First Lady Asked to Take a Crack at Hen-Friendly Easter Egg Roll

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2023

Robin Goist 202-483-7382

Washington – Today, ahead of the ticket lottery for the White House Easter Egg Roll, PETA has asked Dr. Jill Biden to choose festive and bird-friendly wooden eggs for the occasion, such as those already sold by the White House. If she agrees, PETA says in its letter to the first lady, she would make the event “eggstra special for chickens,” reduce waste, and accommodate all the children who avoid eggs for ethical, environmental, religious, or health reasons.

“As an educator, we hope you’ll join us in encouraging Americans of all ages to consider who animals are, understand that animal-based agriculture is ruining the planet, and guard our health against high-cholesterol foods,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Chickens are smart, sensitive animals who feel pain and empathy; have distinct personalities; and, at just a few days old, can count and perform basic addition and subtraction, yet they are factory-farmed in hen prisons and the eggs they produce are stolen for humans to eat.”

The group explains that children, whose empathy for animals is innate, would be devastated to learn that eggs come from cruel farms. Every year in the U.S., about 300 million hens’ beaks are mutilated, then they’re forced to spend their entire lives pressed against other birds in severely crowded cages that reek of feces and ammonia. These chickens suffer just as any other animals would, including Commander and Willow, the Bidens’ beloved dog and cat.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Dr. Biden follows.

March 13, 2023

Dear Dr. Biden:

I’m writing on behalf of PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 5 million members and supporters in the U.S., to respectfully urge you not to allow the use of real chicken eggs for the White House Easter Egg Roll but to choose instead reusable plastic or wooden eggs—or even lovely painted rocks or egg-shaped balls—all of which would last for years to come. This update would make the event eggstra special for chickens and inclusive of all children who attend, including those who don’t consume eggs for ethical, environmental, or health reasons.

As an educator, you understand that we want Americans of all ages to consider who animals are, what makes them tick, and how they feel. Chickens are smart, sensitive animals who feel pain and empathy; have distinct personalities; and at just a few days old, can count and perform basic addition and subtraction. Mother hens communicate with their chicks while they’re still inside the shell so that they recognize her call when they hatch. Children, who have natural empathy for animals, would be saddened to learn that the eggs at this family event came from mothers who spent their entire lives in cages smaller than a letter-sized sheet of paper, unable to lift a single wing, and were taken from her as soon as they were laid. It’s a most fowl irony.

We hope you’ll agree that while families are shelling out nearly 70% more for eggs amid the deadliest avian flu outbreak on record, now is a hopping good time to hatch an Easter tradition that is kind and doesn’t prop up the cruel egg industry. We wish you and your family a very happy Easter and look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind