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Behind the Meme – Easter Bunnies

March 11, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs Easter approaches the interest in Easter bunnies and chicks and ducklings grows. We don’t sell “Easter bunnies” because, too often, an impulse doesn’t research proper care of them.

Some years ago, I was working with Connor’s mom when a co-worker brought in some baby birds. He wasn’t sure what they were but they were about to become dinner for a dog. As they pondered I said with certainly they were baby chicks. This was an RV Park – not a farm, not even a steady place to have chickens. They had been dyed and either escaped or were turned loose.

Some think it’s ‘mean’ or ‘cruel’ to have meat rabbits, and everyone is entitled to an opinion. If a rabbit goes to an individual, they may breed it, care for it or eat the rabbit. I hope with education and outreach none are ever turned loose. I don’t sell to those saying they will turn it lose. They are domestic and while they may live for a while, especially the white ones are apt to become a meal for a hawk, owl, dog or other animal.

While we do sell live rabbits, we strongly recommend that people never turn them loose. I will take back any rabbit we sell (not buy back, but an alternative over turning them loose). Some might say “but we paid <whatever price> and want to get it back” – but they also agreed to care for the animal not abandon it, and there is no money in abandoning an animal. It’s grossly unfair, however, to force an animal to fend for itself when they have been sheltered, fed and watered all their lives.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo every year, as Easter approaches you’ll see these photos on our social media channels. Please spread it, retweet it, share it and encourage others to not carelessly buy and abandon rabbits any more than cows, horses or pigs. It’s not just because we have poultry and rabbits, but because we value them as many do the livestock they have. They’re not disposable.

For those wanting alternatives, we have a Name A Doe project where for $30 (special on the “Get It Quick” page!) you get to name one of the does, learn about rabbits and don’t have the time and expense of feeding and caring for them, or dealing with them when the kids lose interest. Alternately, there’s sponsoring a ‘hole’ – special housing for rabbits that is a project we’re working on, and the sponsorship allows for money to feed people via the “Hand Up” program we do.

Yes we sell rabbits. We expect that buyers will treat them well. We expect they will be responsible to bring them back, find a home or eat them if they can no longer keep them properly. There are worse things than being slaughtered for a meal. Being mauled alive by dogs or running in terror for cover fit. Our meat rabbits have a good life of food, shelter, water…and a few bad seconds on the last day. They don’t fear what is coming. They don’t sit and worry about when their day is up.

But they wouldn’t know what to do if abandoned. Often accidental escapes are easily caught at feeding time because of their reliance on people. Withdrawing that is an ultimate cruelty worse than using them for a meal.

Opinions vary, but don’t abandon pet rabbits. It’s not good for rabbits, or for people.

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