Down the rabbit hole
February 8th, 2011
01:15 PM ET
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Rabbit meat is delicious. I wish I didn't know that.

Rabbits bond for life. For most, instinct drives them to seek out another creature - usually one of their own kind, but it’s been known to encompass cats, guinea pigs, dogs or even birds. They’ll groom, cuddle and grieve palpably upon the other’s absence or loss.

Claudette, my nine-ish year old Hotot / dwarf mix (pictured above) is, as I was informed by my local rabbit rescue guru, bonded to me. She expresses this via chin rubs to shoes I’ve not previously worn around her (rabbits have scent glands with which they mark territory), a distinct drop-off in the bitchy behavior she demonstrates to nearly all other humans she’s encountered, and tooth-grinding purrs as I stroke her silken fur. We belong to each other.

At the same time, I can’t pretend that the most astonishing bite of food I ate in 2009 wasn’t a smoked rabbit kidney. In my defense, I didn’t order it; it was a gift from the chef of my favorite local restaurant. The rich, gamey, smoke-soaked flavor built in my mouth and did not ebb for many minutes. It made me grateful to have a tongue.

I debated for a minute or two before I ate it, and I apologized to my rabbits (there is another besides Claudette) upon my arrival at home. Yes, I sometimes anthropomorphize, but I felt genuine guilt when I looked into their faces. I take care of these animals. I enjoy and yes, love them. It is truly unnerving to know, quite specifically what is under their fur and how it tastes.

I gave up cooking and ordering rabbit - my most favorite meat - when I decided to adopt Claudette in 2004. It still shows up on my plate, sent out by chefs and friends who don't know that about me. I'm always conflicted.

I am a dedicated, enthusiastic eater of meat and especially offal - occasionally from animals I’d known while they were still living, thanks to some farmer friends who have no use for the heads, organs and extremities of the pigs and cows they slaughter for food. I don’t have qualms - well, not any more - about enjoying eating these creatures I’d seen walking, wallowing, eating and generally cavorting about. Parts would otherwise going to go to waste, so I eat them.

What gives rabbits more rights than these creatures? Vegetarians would offer me a blanket solution to my quandary - just don’t consume any of them. Problem solved. But I haven’t been a vegetarian for a very long time, and even then, my reasons were not based in ethics or morality - more just an attempt at an identity. Either way, it's pretty easy to stay away from eating rabbit, and save for the occasional jab from a pal who threatens to fricassee my pets, I haven't had to think about it much. Until recently.

This month ushered in The Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. It's purportedly a time of tranquility and balance and in no way traditionally calls for an uptick in bunny eating - but it's shaking out that way in the food community. Bring up the subject of rabbits, and someone suggests ways to serve them. It's not that way with dogs and other domestic pets, unless someone's in a particularly dark mood. I joke that I've completely given up eating whippet and greyhound since I started living with one of each, but that's mostly to forestall the inevitable.

A December tweet from chef and No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain read: "Daughter said she wanted a bunny. So I'm making braised rabbit with pappardelle." Sadistic? Yes. Unexpected? Not a bit - but I can't pretend I didn't wince.

I similarly recoiled when Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin tweeted, "Chefs developing recipes 4 @fandw always suggest rabbit. I always say no. Should I relent? Would you cook rabbit?". This was not because I sensed any flippancy on her part; Dana is an exceptionally graceful and conscientious person. Rather, I knew what was likely about to come her way.

When New York Times writer Kim Severson's article "Don't Tell The Kids" broached the topic of Brooklyn-based rabbit slaughter classes in March of 2010, she drew tremendous outrage from the online rabbit rescue community. I know, because I am a part of those groups. She wrote thoughtfully and thoroughly about the history and moral ambiguity of using rabbits as a meat animal, but the inclusion of recipes and a photograph of a lovely, live white rabbit galvanized the community. Many began calling for her head.

I didn't participate - I'm in a strange position as a food writer and rabbit owner - but letters to the editor stating calling her "an utterly disgusting human being" and "I would appreciate it if you would publish and article in response on how to butcher Kim Severson" are not helping anyone. They're the flip side of the knee-jerk jokes about making a snack of my pets - but infinitely darker in their disrespect for life. Human life.

