In this horrifying video, you can see the cruel process that chicks may endure when they are dyed bright colors to be given as Easter “gifts.” Although the caption for this video says it 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 our 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 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, these unnaturally-colored chicks are more likely to be viewed as “toys” than living things to be cared for. Children should never be taught to view animals as playthings but to respect the lives and rights of all living beings. Chicks given as gifts for Easter are most often 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.