Monday, April 14, 2014

Say "No" to Chicks and Bunnies for Easter!

I don't know what possesses people to buy chicks and bunnies for Easter? Sure they are cute and sweet, but do all these people realize these babies will grow up eventually and sooner than they think? A person has no business buying these animals unless they have farms and are prepared raise them for the rest of their lives. Rabbits, by the way, have a pretty long lifespan.

I am and always have been a city girl . . . New York City to be exact. When I was a kid, about 50 years or so ago, there were stores that sold fresh chickens. I hated going there with my mother because she would pick out the chicken she wanted and they would butcher it and defeather it right there. The smell was nauseating. At Easter time the same place would sell baby chicks. I saw the little yellow balls of fluff and pleaded with my mother to get us chicks. They must have been really cheap because she bought my brother and I six of them and off we went. My brother and I were delighted.

Now where are you going to keep six chicks in a four room railroad apartment already occupied by four people? Well, we kept them in a cardboard box in the bathtub. They were adorable to watch, we named them, we played with them, we loved them. And then, one day, the chicks were getting bigger and the yellow fuzz we loved started turning into white feathers. The chicks were growing up. Still we didn't know what we were going to do with them. The box they were in was surely too small for six growing chicks. My parents didn't seem concerned and we didn't know any better.

One morning we awoke, and as was out ritual, we would peek in on the chicks. We found one pecked to death. It was horrible. We didn't understand why. My parents disposed of the dead chick and life went on. Except, every morning after that we found another dead chick. They were killing each other during the night. I didn't know why, I was just a city girl. It was heartbreaking. One by one our darling little healthy chicks faced a brutal death. And then there were none.

That's the memory I have of Easter chicks. Maybe it's the memory most city kids have when it comes to chicks they got for Easter? I don't know. What I do know is we had no business buying chicks and bringing them home to die when we had no place for them to live a long and happy life. Sure we had a few happy memories from the first few days, but the horrible aftermath was certainly not worth it. I would hope, had my mother known what was going to happen, that she didn't go ahead and buy the chicks anyway. I never thought to ask her, so I guess I will never know.

What I do know is don't buy chicks for Easter if you can't provided an adequate place for them to grow and thrive as nature intended. That goes for bunnies too!

P.S. Here is what happens to a bunny who over stays his welcome . . . may he rest in peace

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