Sure, he’s cute…isn’t he? I think he’s adorable, and at Pet Food Plus in Eau Claire, when they come in I just love looking at them and their super soft and downy fuzz. Their sweet little chirping is infectious, and many people feel the same. Which is the reason you see a lot of photographers photographing young children with these cute little fur balls right around the Easter holiday. It’s a great promotion and captures a lot of attention.
Just this morning, I received a request from a potential client wanting to know if I do Easter Chick portraits. Unfortunately, I do not offer this service. The reasons I don’t do this are many, but mainly the reason is because I am a huge animal lover and watching any animal suffer undue strife really hurts my heart. I’m an emotional person by nature, even watching some National Geographic shows will make me cry if it gets too graphic. But the reasons go far beyond even that, and I think people need to be informed of the reasons why using baby chicks for photography purposes falls under unjust animal cruelty.
Around the Easter holiday, hundreds of thousands more chicks than usual will be incubated and shipped to pet stores, farm supply stores, and individuals around the world in preparation for Easter. These chicks serve a single use for many people, namely adorable “gifts,” marketing ploys, and for some photographers: photography specials. During their travels from the factory they were born at, to their final destination, these animals will live in filth, be mishandled, and ultimately many will die during transit.
Many people purchasing the chicks as “gifts,” will do so without thinking that what is now an adorable, cuddly ball of fluff will very quickly grow into a full grown animals with needs and with nuances. Or even worse, they will become nuisances. As a result, the animal will be given up, abandoned, or worse. Individuals purchasing the chicks in situations where they will be handled by children, adults, etc. throughout an entire 8 hour or more work day, do not put into account the fact that the children will typically not know how to handle these animals. Especially considering the fact that many of these children will be very young, and some will not have had any experience yet in the handling of animals. The chicks will be choked, squeezed, dropped, rough housed and abused to the point that they will die or become injured.
I simply cannot condone this as a business, but more importantly, as an individual. It sure is adorable, yes I agree. But the truth behind that image is not so adorable and I cannot support something I don’t believe in, simply to gain a customer. It’s because of this, that I sadly say no to all of you hoping to have photos with your children and adorable spring babies. I do have many other options available to you for spring photos, and I hope you all choose to use my services despite my willingness to provide live animals for your photographs. My suggestion would be to use adorable spring clothing, or for the very young adorable hats will make an equally precious statement. Stuffed animals are also very cute, and it’s been brought to my attention that several companies make small chick props that look very life-like. Perhaps next year this will be something I put into consideration.
However, in the meantime I wanted you all to know what my stance is on this particular subject. Thank you for choosing to take the cruelty-free route in relation to animals, and thank you as always, for choosing Violet Photography & Design. I sincerely appreciate your business!
Above photo provided by: Coulter Curated