In most cases, using live rabbits or chicks in photo ops around Easter is speciesist. That’s a condensed way of saying that using animals whimsically for even minor and fleeting enjoyment, with no consideration of the needs and desires of the animal, is wrong.
If you take a rabbit home as a cute Easter toy, you’re speciesist AND recklessly irresponsible…and perhaps proud of remaining ignorant when a quick web search would tell you the following:
- Rabbits require work, much like having a dog. There is litter box training and bunny-proofing so that they don’t chew cords and such to think about.
- Some rabbits are cuddly. Many aren’t.
- Rabbits feel secure on the ground and don’t really like to be held or restrained.
- They need to be spayed or neutered to be healthy.
- They require specific healthy diets to be happy rabbits.
I have raised four rescue rabbits into old age (10+ years) and they all have had different personalities, likes/dislikes, and abilities to manage kids. We have limited photos of them because their inherent curiosity keeps them hopping about, and their natural desire for personal space keeps us at a distance when they prefer it.
Rabbits are excellent companions when people consider the fit for the household. Like a dog or cat, they can roam a safe space and delight you with their individuality and quirks, but they can’t do it while stuffed in a cage or hutch after the Easter novelty wears off.
Do rabbits a favor this Easter and encourage friends and family to fill their baskets with (vegan) chocolate bunnies and to leave rabbit rescuing to those ready to give them a 10+ year commitment.
For more, check out What You Should Know Before Bringing Home an Easter Bunny.