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Jill Biden advised to swap eggs for potatoes at annual Easter egg roll


The annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House is in need of an update.

At least that’s the view of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the animal rights organization that reached out to the Biden administration urging for the event set for April 1 to be cruelty-free.

In a letter filled with puns, the organization suggested first lady Jill Biden should swap out chicken eggs for potatoes, writing to “respectfully suggest an appeeling way to modernize the White House Easter Egg Roll.”

“Instead of promoting the deleterious factory farming and slaughter industries, will you please initiate the annual White House Potato Roll?” the letter from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk asked.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden kick off the Egg Roll races during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Monday, April 10, 2023, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)

According to PETA, a potato roll would not “exploit any sentient beings and would encourage empathy and kindness to animals while supporting potato farmers in the U.S.”

“Potatoes are the most popular vegetable in the country and can be safely dyed, allowing for spudtacular traditional activities, such as rolling them, seeking for them, and decorating them,” the letter stated. “You could even hold potato sack races and games of hot potato!”

“Easter should be a time of renewal and joy for everyone, including chickens. But chickens suffer in the cruel, environmentally destructive meat and egg industries, which raise and kill millions of sensitive birds each year. Farms that use “free-range” or “cage-free” labels confine chickens to cramped, filthy sheds, where they can’t even stretch their wings, root in the soil, or breathe fresh air. Farmers often cut off the tips of chicks’ sensitive beaks with a hot blade to prevent anguished, frustrated birds from pecking at each other,” Newkirk said in the letter.

“In starch contrast, a potato roll would support U.S. potato farmers and teach tots that our fellow animals are sensitive, feeling beings who deserve respect,” the letter continued. “Chickens form complex social hierarchies and can recognize more than 100 individuals of their own species. They feel pain and fear, just as humans do.”

The PETA president also cited the avian flu outbreak of 2022 which triggered skyrocketing egg prices.

“Amid the worst avian flu outbreak in history, in which almost 82 million birds — most of them egg-laying chickens — have been slaughtered, and during a period of rising egg prices, we’re rooting for you to leave a legacy of kindness by starting this new Easter tradition,” PETA said.

This is not the first time the organization has asked the White House to consider other options for the annual Egg Roll. Last year, PETA requested that President Joe Biden choose “reusable plastic or wooden eggs — or even lovely painted rocks or egg-shaped balls”

“Last year, the American Egg Board donated 30,000 eggs for the White House Easter Egg Roll and another 30,000 to food banks in the Washington area,” The Hill reported.

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