The truth about Easter

Every year "Easter bunnies" are sold by the thousands. And every year they die by the thousands. Please help us put an end to the suffering by not buying a rabbit (duckling, gosling, or chick) as an Easter gift. These are living, feeling creatures that come with long-term needs and responsibilities. THEY ARE NOT TOYS.

FACT: Rabbits are NOT good pets for children. Most of them are fearful of being held: they will scratch, kick, or even bite to be let go. Not only can your child get injured, the rabbit can end up dead from a severed spine caused by the child squeezing it in response, or with a broken leg from being dropped.

FACT: Baby bunnies are taken from their mothers too soon because tiny babies sell quicker. This denies the bunny a properly formed immune system resulting in more illnesses and premature deaths.

FACT: Baby bunnies are sold so young that it's nearly impossible to accurately sex them, resulting in countless unexpected - and unwanted - litters.

FACT: In the pet industry, rabbits are considered a "loss leader" - meaning the rabbits themselves are expendable...the real money is made on cages and accessories.

FACT: Pet stores, as a rule, will sell you inappropriate housing, unhealthful food and treats and little or no information to help you properly care for your rabbit. THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE MONEY!

FACT: Most baby bunnies (chicks, goslings, and ducks) die within weeks of purchase due to mishandling, inappropriate food and housing, or illness.

FACT: 90% of those that do survive end up at a shelter facing death, dumped in a park, or on the streets where they die a horrible death - because they're domestic animals unable to survive in the wild.

FACT: Bunnies that don't sell as pets end up as snake food, fur trim on clothing, meat, or lab test victims.

If you insist on getting a rabbit for Easter, please be responsible and educate yourself on humane care and proper food and housing FIRST. Rabbits are highly intelligent and social animals, keeping them outside in a yard or hutch is dangerous and cruel. They are litterbox trainable and can be wonderful indoor companion animals. Always spay and neuter, this prevents cancer, unwanted litters, and problem behavior. Instead of supporting the inhumane pet industry, consider adopting from a rescue group or your local animal shelter. With the proper care your house rabbit can live 10 or more years.

If you're not up to the long-term responsibilities involved in having a happy, healthy rabbit - please stick to the traditional toys and candy for Easter. This is a great opportunity to teach children compassion and respect for animals.

PLEASE choose compassion over cruelty and let's all have a fun, happy, and humane holiday!

For alternative gift ideas:

copyright 2006 c. mc intire. to be reprinted for educational purposes only. cannot be posted on alternate websites without author permission.