That is where I have no grey area. Yes, I would rather spend time with my rabbits and my dogs than a good many of the people that I've met throughout the years. I would never choose their life over a human's. That sounds obvious, but it's not. My own death was called for and I was wished cancer, among other fates, by the readers of a piece I wrote about ethical pig slaughter.

I fully understand the passion that many people feel about the welfare of animals. If I didn't, I wouldn't share my home with several of them myself. I knew that putting that article - and in fact this one - out into the world was going to enrage people. That's not a bad thing - it means we get to talk with each other and hopefully get to understand each others' points of view a little bit better. Someone will likely suggest that the world would be better off if I were cooked and the rabbits ate me (I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd be a bit gamey), or that I'm a bleeding heart liberal (yeah, that's probably true) who just needs to grow a pair and munch bunny unapologetically.

All I know is that every night, when I walk into the room where Claudette and Digory live, check their water, bring them hay, greens and pellets, they're happy to see me. It could be just that I'm bringing their provisions, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's something more.

They don't dive directly into the food, but rather hunker down into restive loaves, feet tucked under them, ears tucked back to further streamline their bodies and wait for me to pet them until they purr.

I double dog dare you to try and eat hasenpfeffer after that.

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soundoff (556 Responses)
  1. Bunny Baybe

    This is very amusing to me as I ~have~ a pet rabbit and raise and eat meat rabbits as well without qualms. Of course, I would never eat my pet, as he was raised as my pet, but it is my belief that rabbits are intended as prey animals and are basically born to be eaten. In the beginning, most domesticated rabbit breeds were intended for food, seldom as pets. They've really only become a popular pet more recently. The trick is to compartmentalize. The rabbit on your plate is not a pet, may even have been incapable of being a pet. In any case, it was not raised as a pet and is possibly very different than the creatures you keep in your homes. So go ahead, pet your pet rabbit while polishing off a plate of rabbit with a clean conscience. You can love your pet and also love to eat rabbit meat. I do.

    June 11, 2011 at 4:09 am |
  2. Simon Blue

    I didn't know why I thought it was ok for me to tell my pets that I love them, and then go snack down on a peice of meat. So I became a vegetarian.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  3. Christiane Henker

    Rabbits have a right to live! go vegan! leave Animals alone!

    February 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  4. Floyd

    I ate rabbit back in the 1950s and 60s-very tasty. I haven't had rabbit for years though, as it's hard to find.

    February 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  5. Jefferson Airplane

    Feed your head.

    February 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  6. mzane

    If it's dead, bled, and cooked, I'll try it. I wouldn't eat a pet, mind you, but if it was bred for food, I'm fine with that.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Chef C

    Don't knock it till you've tried it, Rabbit meat is an excellent source of protein, takes well to a variety of flavors and dammit it gets better with a little bacon wrapped around it with some mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.

    February 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  8. Suz

    I can only say that a CNN article about a year ago which stated that China was working to outlaw the eating of cats and dogs made me choose a vegetarian lifestyle. It really made me think.

    I know it's not for everyone, and I won't preach it because we're all adults and can make our own decisions – but to me, personally, eating any animal now is a really negative emotional experience for me because there is a certain complicity; there is no difference between eating a pig, cow, horse, chicken, dog, cat, rabbit, etc. I've met and known all of these animals and can tell you that they have personalities, feel pain, and will try to escape if you try to kill them and eat them. I personally can't be part of that, with any creature.

    February 10, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Floyd

      Suz: on eating animals–do what you think is right, but understand that many of us enjoy beef, pork, seafood, rabbit, and so forth.

      February 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  9. Shawn

    Well, I can't say much to debate either side of this ... The reasons for going vegetarian, for me, are too personal to judge anyone but myself – I was a meat-eater at one point – so what can I say? ... There will always be a "contrarian" trying to piss everyone off – but that is who they are today – but that doesn't mean they won't change and be embarrassed of who they "were" today at some point – as I am now looking back now as a meat-eater. We're human, we make mistakes – we learn – or we don't. What I have learned – is that it is disturbing how easy it is to be ignorant of almost anything in life ... and then wake up one day and say "WTF, was I thinking – why didn't I get it?" ... this moment to me ... when my favorite quote hits hard ... and that is "The things we take pride in today, will be the things we are embarrassed of tomorrow" ... Think about it ... if you don't have too much pride.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Suz

