It's not Christmas without my neighbor's decked-out lawn. I'm not talking about the standard electric reindeer or cotton-snow in the bushes—this guy goes all out, National Lampoon's style. He's even got an inflatable Nativity scene that balloons my spirits every time I see it, especially because I know how cruel real-life Nativity productions are to the animals who are forced to perform in them.
Animals used in live Nativity Scenes are often left unattended, tethered, and vulnerable to everything from unbearable temperature extremes to sexual abuse and vicious attacks like the one in Virginia that left a donkey savagely beaten, with blood streaming from his face. Jesus—who taught people to love all animals and treat them with compassion—would want everyone to go electric. So if you know of a Nativity scene with live animals in your area, take action by contacting the pastor of the church and encouraging him or her to leave live animals out of the Christmas festivities. And if you spot animal neglect or abuse, always report it immediately.