(NEW ORLEANS) — In response to the disturbing trend in New Orleans of king cake babies being deserted by their parents in record number, local publication Neutral Ground News (NGN) has started a petition to help raise awareness of the situation and request the official establishment of “King Cake Babies Day” in the city.
According to a five-year study conducted by NGN, about 750,000 king cake babies are abandoned every year in the Greater New Orleans area. It also shows that nine out of 10 people who get the baby in a king cake choose not to keep the child, often abandoning it to counter-tops, drawers, and even trash cans.
“The data indicates that the majority of people who unexpectedly get the baby feel they aren’t ready for the responsibility of having to buy the next king cake, so they toss the baby and hope no one sees,” said Don Kiebels, Editor-in-Chief of Neutral Ground News. “We can no longer take a half-baked approach to solving this sad, tasteless situation.”
The petition calls on New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to take action by enacting the following:
- Establish a “King Cake Babies Day” to raise awareness of the harsh predicament our king cake children find themselves in;
- Observe this day annually, beginning next Mardi Gras season, on Twelfth Night (January 6th), the first day of Carnival and king cake season, and continuing through to the conclusion of Fat Tuesday;
- Allow and encourage those who feel they cannot cope with the responsibility of having to buy the next king cake to relinquish their king cake babies to local bakeries, grocery stores, or churches, in lieu of abandonment and without penalty, thus giving these king cake babies potential new life in future king cakes, crafts or other suitable uses; and,
- In observance of this movement, I vow to lovingly accept any king cake baby I may receive, both expectedly and unexpectedly, and commit to continuing the tradition of purchasing the next king cake if I become said recipient of a plastic baby.
“What’s even more alarming is today’s young people are eating king cake far sooner than their parents ever did, often without knowing the potential consequences of having to purchase the next one if they end up getting the baby,” Kiebels added. “Most of them don’t even know anything about that tradition. It’s time we did something.”
Neutral Ground News calls on all citizens of Greater New Orleans to sign the petition and help support the cause by downloading and sharing the “Life Begins at Confection” social media image.
Citizens can add their names to the petition by visiting neutralgroundnews.com/save-the-babies.
Contact: Don Kiebels