I’m not sure if I ever really believed in the Easter Bunny. I knew who really filled my Easter basket with chocolate bunnies and other candy animals. But if I did believe in the Easter Bunny, I’d think of him as an activist, an animal rescuer, gathering any non-sugar or polyester-based animals from fake-grass filled baskets and bringing them to sanctuary. You see, while my goodies were always inanimate, some kids wake up to find real animals among the molded candy and stuffed toys.
A number of pet shops and feed stores peddle baby chicks, ducklings and bunnies to parents looking for something to amuse their children for the holiday. They are soft and cute and little…honestly, they are adorable, but they are not toys and children shouldn’t be encouraged to treat them as such.
Chicks, ducklings and bunnies grow up quickly and the novelty wears off. They are relegated to a backyard hutch or are dumped off at animal shelters. Or, just dumped. Some make their way to Farm Sanctuary. Huey was one lucky duck. He and his friends Duey and Sidekick Chick were rescued from a pet store in New York City. Holiday leftovers.
To make matters worse for these little critters—someone got the wacky idea to DYE chicks in a rainbow of colors, just like Easter eggs. (BTW: Check out compassionate alternatives to using bird eggs for holiday fun) The dye is injected into the eggs before the chicks hatch coloring their baby feathers, but not their adult plumage. A group of these peeps were rescued by Farm Sanctuary where they grew up to be sparkly white.
When you see or hear an advertisement for a store promoting Easter animals as gifts, peep up. Call the store to complain and ask that they cancel the sale. If it is a chain, call the corporate headquarters. Send e-mails and snail mail letters too. Contact information for just about anyone can be found online.
Then, write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Write letters to the smaller, weekly and free papers too. If your local radio station has a call-in show, call in. Discourage your neighbors from purchasing chicks, ducks or any animal for their children this Easter. Encourage doting parents, relatives and friends of the family to give stuffed animals as gifts, instead.