Few people can resist the tug of innocent cuteness from one of the animal kingdom’s softest critters. They sport long ears, powder puff tails and can twitch their noses better than the character Samantha on the television series, “Bewitched”.
Every Easter, children eagerly await its arrival which precedes the hunt for colorful eggs. And from Looney Tunes to Disney, this creature has hopped its way to stardom.
Today, we hail bunnies around the world in honor of International Rabbit Day. Observed annually on the fourth Saturday in September, this day is all about pulling back rosy curtains to expose darkness behind the spotlight.
Rabbits are frequently raised, for meat and fur, in cruel conditions. In laboratories, they are tortured as test subjects, for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Pets don’t always fare well either. During the Easter holiday, bunnies are given as gifts. Soon after the novelty wears off, they are relegated to backyard cages, living in isolation and neglect.
International Rabbit Day was created as a wake up call and gives us an opportunity to make some noise. We do not have to break into labs, but we can raise awareness and support the long-term goal of ending the use of certain animals for testing.
Do not buy products created by companies that use animal torture as a means of product development. It is a senseless act of brutality against a defenseless creature. Don’t buy clothing made from rabbit pelts.
Before purchasing rabbits as pets, consult with veterinarians or read books that provide information about proper care. Rabbits are social creatures, they crave attention and live longer when housed indoors.
Conclude International Rabbit Day by watching a marathon of Bugs Bunny cartoons. It is very satisfying to see that clever, long-eared, bucktoothed varmint outwit the red-bearded, nasty-tempered redneck with the shotgun.