Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I shudder to think how many unsuspecting rabbits right now are being purchased by impulsive human beings as being cute and cuddly Easter gifts for their equally unsuspecting children. I have no doubt part of the problem of this habit is the fact that most people perceive animals as property verses sentient beings. And like most property, if it doesn't work out, what do we do? Take it back. Give it away. Or if we are particularly lazy, just throw it out without another thought.
In a few weeks, the annual Easter dump will begin at shelters and rescue groups all across America. Parents frustrated at the rabbit who chewed through the Lazyboy massager cord or tired of bending over to pick up the bunny poo that didn't make the litter box will be dumping off the bunny wihout another thought, especially if their three year old child lost complete interest in said rabbit (and I will bet you anything you are willing to wager that will indeed be the case.) It boggles the mind that parents think that children who can barely dress themselves or eat any food without wearing it on their faces are going to be responsible guardians to a living being, a prey animal at that who perceives humans as predators until a bond of trust is established (and with rabbits, this will take months, not the average short duration of a little boy's attention span.)
I fear that until we who fight for animal rights can successfully change people's perception of animals as sentient beings verses things, that the spring dump of thousands of rabbits will remain a tragic Easter tradition for many many years to come.
The Hoppy Vegan (PLEASE--make your rabbit chocolate this year! Visit http://www.makeminechocolate.org/)
Monday, March 22, 2010
This is the time of year I as a rabbit lover dread the most. People get it into their heads that cute little bunny rabbits would be such an ideal Easter gift for their children, forgetting somehow that these are living beings who require lots of care and can be pretty destructive if you do not know how to live with them.
People do so much research before investing in things like stocks, bonds, and cars--why can't they take just an hour of their life, hit the Internet and take the time to read up about rabbits? There are many resources out there, RabbitWise, the House Rabbit Society, and countless rabbit rescues across the country. RABBITS ARE A COMMITMENT, people. Yes, they are cute, yes, they are cuddly. But cute and cuddly can be costly, especially if you do not bunny proof your house and provide the proper vet care, like spaying/neutering your rabbit which is an absolute must even if you only adopt one rabbit.
Too many rabbits, two months after Easter, get dumped on overwhelmed shelters and rescue groups because people did not take the time to do the homework on rabbit care. This leads to many innocent bunnies getting killed for lack of space. Ignorance therefore leads to the deaths of innocent animals. Is THAT what Easter is about? If you can't commit to what it takes to live with rabbits, then get your child a stuffed rabbit. Or do what parents have done for ages--just get them the chocolate variety. PLEASE--for the sake of all rabbits--DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND THINK before you bring that bunny home.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
A few months ago, I was disgusted by a Burger King commercial which showed all these macho men happily chanting "GO MEAT." Being a neo-vegan, such adverts now turn my stomach but I refer to it only because 20 March is the Great American Meatout, one day a year when everyone should go without animal flesh (a la the Great American Smokeout). What a perfect time to jump up and yell "GO MEATLESS!" No excuses now, people -- EVERYONE can go just one day without meat. With the great variety of foods out there and meals and HUNDREDS of great veggie cookbooks--heck, you don't even need the cookbooks. Just google recipes or hit up websites like www.tryveg.com. Or just keep it simple. Oatmeal in the morning with some fruit. Good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch--who can't make THAT, for pity's sake? And for dinner, how about spaghetti marinara and a salad? If you want to be lazy, get the sauce from a jar.
PLEASE - let's all "meet" the challenge of saying no to meat, just this once. The animals and your body will thank you for it. GO MEAT-less!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
This past week has been a depressing one for all those who love their companion rabbits. On Wednesday 3 March the New York Times offered in its Food and Dining section a horrific article with the callous headline "Don't Tell The Kids," which discusses parking lot seminars in Brooklyn on how to kill your own rabbit for only $100 a lesson (article complete with a photo of a lovely white rabbit with red eyes, similar to the Cadbury bunny we have seen over the years in the candy promotional ads which come out this time of year, just prior to Easter. No Easter Bunny this year, kiddies. He is getting carved up in Brooklyn by people eager to part with their money to learn how to kill and eat him.) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/dining/03rabbit.html In addition, the blog http://www.good.is/ offered an article entitled "Backyard Bunnies Are the New Chickens.) http://www.good.is/post/backyard-bunnies-are-the-new-urban-chickens. Please take note of the disturbing photo of three women laughing as they touch the skinned carcasses of animals many of us know and cherish as pets. I have seen horror movies that have not sickened me as much as this photo has.
To me, this photo vividly reveals that human beings remain out of touch with their own food. Obviously these women see bunnies only as a means of nourishment and take great joy in their preparation, ignoring the obvious that these were once living, breathing, sentient beings. Surely if they perceived rabbits to be sweet affectionate animals who bring joy to so many people in this country, they couldn't LAUGH about the task at hand. If these ladies recognized ALL animals as creatures we should share this planet with and not dominate, truly they could not be there, knives in hand, happily clutching dead rabbits by their skinned paws. Within the second article about backyard bunnies, Sasha Wizansky, the editor of Meatpaper (a print magazine about the art and ideas about meat--ugh! both name and concept is repulsive) makes an argument that everyone still eating meat yet living with pet rabbits should note. She states that “I don’t have a prohibition against eating cute animals. I feel like if I’m eating animals I should eat all of them; If not, I should rethink my omnivorism." (emphasis mine.)
So to you out there, still eating meat but who cuddle and treat your rabbits the way others treat their cats and dogs (i.e. spoil them rotten), consider this before you get outraged over the articles I have linked here today. If you are still eating chicken, how can you be angry if the women in this blog article or the people taking those classes in Brooklyn rejoice in devouring rabbits? Those who are vegetarian or vegan are entitled to their anger and outrage--we have already reached conclusions that all animals deserve a full life, and are living our lives as best we can to respect those lives. We already are aware that no one needs meat to live and in fact, many studies show that vegetarian and vegan diets are the healthiest plans today to ensure a long life for humans and our fellow creatures alike.
I ask, as Wizansky puts it in the article, rethink your omnivorism. If you think pigs are cute, why eat them? If your rabbit loves his or life with you and vice versa, why should other rabbits be fed upon by us? If cows have sweet eyes, if you have ever cheered at those all-too-infrequent stories when a cow has escaped a slaughterhouse, why are you still eating steak? Why is the cow on your plate any less sweeter than the one who survived? Think of all animals as you do those you live with, pet, feed, and nurture. If you are feel the least bit appalled at the articles linked above, really consider why you feel that way and apply that to all animals who are slaughtered for food. It should never be JUST about the "cute" ones.
The Hoppy Vegan