      Well said, Shawn.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  10. Former Meat-Eater

    Well, I can't say much to debate either side of this ... The reasons for going vegetarian, for me, are too personal to judge anyone but myself – I was a meat-eater at one point – so what can I say? ... There will always be a "contrarian" trying to piss everyone off – but that is who they are today – but that doesn't mean they won't change and be embarrassed of who they "were" today at some point – as I am now looking back now as a meat-eater. We're human, we make mistakes – we learn – or we don't. What I have learned – is that it is disturbing how easy it is to be ignorant of almost anything in life ... and then wake up one day and say "WTF, was I thinking – why didn't I get it?" ... this moment to me ... when my favorite quote hits hard ... and that is "The things we take pride in today, will be the things we are embarrassed of tomorrow" ... Think about it ... if you don't have too much pride.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  11. Dave L

    Rabbits are indeed NOT given antibiotics or steroids or chemical of any type when bred for meat production. They have very delicate digestive systems and can't take long term antibiotics.

    As for the resentment about intensive (factory) livestock production, I agree. This is where knowing where your food comes from. Specific to rabbits, most rabbit you will find in a grocery store comes from China because rabbits raised in America are way more expensive, due to the fact that they are, as chinbunny pointed out raised on small, family operations.
    Remember those? Small Family Farms? Unless more people support them ALL your food will come from huge, intensive food operations.

    February 10, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Random Mayhem

      Amen to that!

      February 10, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  12. Dave L

    It amazes me that people (vegetarians and vegans) always say that if you raise an animal and then slaughter and eat it you are the least compassionate person imaginable.
    I have raised and slaughtered hogs, chickens and rabbits.
    I respect and care for every animal that I raise. When it comes time for the kill there is personally, always a component of sadness.
    I feel that the whole anti-meat, anti-farmer sentiment that is growing in this country stems from the bulk of our population being so completely removed from the process of food production. Most people just don’t know where their food comes from or what goes into making those products magically appear in the corner supermarket.
    Recently I took a big crock-pot of roasted rabbit to work. A few did not try it, among them a few pet rabbit owners, but almost everybody tried some and loved it. I credit my culinary skills for that.
    Great article and I will now be a full time reader!

    February 10, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  13. Debbie

    Pages and pages of unintelligent crap...from the article to the comments.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:01 am |
  14. Tracy

    OMG I am sick when I read this. I have a bunny and how anyone can kill them just sickens me. As for the one who wrote this, how did you even get a bunny? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  15. Tabatha55

    I have recently basically become a vegetarian, not because I am against eating meat but because I cannot stomach the cruelty involved in the factory farming methods employed today. I think if everyone actually knew the cruelty that meat animals are subjected to the results of this poll would be radically different.Then if the cruelty doesn't bother you how about the drugs that we consume with meat, the harm to the enviroment and the fact that large companies like Monsanto are manipulating the system so that they will eventually OWN food. They have patents on corn, soybeans and now alfalfa with their Genetically Modified seeds. So go ahead enjoy your meal, but don't think it does not come without consequence's, whether good or bad.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • chinbunny

      rabbits are not given chemicals, and they are not factory farmed. Most are raised on private farms.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  16. Chuck

    I suggest everyone who truly wants to know what the optimal, healthiest diet is for the human body read "The China Study" by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. It is the most comprehensive and in-depth study of human nutrition ever conducted (decades long, subjected to rigorous peer review). If one simply cares only about their health, and how the human body functions best (without disease) then this is the book for you.

    At the very least, research the book–read excerpts from it. I'm not saying whether or not I'm an omnivore or herbivore–my personal stance doesn't matter here, since nobody will ever convince anyone else to give up a certain diet, vote for their political party of choice, or worship their "god". However, who among us can deny that, at the very least, extensive scientific research–when it's not compromised by politics, lobbyists, and those who seek to control others–offers us knowledge that we can truly believe in?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  17. Diana

    Why would you write an article about your extraordinary experience eating a rabbit? You don't need to glamorize it. You should get kicked out of NYC buns, thanks a lot...

