Over the past few years, and mostly online, there has been a huge trend in using the term "Fluffy Bunny" when referring to what I call "Diet Wicca." The term is nearly always, if not always, used in a derogatory manner and meant as an insult to those whom it is used against. And I have to be honest, it bothers me to see/hear it.
So who usually "earns" the title "Fluffy Bunny?" Well, usually it's those who follow a "gentler" or more "watered down" version of Wicca. They hold beliefs which are not generally true or highly accepted as true about Wicca, Paganism or the history surrounding them. They tend to focus solely on the "light" side of Wicca and persist in denying there is a "dark" side. You'll find a tendency to "proselytize" and push their beliefs and a constant accusation of persecution. And they tend to practice in an boisterous, pretentious manner (such as calling oneself "Lord"/ "Lady" or overdoing the "dress" with pentacle t-shits, jewelry and shoe laces).
Now, while it IS true that many of the people who fall in to this category tend to be in to Wicca simply because they know it will bother their friends and family or for some form of "shock value" from calling themselves a Witch, the fact is that many of them are simply new, excited and "mis-lead." However there are those who have been on this path for most of their lives and still cling to this "Diet Wicca" over more accepted versions. And frankly, that's their choice.
I can honestly say, I don't think anyone has ever used the term "Fluffy Bunny" when referring to me. I have no issues with subjects like Dark Magick, Blood, Sex or anything else. And while I had "different" views that some on the history and traditions of Pagans and Wiccans, it's mostly because of a difference in education than anything else. But, I still cringe when I see the term.
So why does it bother me so bad? It seems if you go back and read all the "criteria" as if I would happily dismiss those who fall in to the "Fluffy Bunny" category as "watered down" or even as simply "under educated." And in some cases I do consider them to be both of those things. But I would never dismiss their beliefs!
The fact is, their beliefs are THEIR beliefs; my beliefs are MY beliefs. I have been walking along my path nearly all my life and have yet to find a single person who shares my beliefs completely. And if I'm not going to discredit someone else for being different why would I start with the Bunnies? To me the term "Bunny" is simply a "nice" way to completely disrespect someone elses beliefs.
Now, I'm not saying that when you see a "newbie" who has been lead down a "Bunny Trail" by some misleading book or website that you shouldn't step in. But what I am saying is it's simply not right to decide what or how someone else should believe or practice. If you see a situation where you feel someone is lacking guidance or education, it's more than okay to step in and say "Hey, have you thought about it this way?" or "Hey, did you know____________?" But to simply assume that someone is "less" of a Pagan, Wiccan or Witch because of how they are dressed or how they understand things is just insulting.
There are a number of rather well known Pagan Authors who have earned themselves the title of "Fluffy Bunny" because they tend to target "newbies" and focus on "Diet Wicca" over serious Wiccan Practice. And from time to time you'll even see me review or recommend their books. Personally, I see "Diet Wicca" as a perfect introduction to Paganism. However, the issue comes when people stop there. If all you do is come in and find the good, gentle stuff and forget about the blood and the guts of life, you're cheating yourself, so in addition to my recommendation you'll also see I always encourage others to keep reading... I have never, and will never, meet someone who can honestly claim to know it all, so until you do keep educating yourself! And when you see others who's education could use a boost, offer your knowledge, don't insult them!
Lastly, try to remember what Paganism is about. It's not about following someone elses beliefs to truth, it's about carving your own spiritual path and following it. Just because your path is right for you doesn't mean it's right for anyone else. And since there are very few cold hard facts out there when it comes to Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft it's best to stop and accept the beliefs of others than it is to judge or criticize! I tend to see even "facts" about history as subjective - remember, the winners right the history books!
My point in all of this is truth isn't always the same for everyone. Before you start throwing around insults and calling names consider a few things: 1. Is this person on their path for the "shock value?" In which case it's not a serious path and they aren't interested in facts or education, so just ignore and move on. 2. Is this person new to their path? In which case they may simply be undereducated or mis-informed by one of the many ill-written or "differently interpreted" sources out there. Offer your assistance, knowledge and possibly your library to help them grow! 3. Is this simply their views and beliefs because it's what's right for them? In which case you need to ask yourself if it's your place to judge them, and move on. Arguing, name calling, demeaning and insults have never created a credible education or opened communication, so why waist your energy on them? Leave the judging and insulting to those on other paths and just worry about your own way!