pCNN iReport/p
pBy Carole Raphaelle Davis/p
pOne day a year, on Easter Sunday, rabbits are celebrated by consumers participating in a $14.6 billion binge of gluttony and fantasy on Easter related goods. Americans stuffing themselves with 120 million pounds of chocolate bunnies don’t want to think about real rabbits. That would harsh their sugar high./p
pOn greeting cards, cartoons and in children’s fantasies, Easter bunnies magically appear and lay multi-colored eggs. The reality is starkly different for live rabbits. All year, bunnies are dying by the millions-slaughtered for food, fur and skin, tortured in laboratory experiments and confined in shoebox sized cages, neglected and exposed to harsh temperatures in commercial breeding factories./p
pThe Agricultural Marketing Research Center states that rabbit production is up, making rabbits the new urban chickens. In 2002, more than 4,300 farms sold nearly 890,000 rabbits. By 2007, those numbers had increased to more than 6,800 farms./p
pThe Animal Welfare Act is said to protect the “multi-use” rabbits raised for exhibition, pets or research. USDA inspection reports examined by the Companion Animal Protection Society tell a different story-one of suffering endlessly in a cage. The AWA excludes rabbits bred for food./p
pRabbits bred for the pet industry live a bleak existence in commercial facilities-in outdoor hutches, broiling in summer and freezing in winter. Their offspring, sold as gifts in pet stores and on the Internet, don’t fare much better. Typically bought on a whim as a toy for a child, they often live a desolate life in the corner of a filthy cage without enrichment until they are abandoned to a shelter or die of neglect./p
blockquotepPriscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, having recently toured a New York City shelter, lamented the sad end of most pet rabbits. “Doomed, adult abandoned rabbits had their own wing,” she said. “People tossed them out of apartments when they chewed electrical wires, bit them, or after they were evicted. Bunnies grow into rabbits quickly, and their appeal as pet is short-lived.”/p/blockquote
pI don’t mean to sound like an Easter Grinch but I have personal experience of how a lot of these Easter bunnies turn out. I had a friend whose ten year old daughter got a rabbit. After a while, the ten year old spaced out and so did the parents. They forgot to feed the rabbit. He died of starvation in his cage. Our friendship died too./p
pA very famous rabbit summed up Easter perfectly: “I’ll be scared later. Right now I’m too mad.” – Bugs Bunny/p
pDon’t buy a bunny, adopt from LAAS or from Bunny World Foundation./p