Oh right, it’s Easter!

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Oh right, it’s Easter!

I was sitting here wondering what to write about, and I realized that it’s Easter this Sunday.

I was raised Christian and Easter was a big deal in our house. We would get up really early to go to the sunrise service (actually at sunrise). We also had easter baskets and painted easter eggs and ate way too much chocolate and sugar. But it was all fun.

Now I’m not religious so I don’t really pay much attention to Easter. At least, I wouldn’t if Easter didn’t promote some terrible animal abuse.

One of the really terrible ideas on Easter is to buy baby bunnies or chicks as gifts for children. For some reason, many people like to buy cute animals as gifts, without considering that these animals are a 10+ year committment. They don’t consider the needs of the animals, and often they end up in shelter or abandoned.

In Vancouver, drop-offs of rabbits at shelters increase a few months after easter, when parents start to realize that their children don’t want to play with their new “toy” anymore. Rabbits are not good pets for children, and should ever only be adopted, never purchased. Purchasing rabbits supports are horrible system of breeding that produces maqny unwanted animals in addition to the ones dropped off at shelters.

Also, rabbits are still commonly used in cosmetic and toxicity testing. If you use regular toothpaste, shampoo, soap, dish detergent, etc, chances are it was tested on animals. The only way to know for sure that your products are not tested on animals is to look for a third-party certified logo, like the “Leaping Bunny” logo.

In some cities, you can buy chicks, baby chickens, that have been dyed all sorts of easter colours. This is unhealthy for the chicks, and treats them as commodities. Chicks are cute for a few days, but then start to grow and need proper care and nutrition and habitat. Generally these chicks get abandoned or thrown away. Often they die from the aftereffects of the dye.

We also like to give and get cute little chocolates in the shape of bunnies and eggs. Most of the time, these are made with milk chocolate.

The dairy industry is one of the cruelest animal industries ever. Cows are artificially inseminated so that they will give birth once per year to produce milk. Their calves are taken away immediately. The male calves become a “delicacy” called veal. The calves are kept confined in little huts, unable to socialize or play like normal young calves would.

Most chocolate sold is not fair trade or organic, meaning that farmers were paid very little for it and it is often farmed in unsustainable ways. Trees are cut down to make space to grow chocolate. Whenever possible, look for fair-trade organic chocolate. Fair-trade means that it’s much more likely that the farmers were paid a decent amount for their crops, enough to feed their family and pay for education for their children.

Easter looks like it’s all about cuteness and bright colours and fun, but it’s really hiding a whole slew of terrible and completely avoidable cruelties. Please, this Easter, make compassionate choices that don’t harm others.

1 Comment


April 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm

The dyeing of little chicks is very sad : (
Isn’t it ironic that the very symbols we are celebrating (chicks, bunnies) are the ones who pay the price?
There are other ways to celebrate this time of rebirth. Here are some vegan Easter alternatives:


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