    February 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      I don't think I glamorized it at all. I am a journalist - and a food journalist to boot. I can't pick and choose my facts to suit my subject. I have had it in the past, and it's delicious and I can't pretend otherwise. But, I believe that I made it abundantly clear that to me, the eating experience is absolutely trumped by my love of my own rabbits.

      I can use my position as a food writer who has rabbits to present all sides of the matter, when most of them will just present recipes and cooking methods. I can also use my platform to open up the subject to a whole audience of non-rabbit owners to let them know a little bit about the wonder of living with these wonderful creatures. People beyond the choir need to hear that message, too.

      February 10, 2011 at 9:48 am |
      • Jesse Jackson

        Preach it Baby,Preach it!

        February 10, 2011 at 9:56 am |
      • The Reverend Al Sharpton

        Amen sister! And what is for dinner?

        February 10, 2011 at 10:04 am |
      • Suz

        Kat – although I am a vegetarian, myself, I appreciated the article because, at the very least, it will encourage people to think instead of indiscriminately putting food into their mouths.

        Disciplined, ethical eating – whether your veg*n or not – is always a good idea.

        So is loving our animal companions. :)

        February 10, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • Kat Kinsman

        Suz – thank you. Reasonable arguments from folks like you are what's going to win the battle.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  18. Tyler

    It's one of my favorite foods. It's not overly common in restaurants in the US, but I get it whenever I can.

    February 9, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  19. MJ

    I've had game rabbit, my dad was a hunter. And I remeber that it tasted pretty good! But it's been a long time now since I've had game rabbit, and I've never had domestic rabbit rasised for food. Probably wouldn't order it off a menu, but if someone offered me a taste of theirs, I would try it.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  20. Loren

    I don't recall having rabbit, but I am not opposed to eating rabbit. While some might see eating meat of our fine furry friends as an atrocity, meat has been a part of mankind's diet since we branched from other primates. While I wish that our meat-raising practices were better, as long as the donor is anonymous, I have no problem with eating meat.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  21. Dave

    And while we're on the topic of ethical treatment, I have a question for all the pet owning vegans out there. How is it that you justify purchasing and paying to support a pet while thousands of real life flesh and blood humans starve across the globe. Wouldn't the money you spend on your pet be put to better use feeding some poor kid in Ethiopia? Would you really claim that an animal has the same worth as a human? Anyone who calls their actions "ethical" is most likely using a definition that suits their specific viewpoints. Ethics doesn't have a sliding scale, it's not relative. Don't bash meat eaters simply to make yourself look better, that's hypocritical.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • hippiechick

      Just like people who claim that animals are nutritious are basing that in their own decision to eat dead animals. Meat consumption is linked to so many illnesses out there, so yeah, while eating a piece of steak and developing stomach cancer or high cholesterol the person says " nutritious."

      So vegans cannot or should not have pets? And which ever your answer is, then you should not be directing your question to vegans alone but to any person out there, meat eater or not, who lives with pets. Don't you think? Why single out vegans?

      February 9, 2011 at 11:04 am |
      • Dave

        I agree, from an ethical standpoint, nobody should own a pet. I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy in claiming eating meat is unethical while also owning and supporting the life of a pet. If I were a vegan, I would see both actions as unethical (assuming I place greater value on the life of a human). So recognizing both actions as unethical, I should either A). get rid of the pet, or B) stop telling people who eat meat they're wrong. A is the better option, but at least if you choose B, I can't call you a hypocrite.

        February 9, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • chinbunny

        Going vegan does not make you exempt from diseases. You can still die of cancer, or heart disease, even if you don't eat meat. I find it hypocritical that someone will criticize meat eaters, yet they eat plants and vegetables that are fertilized with manure from the same animals that are possibly eaten. Not to mention the amount of wildlife that end up poisoned or killed to plow vegetable fields. It doesn't matter what you eat, how its grown, or where you get it from, animals are going to be used(or wastfully killed) in some way, to grow the product.

        February 9, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • Sara

        @chinbunny- Things will die in the course of any life. That is natural law. It's impossible to avoid all death and suffering. But it is possible to reduce the negative impact a life can have.

