Not just for Easter!
Okay, Easter might still be a few weeks away (March 31st to be exact), but we know that many people out there will be wanting to take advantage of this time of year to add a new furry friend to their family.
And before we sound like we’re being too negative with this post inspired by the Make Mine Chocolate movement, we’d just like to say we’re the first to say that happy healthy bunnies can really be a wonderful addition to a person’s life.
But we’d like to offer a word of caution on the power of language and symbolism as the silly season approaches. Well, a couple of words actually.
If you’re thinking of getting a rabbit as an Easter gift (particularly for a teenager or child to look after), we would say regardless of how good your intentions might be, how well researched and prepared you and the recipient are, the symbolism of kicking this whole process off on a Holiday like Easter or Christmas or even a birthday can start the whole process off “on the wrong foot”, so to speak.
Let me explain further. When you think about gifts, what do you think? Material things, no doubt things that bring happiness into the life of another, and things that can strengthen the bond between the giver and the recipient. But there is one obvious glaring problem here…Rabbits are not “things”. They are animals that when in the custody of humans need to be cared for in a number of ways on a daily basis. This takes a lot of time…this takes a lot of money…this takes a lot of effort. And it doesn’t quit…just like a human child, a pet rabbit isn’t going to take a day or even an hour off…this is a 24/7/365 responsibility. When you look from this perspective, this doesn’t sound at all like the types of “things” we associate with a good gift on the holidays, actually it sounds like the opposite!
The point we’re trying to make is there is a subtle change that occurs when you add in the symbolic nature of the holidays into the equation of pet ownership. It unnecessarily puts the proper mental processes that need to take place when becoming a pet owner at risk (particularly for young people).
In other words even if you do have the right intentions and you are well researched and you are responsible and prepared to make this decision (which we’re sure a lot of people are) the symbolism that goes along with gift giving on a Holiday like Easter can inadvertently add confusion and potentially corrupt process…even though that was not your intention at all.
You see…language and symbols are powerful things. And when you give a rabbit as a gift on Easter, the language changes all of the sudden, doesn’t it? The healthy language of “I decided to a adopt a rabbit for life”, has unintentionally been shifted to “My mom got me a rabbit for Easter”.
This change in language is subtle, but it holds a powerful place in the mind and can be very important factor in whether the process of pet ownership works out in the long term. And so if you have a child that has been begging you for a pet rabbit for sometime..even if they are fully committed and researched, our strong recommendation would be to wait, even if it is just for another month until the process is fully separated from Easter or any other holiday.
I mean really….why would you ever want to put any unnecessary risk on something so important to the person you love?
This post is inspired by the Make Mine Chocolate Movement. To learn more about this movement, please click here.