehow survive into old age and live in the wild, free from worry and the hatchet.
We gave up turkey fifteen years ago. That's fifteen birds we haven't killed. Now, we have killed off some cheese and some enchilada sauce, so we're still history's greatest monsters.
This is one of those times when people won't listen to Morrissey, but they should.