        February 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • chinbunny

        Thats true sara. The best thing we can do is make sure we know where our food comes from, and that it is raised in the most humane way possible. I don't have a problem with the vegan lifestyle either. Just don't like it when I am criticized for chosing to eat meat(rabbits). And rabbit is one of the most humanely raised animal products you can find. Most are grown by show breeders and local farmers. They are not fed chemicals, nor farmed intensly. I breed only a few litters a year. My does get a huge break between litters and rebreeding. Many of my rabbits are pushing seven years of age. (Those that are kept as retired show stock, and pets). Some of mine are also rescues.

        February 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Sara

      Hello Dave! I hope I can answer your question. Here is my personal take on it: I'm a pet owning ethical vegan. I came to the decision to change my lifestyle for a variety of reasons. In direct response to your question I found in my research on hunger and food related crisis that not eating meat would be the best thing I could do everyday. It takes more water to raise a pound of beef than to grow wheat and make 12 loaves of bread. The rising cost of grain and corn can also be contributed to the feeding of food animals. I'm not able to link websites at this time, but I'm sure you can find more on this topic with just a simple web search. I try to live a cruelty free lifestyle and that encompasses all life. Human and non-human. My dogs also eat a balanced vegan diet. How would my pets make the suffering in the world seem less important? Just because animal welfare is the obvious thing people think of when they here vegan or vegatarian its not the only ethical reason people choose to stop consuming and encouraging meat and its production. My pets bring me and other people love and joy. I make daily descisions in my life and theirs that try to minimize and abolish negative impact on others.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • Dave

        Sara, you're definitely right about the amount of resources required to produce meat vs. non-meat food. This is well documented. Here's the thing. If you spend $50/week on average on your pet (I don't know if this is a good representation of the cost of a pet – I don't own one), and that pet brings you and others love and joy, is your love and joy worth more than $50 of food for people who will starve if they don't receive that food? It's really a question of resource distribution. You have finite resources. You're saying your joy and the life of an animal is worth more to you than the life of a human. People make this decision every day when they decide to buy a luxury car, or a larger home than they need, or designer clothing. It's a harsh reality, but we're all unethical to some degree. It just seems hypocritical to point out immorality of omnivorous humans when vegans are guilty of using resources poorly as well.

        February 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
      • Sara

        You make a very valid point. However it is also impossible to expect anyone to be completely selfless or to never spend time or money on something that brings them happiness. I don't think omnivores are any worse or better than vegans or anyone else. I do think it's unfair of you to lump everyone together like that. Diet and lifestyle are an extremely personal choice. That's why some get so worked up over it. For me, the effort of anyone to help is what's important.

        February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • Dave

        Fair enough Sara. I can respect that position. As long as you're not chastising people for eating meat, I don't have a problem with living the vegan lifestyle and owning a pet. I can't tell you that's wrong. I've certainly made "selfish" purchases before. My issue was with vegans who claim people who eat meat are unethical. I wish you and your pets all the happiness in the world!

        February 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
      • Sara

        Thank you Dave. I enjoyed our conversation!

        February 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • memitim

        What is going on here? A logical discussion with no name calling? This sort of thing has no place here..

        February 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  22. Dave

    remember when PETA wanted to rename fish "sea kittens"

    February 9, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • AleeD

      Nope – but I believe it. A couple of years ago, they wanted to buy Busch Gardens and free all the animals. Brilliant!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  23. Dave

    and yeah, I've eaten rabbit...that's what small game season is for. it's delicious!

    February 9, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  24. Dave

    Other animals eat meat, why shouldn't we...after all, all we are is animals.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Apelwod

      Other animals don't spend enormous amounts of money and other resources to poison the planet by overpopulation, production of methane and other greenhouse gases, habitat loss, etc.

      February 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
      • Dave

        Good argument, so your suggestion is what then...mass suicide?

        February 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  25. Jorge

    "Humans are not built to consume meat."-Ya-

    Tell that to my spry, 93 year-old godmother, who still likes her lean steaks rare, or to my 83 year-old dad, who gets up at 5:00 am every morning, goes out to his coop for a freshly laid egg and drinks it raw with orange juice and molasses in a punch. If God didn't intend for us to eat animals, why did he make them so nutricious???

