For many, Easter Sunday is a day to gather with family and count our blessings. However, there is little to celebrate for animals abused in the name of this holiday.
In a horrifying video being shared on social media, you can see the cruel process that chicks may endure when they are dyed bright colors to appeal to Easter revelers. Although the caption for this video on Facebook says that the footage was taken in South America, such abuse could take place just about anywhere, including the U.S., where dyeing animals is still legal in about half of states.
In the video, you can see how groups of baby chicks are dumped into plastic bins with no regard for their safety or comfort. No doubt some of these tiny, delicate birds sustained injuries—and all the animals felt fear as they were roughly drenched with dye.
The video is hard to watch, but what might be even harder to consider is what happens to the birds after Easter is over. Purchased as gifts and dyed unnatural colors, these neon-hued chicks are more likely to be seen as “toys.” Children should never be taught to view animals as playthings: Rather, kids should be taught to respect the rights of all living beings. Oftentimes, chicks given as gifts for Easter are abandoned even faster than their colors fade.
Chicks require special care that many families aren’t prepared to give, but it’s not just chicks who suffer from holiday novelty gift-giving. Nationwide, rabbits rank third among animals turned in at shelters, many surrendered by people who were not prepared to give longtime care to the cute bunny they took home for Easter.
If you were thinking of buying a chick, a bunny, or any other animal to give as a present this Easter, don’t do it! Instead, give a child an actual toy—the kind that’s stuffed with cotton and does not require veterinary visits, hours of love and attention each day, and years of commitment. If you and your family are ready to provide a loving, permanent home for a chicken, a bunny, or any other animal, please adopt from a shelter or rescue group after giving the decision a lot of thought and thoroughly researching how to care properly for these sensitive, complex animals.
Remember: Toys are for Easter. Animals are for life.