There were so many reasons why Friends is, without a doubt, one of the greatest TV shows of all time. The comedy had multiple generations laughing — but, the often overlooked aspect of the show (and any sitcom, really) is how it could also be educational!
The taught us plenty of life lessons — to always appreciate your friends, never give up on your dreams, and always, always make sure both you and your partner knows what it means to be “on a break,” etc. But one of the oft-forgotten lessons from the beloved series came in Season 3: “The One With a Chick and a Duck.”
For those of you who may not have caught up on the episode since it originally aired in 1997 (which, I should add, is crazy… You do know all 10 seasons are on Netflix, right?!), allow me to refresh your memory on the Chick and the Duck’s origin story; Joey first brings home a chick as a gift for Chandler after seeing a news report about how people often buy chicks, only to learn that they cannot properly care for the animal. Naturally, after bringing the new pet home, Chandler takes on all the responsibility and learns he, too, doesn’t know the proper care for “Yasmine.”
However, when Chandler decided to take action and return the chick, he learns that if we were to surrender the animal, it’ll be euthanized, and decides he doesn’t have the heart to watch that happen. Not only that, but he also opts to come home with another animal, and thus brings the duck into life in Apartment 19.
And it turns out, the relatively small story arc from a ‘90s sitcom is nothing short of a real life cautionary tale. With Easter, quite literally, just around the corner, there are going to be countless of bunnies and chicks given out as gifts — and it’s a really, really bad idea.
As if you haven’t gone literally anywhere in the past couple of weeks, there are a countless number of gifts you can give — chocolate, stuffed animals, etc. — that you can give as gifts from the Easter Bunny this year that doesn’t require the care and dedication that a living, breathing animal does. Take it from Joey and Chandler — they ran into countless issues with the birdie friends, including when the chick got stuck in the VCR (which, to be fair, wouldn’t exactly happen in 2018… but still) or when the chick “goes through some changes,” as Chandler so nicely put it.
The kind of Easter Bunny we could get behind.
To put it even more nicely, most chicks — and rabbits, for that matter — who are handed out on Easter don’t get to grow to adulthood in a fancy apartment in the Village. In fact, behind cats and dogs, the Humane Society reports that rabbits are the pets most frequently surrendered to animal shelters. And that is only for the animals that do get surrendered to the shelters — the ones who are simply released “back” into the wild have little to no chance of surviving because domestic rabbits are unable to fend for themselves in the wild.
Because of this, PETA tells Life & Style, there is very little information when it comes to statistics about these abandoned animals because most don’t make it before they could even be reported or tracked. “Every year, animals are purchased on a whim as gifts for Easter and then often discarded as soon as the ‘cute factor’ takes a backseat to the reality of all that’s required to care for them properly. Many rabbits are dumped outside, where they can’t survive and will die from stress, starvation, dehydration, or attacks by predators, while others are bounced around from one home to another, where their needs are often misunderstood—so they often end up being sentenced to solitary confinement in a cage and virtually forgotten,” PETA’s senior vice president Daphna Nachminovitch tells Life & Style.
“Delicate, sensitive chicks are commonly bred and even dyed bright colors for the holiday but are often sent to be slaughtered after the novelty has worn off. PETA encourages those who have the time, love, and patience necessary to make the lifetime commitment of adding a companion animal to their families to adopt from shelters and never buy from pet stores or breeders.”
On that note, have a happy Easter — and please consider giving a stuffed animal a loving home this Sunday!