    February 9, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  26. bo starr

    1tim. 4:4 for every creature of god is good, and nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.

    February 9, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  27. Les

    thumper... peter rabbit... no thnx

    February 9, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  28. AleeD

    Never tried it; never had the opportunity. If I was visiting someone and they served it and I ate it without knowing what it was, I'd be ok. If you put the plate in front of me and said, "It's rabbit! Give it a try!" I wouldn't be able to. ;( Same with frogs legs. Other meats (deer; shark; boar; bison, eel) weren't a problem, but, for some reason those two are.

    Can anyone describe what rabbit tastes like? Chicken? Or does it have it's own indescribable flavor?

    February 9, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • chinbunny

      Its just like chicken, only milder tasting

      February 9, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Andrea

      Like chicken without the dirty poultry flavor

      February 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  29. SlowMoneyFarm

    Domestically raised rabbit is much healthier than wild rabbit. Wild rabbits can carry diseases from the soil that domestic rabbits don't pick up. Rabbits can be pets but also can provide meat, fur and (with angoras) fiber – a truly unique animal.

    February 9, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  30. Eric

    The same people who whine about home animal slaughter usually have no problem buying pre-packaged meat. That meat had a face once before...

    February 9, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  31. Rj

    It is wonderful. However, I would hesitate, if only for a second, just because they are, to me, also a pet.

    February 9, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  32. bettina

    eat a member of the family like rabbit or dog. People like that should eat their young. Then maybe the population would be controlled.

    February 9, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  33. Truth

    I swear that when Kat and SLT get bored, they put out a thread like this so they can sit back, laugh and watch the bloodletting.

    'Fess up ladies, have I nailed it?

    February 9, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Not even close. Did you get a chance to read the article? This is a topic that's really near and dear to my heart and it took a chunk out of my soul to write it. I would never put something like this out from boredom or a desire to pot-stir.

      February 9, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • Truth@Kat

        I'm with you...I used to be a teacher and our class pet was a small brown dwarf bunny named George. After I left teaching, he was adopted by a class member.

        That said, I also love to hunt, so I can appreciate what it took for you to write this. It does seem that we get the usual vegan bloodletting on here on a regualr basis though...

        February 9, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  34. tma2006

    I have eaten Rabbit in the past, Thanks to a grandmother that would always tell me i was eating beef then afterwards tell me what it really was. I thought it was good. But just the thought of it still makes me kinda sick. It would be like eating my cat. But i also grew up on a farm, so im sure they farm rabbits jsut like cows, pigs and chicken.

    February 9, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  35. Jennifer

    A rabbit is just like a pig or cow or chicken or other animal used for food. They all feel pain, want companionship, want to live normal lives.

    If you care about animals, and I hope everyone reading this does, then don't eat them. It's so easy and simple to go vegan. I've been vegan for 11 years!

    Since people can live just fine without consuming flesh, eggs or milk from animals, in fact be even healthier and cause far less destruction to the earth, it's the moral choice to not cause unnecessary suffering and death. Live and let live.

    And for those of you still in la-la land about farmed animals living in bliss on Old MacDonald's Farm, you need to wake up to the utter misery, pain and deprivation of modern factory farming where 99.9% of animals used for food live. Watch "Earthlings" "Meet Your Meat" or "Farm to Fridge" at

    February 9, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Jorge

      Thumper, Piglet and Bambi may look cute in the straw pen, but they taste FANTASTIC au vin with young peas, carrots and blue potatoes over jasmine rice. I'll stop eating meat the day a cow talks to me and says- "Please don't eat me."

      February 9, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • chinbunny

      Its not possible for everyone to go vegan. There are also health risks involved with that too.

      February 9, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  36. las88

    Ok, so whether you believe in God and creation, or you're an evolutionist – eating meat is natural and meant to be. God created animals for our consumption (it's in the Bible). Or if you're an evolutionist – we're animals. Omnivores/carnivores eat meat. Look in your own mouth – we have the teeth (canines) to prove it. Our ancestors ate MEAT – I know, it's shocking! Who knew it was necessary for their own survival and our survival as human beings! Lol, seriously, it's just a part of life. If you don't want to eat meat, that's fine, if you do, that's also fine. So what is with all these "open-minded" liberals who are always trying to make you think like them (because they're "open-minded" and therefore right) and get mad at you when you don't. Somehow that doesn't sound so open-minded. We're a planet with billions of people and only one person is right? Are there no other possibilities? Is it possible that you can do (eat) as you choose and let everyone else do the same?

