Dyed baby rabbit in ‘cruel’ gender reveal now homeless
A BABY bunny that was bought from a breeder, dyed pink and gifted to a horrified expectant couple as a gift is the latest casualty of the gender reveal party curse.
In the age of social media, gender reveals have become unnecessary spectacles whereby a pregnant couple put on a big, public show to announce the gender of their child.
Spending thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars has and dangerous stunts such as burnouts, smoke bombs and fire crackers has become the norm.
But founder of The Rabbit Sanctuary Kim Cooney said Pinky being dyed and gifted was the first time she had come across the use of live animals as a stunt and called the action "cruel" and exploitative.
"It was purchased as a disposable commodity and the person it was given to didn't want it and that person put the rabbit on a for sale site," she said.
"I was shocked that a person would buy a rabbit purely as an ornament without any regard for its future wellbeing.
"It's cruel and it shows no regard whatsoever for the feelings and wellbeing of the animal, it's exploitation for people's entertainment."
Even the creator of the gender reveal trend, California blogger Jenna Karvunidis, said on her Facebook last year that she regretted starting the trend, which she did so by cutting into a cake that was coloured pink on the inside.
"I've felt a lot of mixed feelings about my random contribution to the culture," she wrote. "It just exploded into crazy after that. Literally - guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby."
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said reaching the extent of gifting a live, dyed animal was likely the result of the social media arms race, where gender reveals are an opportunity for likes on Instagram rather than celebrating a new life.
"People finding out the gender of a baby pre-Instagram was a private matter for the couple and normally didn't tell too many other people but these days it's become a social media spectacle," he said.
"Social media does tend to create an arms race where people are trying to do it bigger or differently or get more likes and views.
"In and it all the excitement of the baby gets lost amid the mechanics of social media and focus on likes. "People can lose a bit of perspective and sadly at an exciting time for the couple that could cause some blowback, as is the case here."
Pinky is currently available for adoption through The Rabbit Sanctuary.
He is estimated to be five months old and has had his health checks, vaccinations, parasite treatment and has been microchipped.
You can inquire about Pinky at rabbitsanctuary.com.au
Originally published as Dyed baby rabbit in 'cruel' gender reveal now homeless