- April 3, 2012 2:29 PM | By Community Team
Baby chickens coloured with nontoxic dye are sold as Easter gifts in many parts of the U.S. As the holiday approaches, people debate if the practice is cute or cruel. (Photo: Getty Images)
Festive tradition or animal cruelty?
The widespread practice of dyeing baby chicks for Easter is coming under fire from animal rights workers in the U.S. this week.
From far away, the candy-coloured chickens look a lot like toys – bright, fluffy pom-poms that could be used to stuff a child’s Easter basket. And this is precisely why the practice is coming under fire, as some argue that it turns live birds into easily discardable “holiday playthings.”
“Humane societies are overflowing with these animals after Easter every year,” Don Anthony, of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, told the New York Times. Another farmer notes that children frequently grow bored of the chickens within a short period of time and often return or ditch them altogether.
Poultry experts and fans of the tradition argue that as long as the dye used is nontoxic, the chicks aren’t physically harmed in any way. Some chickens are actually coloured inside their shells as embryos (explained here), and all chicks shed their coloured fluff after a few weeks as feathers grow in.
What’s your take on dyeing chicks? Should this practice be banned everywhere? Why or why not?