    February 9, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  37. hippiechick

    The hypocrisy, people will live with cats and dogs and birds and lizards and snakes and never eat them out of "love" and acquaintance with the species, but will go and eat a different one that they did not raise or live near. Some kind of love that is, do you not eat your moms and brothers and sisters either just because you know them and live/lived with them?

    February 9, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  38. chinbunny

    This is a very well written article. I raise rabbits. To me they are food, fur, show, and pets. I have several pet rabbits I will never part with. Yet, I know where to draw the line when it comes down to determining what is a pet, and what is not. I cannot fathom butchering my own rabbits. I have to have someone else do it for me. Not only is it a responsible way to cull, but, it also provides food for me and my family, and my dog. Yes, my dog gets raw rabbit once a week, after they are butchered. Its a very healthy, nutritious meat for both humans, and pets. The way I see it is eating some of them prevents them from being abused by irresponsible people, where they won't end up sitting in a cage, at a shelter for the rest of their lives. Each of my rabbits has its own cage. They are kept very clean, and they even get time out of it, in nice big pens, in the summer, where they can eat all the grass they want. My favorite rabbit dish is the recipe you find for chicken, on the back of a can of creme of chicken soup. Only I substitute rabbit for chicken, and add a couple of layers of different types of cheese to the dish. Its delicious.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • Suz

      I have a question – and I'm really not trying to be a jerk or anything by asking it, I'm sincerely wondering – what is it about having someone else butcher your rabbits that makes it better than butchering it yourself? In other words, if doing it yourself disgusts you for one reason or another, wouldn't someone else butchering the rabbits be equally as disturbing to you – for the same reasons?

      February 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  39. TampaMel

    Those of you that eat meat and would not eat rabbit because they are cute and cuddly are not thinking straight. If they took a picture of a little lamb or calf would you stop eating those also? We all eat living things (even vegetarian) the only difference is what we kill or have killed to sustain our lives. And to those who think eating rabbit is disgusting, go to a pig or chicken farm if you want to see disgusting.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  40. Ethical vegan

    The only reason animals are bred for so-called human consumption is because someone is profiting off their untold misery,I have never heard anything so morally corrupt in my entire life..
    It is never sane to victimise,terrorise and Murder anyone for the greed of humans.
    Look toward Big Pharma when you get bowel cancer and not into your soul,My meal did not stop a beating heart.

    February 9, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • TampaMel

      Unless you're eating rocks you are killing something. The difference between a meat eater and a vegetarian is what they are willing to kill or have killed to survive. What do you think, if it doesn't have a face you can recognize it feels no pain? That 'holier than thou' attitude is just a way vegetarians justify their eating preferences.

      February 9, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  41. Tim

    ANybody who says, "No," just needs to get a hungry enough.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:06 am |
  42. pacman357

    Sorry, no can do. I'm not critical of others that do, however. My hang-up is that, growing up, my brothers both had pet rabbits. My wife has a pet rabbit (that actually looks a lot like Cluadette, but bigger, and with more black spots...and dark black ears. I had a pet chicken from 2d grade to 9th, and she laid eggs for us for five years...amazingly rich, with orange yolks. I love fried chicken, however, and as we had little $ and chicen was cheap, we ate a lot of it. Rabbits were solely around me, while growing up, kept to be pets. Same goes for now.

    I've seriously considered hunting deer where I live, but mainly because there are do damned many of them and they are so flippin' stupid around cars, that I have had several close calls with them, including a couple while on my motorcycle. One 4 point buck even charged my Mustang GT one night, bouncing off of it (horrendous sound, but put only a tiny dent in it, amazingly). Still couldn't bring myself to hunt them. I readily admit that I love most meats, but would have to be a become a vegetarian if I had to hunt for meat.

    February 9, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  43. Faye

    My neighbor Xuan used to have a pet rabbit, then one day her grandmother butchered it and served it for dinner ♥

    February 9, 2011 at 2:21 am |
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