Who doesn’t have fond childhood memories of dyeing eggs with festive colors for the Easter holiday? In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. Brightly decorated eggs have become integral to the Christian celebration, signifying the resurrection of Christ.
Egg Coloring History
However, the tradition of coloring hard-boiled eggs during the Springs season is found to even pre-date Christianity.
Some point to pagan origins as the original source for this tradition. According to some historians, even the word Easter is said to have to come to us from the “Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and new birth”
The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began as an enormous three-dimensional oval star, making the egg a symbol of new life entering the universe.
For many farm cultures, man's long hard winters often meant a scarcity of crops, and a fresh egg for Easter was considered quite a reward for toiling those fields. Elsewhere, devout Christians abstained during the Easter holiday in reverence to Christ dying on the cross. Then when Easter arrived, it was the parishioners first opportunity to enjoy eggs and meat after a 40-day-long period of abstinence.
Turning Chicks Into Holiday Playthings
While marshmallow chicks commonly known as Peeps come in an assortment of colors, real-life chicks should NOT be painted in such a frivolous manner. And yet . . . of recent date, there’s a movement afoot to do just that.
In fact, newborn chicks feathered bodies are being dyed in an assortment of hues to serve as festive Easter gifts. There are two diverse methods for making this happen. The dye is either injected into the incubating egg or sprayed on the hatchling after birth.
According to a NY Times report, “while poultry farmers say it is harmless, many people object, saying it turns live birds into holiday playthings that are quickly discarded.”
Public Weighs In
Almost half of the states in the U.S. have enacted laws prohibiting the practice, but in Florida last month, the legislature passed a bill to reverse a 45-year-old ban on dyeing animals. By all accounts, the deed was done at the request of a dog groomer who wanted to enter contests where people could elaborately haircut sculpture and color their pets.
The outcry from animal activists groups was almost immediate.
“Humane societies are overflowing with these animals after Easter every year,” said Don Anthony of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. “This law has protected thousands of animals from neglect and abuse, and it shouldn’t be lifted on the whim of one dog groomer who wants to dye poodles purple.”
Don’t buy dyed chicks this Easter . . .
In the case of dyeing the chicks versus injecting the eggs, the former approach — in my humble opinion — should be banned everywhere.
Although the dye is supposedly non-toxic, the process itself has to be a painful experience for these young chicks. Please watch this video below to understand what these cute baby chicks have to endure just to become an Easter present.
The process is outright animal abuse. And to add insult to injury, most of these chicks are soon forgotten or discarded after the Holiday has passed.
Please do not add this pernicious practice to our holiday tradition. It’s a frivolous gesture with no lasting benefit or results. Agree, or disagree? Please comment below, and Happy Easter all.