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Every year, between 10,000 and 50,000 chia pets are returned to department stores after the holidays, with seed packets missing, packaging spoiled, instructions defaced. Marked unsalable, these poor chia-pets now commence a pitiful odyssey toward an uncertain fate.

Only a small percentage of these "unwanted" chia pets are placed in shelters, or eventually find loving homes. The rest are needlessly destroyed, or subjected to cruel experimentation by ceramicists.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of imitiation- brand chia-animals are seized by the patent office here and abroad, and summarily executed. These are not authentic chia-pets, but many are almost indistinguishable from the real thing and just as deserving of affection. It is hardly their fault that they are the product of unscrupulous trademark infringers.

You can do something to change all this. You can bring a bare reddish clay animal into your home and shower it with water and light until it sprouts a carpet of greenish "fur." The joy you will bring your family will more than offset the trivial inconvenience of daily waterings.

Won't you help?

Contact your nearest chia-peta representative, and adopt a slightly damaged or off-brand chia- pet today.


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