Friday, March 28, 2014

Do this please...

...copy the letter below, paste it into your word processing software and modify it to reflect the situation in your area and then send it off to the editor of your local newspaper as a letter to be published.

Dear Editor:

Over the next few weeks, many local adults will be tempted to buy an Easter rabbit for a beloved child, godchild, grandchild, niece, or nephew.  And a few months from now, our local animal shelters will be, as they are every year, inundated by a flood of cast-off bunnies.  Heartland Rabbit Rescue asks that everyone who is considering buying a rabbit this year stop and think about three important facts:

First, although rabbits can make wonderful pets, they are naturally fragile and easily frightened.  An active child who expects a cuddly pet can terrify or even injure a rabbit.

Second, a well cared for rabbit should live as long as a dog or cat (ten years or more) and will require just as much love, attention, and specialized veterinary (including spaying/neutering) care as a dog or cat would. No living being is a prop to “teach” responsibility, they are a commitment and an often way beyond the capabilities, capacities and resources of a child. 

Third, just as there are countless dogs and cats without homes, so are there numerous rabbits who are languishing in shelters and rescues...often doomed to be killed unless adopted. Never buy a living being, if you wish to share your home with another species, visit your local rescue organizations and adopt in order to save a life.

If you want to make this Easter happy for a child (and for the Easter bunny too) don’t give a live rabbit, give a stuffed or vegan chocolate bunny instead and make a donation to one of the many excellent local animal rescues on their behalf.

Some form of the above example letter can serve as one of your contributions to activism on behalf of our fellow Earthlings. Make it an annual practice...your letter may save a life. Consciousness raising is a necessary activity in the quest for a vegan planet. Letters like this can assist in reducing ignorance and making invisible victims visible. (If you want, include a specific reference to baby chickens and ducks who are also at risk for being used as a "gift" during this time of year.)

Often this is a time of trepidation and worry for the rescues/sanctuaries who offer some place of safety for these victims because many operate on shoestring budgets supported only by donations and many of these facilities are at or over capacity and don't have room for more residents. Enrich your holiday by supporting these islands of safety and refuge any way you can and if they don't promote veganism...begin to gently educate them.


joan.kyler said...

Thank you for making it so easy to help. I've just sent the letter off to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Let's hope they print it!

Christine said...

This is an excellent idea. Here in the UK thankfully giving presents of rabbits at Easter rarely happens. Though presents of a cat or a dog at Christmas is common and has similar consequences with the poor animals being abandoned when the novelty has worn off. You’ re so right rabbits need a lot of care and in my opinion are more difficult to look after than a cat or a dog as it is not obvious when a rabbit needs veterinary care, as it is not so easy to know when they are in pain. I also agree rabbits are not suitable pets for children, frankly I think small children should not be given any kind of pet.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Joan. And thank you for sending off a letter. You've done your part and the rest...we'll see. :-)

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Christine. You make an excellent point...making an immature and undeveloped human responsible (with all that attendant power) is foolhardy and reckless. It's often a situation where irresponsible and immature parents do parenting marred by their deficiencies and place undue and bizarre "responsibilities" on their children and the ultimate victim is a family "pet".

It is true that a bunny requires more care than a dog or a cat, they are more difficult to "read" and in addition only a very small percentage of vets have any knowledge of their medical needs.

Here's hoping no bunny is harmed this holiday season.

Bea Elliott said...

Great idea! Super good timing! Along with my local papers I'm adding "Craigs list" to my recipients... There's always some jerk selling goats, birds or rabbits. I hope more people will be swayed against offering any of these ya-hoos any support.

Thank you!

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Bea. And thank you for spreading the word. Chipping away at the mountain of ignorance and indifference is a tedious but necessary task. Thanks for doing your part. :-)

Have Gone Vegan said...

Great letter veganelder. Thanks!

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting HGV. You're's hoping maybe the letter deflected some harmful events...that would certainly be great. :-)