I recently cleaned out my pantry and came across several uneaten chocolate Easter bunnies. It appears that they were a collection of my daughter’s and my past leftover Easter goodies, and this family of bunnies seemed to multiply with as much ease as the real ones. I had about 5 in total and I didn’t feel comfortable with all those eyes staring back in my general direction, but I could not bring myself to eat them or throw them away.
Since I can remember, I have always had a problem with eating candy that were made in the image of any particular animal. I felt horrible chomping off a leg, ear or arm. Every time it made me over think the joy of the simple sugar rush. This issue was brought up yearly for me when commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Easter bunnies and Jesus. Perhaps I have issues with eating chocolate Easter bunnies due to guilt over my general religious apathy.
However, tying this to religion would most likely make it more complex of an issue than it really is for me. I have tried in the past to ignore the intense pain of sadness as I rip the bunny’s ears off, leaving the rabbit looking like it is a severally injured with a head wound that proves fatal for both of us. I get weepy, and somewhat despondent every time. It ruins my day and I spiral for a few hours, feeling like a murdered the real animal.
I don’t believe in most of my attempts to fully enjoy this holiday, I have made it past the ears. I have tried to go at it in the other direction, starting with the feet, but this leaves me feeling no better. I get sad and the more I look at what I did, the more I self loathe about my decision to wound this poor animal. I strive to belong to the group of people who can rip off the bunny’s head and chew it to pieces without a second thought. I hope to get there someday.
The most conflicting part of this for me is how much I love those candy eyeballs some bunnies come decorated with, and I can’t resist. I have made the mistake of picking one or both of those eyes off and eating the candy, leaving my bunny winking or blind. And it torments me.
This really does not make a lot of sense, since I have no problem eating any type of meat, poultry, or fish. However, I have sobbed at a restaurant when I mistakenly ordered quail, after it was delivered to my table looking like the tiny bird that it is most certainly. I also realize I can’t eat a whole baked fish when the head is still on, as it gives me a shaming stare from my plate. No thank you, lesson learned.
Those happy expressions staring back from these candy animals, and the fact that they has no anticipation of fear at all for what is coming their way. It gets me. Next Easter, I might leave the bunny on the store shelf and find other things that will fill my daughter’s basket, but I don’t want to deprive my daughter of this yearly soul crushing joy. For me, I will pretend not to notice when the bunny goes missing, and I’ll believe that it happily hopped away.