PETA Hopes to Hatch New Tradition for White House Easter Egg Roll

No Hens Harmed When Eggs Are Plastic or Ceramic

For Immediate Release:
March 22, 2016

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

In advance of the White House Easter Egg Roll on March 28, PETA sent a letter this morning offering President and Mrs. Obama a donation of plastic eggs and dyeable ceramic EggNots for use in this year’s event—to replace the thousands of chickens’ eggs usually used in the hunt. PETA is also offering to provide all event volunteers with a vegan egg-free scramble—which is not only 100 percent cruelty-free but also 100 percent cholesterol-free—in place of the scheduled high-cholesterol chicken egg breakfast.

“For the hens crammed into tiny wire cages, an Easter egg hunt is nothing to crow about,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on President and Mrs. Obama to consider making their last White House Easter Egg Roll the kindest one in U.S. history.”

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat … or abuse in any other way”—notes that it takes a chicken 34 hours of labor to lay each one of the thousands of hard-boiled eggs traditionally used in the event. On egg farms, five to 10 hens are crowded into each tiny wire “battery cage”—without enough room to stretch even a single wing. Once hens’ egg-production drops, their throats are slit, often while they’re still conscious.

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PETA’s letter to President and Mrs. Obama follows.

Dear President and Mrs. Obama, I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters with an offer to hatch a new tradition for the White House Easter Egg Roll: Instead of using hard-boiled chicken eggs—which took chickens 34 hours to lay and which are slated for use in this year’s egg roll, egg hunt, and egg decorating station—will you please accept a donation of plastic eggs and ceramic EggNots for use in the event or just switch to them? In gratitude for your compassion for chickens, we would happily provide event volunteers with a delicious, healthy Follow Your Heart vegan scramble in place of the scheduled chicken egg breakfast.

Using cruelly obtained eggs from female chickens who will be killed when their egg-laying usefulness ends and who are exploited because of their sex is inarguably inconsistent with the goals of the 2016 “Let’s Celebrate!” theme. For hens on factory farms, Easter is no time to rejoice. One shed may contain tens of thousands of birds crammed together in something like the Black Hole of Calcutta—five to 10 in a tiny wire “battery cage” in which a hen does not even have enough space to stretch even one of her wings. It can take up to 34 hours in these conditions for one hen to produce just one of the thousands of eggs slated to be used at the Easter Egg Roll. Once the hens’ egg production drops, they are yanked out of the cages and tossed into crates—as you’ll see here, sometimes having their wings and legs broken in the process—sent on a frightening journey to a slaughterhouse, then shackled so that their throats can be cut while they’re still conscious and flapping.

Switching to synthetic eggs that can be re-used year after year is a terrific solution to the sad spectacle and wastefulness of using thousands of hard-boiled eggs each spring, and offering ceramic eggs at the egg-dyeing station won’t lock families with egg allergies out of the fun. We hope you’ll consider the ways in which our offer will modernize this White House tradition, and we look forward to hearing from you. Here’s wishing you and your family a very happy Easter.

Respectfully yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

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