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March 24, 2009

In the Spirit of Easter, Be Humane and Honor Creation

The Humane Society of the United States

And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)

In anticipation of Easter Sunday, The Humane Society of the United States has tips to help make your celebration as humane as it is joyful.

Love Bunnies? Make Yours Chocolate

Did you know that animal shelters take in a large number of relinquished pet bunnies and rabbits during the weeks and months following the Easter holiday? This adds an additional burden on shelters who are already overwhelmed with so many homeless animals in need of good homes.

Resist an impulsive purchase of a rabbit as an Easter gift. People who do not do their research on pet rabbits learn quickly that there is more to caring for the animals than cuddling. Rabbits are the third most relinquished species at animal shelters across the United States. The Columbus House Rabbit Society launched the “Make Mine Chocolate” campaign to raise awareness about this issue. If you and your family have been seriously considering adopting a pet rabbit into the family, read more from The HSUS Animal Sheltering Magazine about caring for rabbits.

Choose Colorful Plastic Eggs for Baskets

The holiday is wrapped in both spiritual and commercial expression. Many families create the traditional Easter basket or participate in other events involving eggs, such as an Easter egg hunt or roll. Yet about 280 million laying hens in the United States are confined inside tiny battery cages on factory farms, where they will spend all of their lives.  Each hen has less room than a sheet of notebook paper. Hens are denied their God-given abilities to peck the ground for food, flap their wings, dust bathe, and walk.

The HSUS encourages revelers to use plastic eggs for their holiday fun, and for those who want real eggs, to make sure those eggs are at least cage-free. See EggLabels.com for more information.

Continue a Meatless and Dairy-free Fast beyond Lent

Fasting during the Lenten season is made to bring us closer to God. Through the discipline of abstaining from meat and dairy products along with contemplative prayer and an openness to vegetarian options, many folks are sure to have felt this journey to be a soulful, spiritual and physical cleansing, which can be continued all year long.

Challenge yourself to continue a personal journey to incorporate more vegetarian fare in your diet and know that each time you do, you are helping animals who suffer on factory farms. The HSUS has humane eating resources to accompany you along the way. Watch our documentary Eating Mercifully, about Christian perspectives on factory farming, and request a free DVD.

The Green Bible

Think about the wonder of all of God's creation as you read The Green Bible, which highlights scripture from its environmental perspectives, including caring for animals.  And as we approach Earth Day, this version of The Bible will conjure the Lord's tapestry of nature and may ignite a spiritual awakening during this change of seasons.

The Green Bible includes more than 1,000 references, verses and passages related to the Earth. The Book also contains essays contributed by Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, N.T. Wright, Desmond Tutu and others, and includes a detailed index and personal study guide.

Updated March 24, 2009

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