Printer Friendly

Protests Rise Over Rabbits Being Offered As Food

Whole Foods Market is offering rabbit meat in a limited number of stores, and on August 17 many pet rabbit owners will participate in a Day of Action.

Marylou Zarbock
Posted: August 16, 2014, 3:40 p.m. EDT

rabbit sitting in hands
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Rabbit enthusiasts are wondering why domesticated rabbits are at the meat counter in some Whole Foods Market stores.

The news about Whole Foods Market’s plan to carry rabbit meat as a pilot program in some of its stores broke a few months ago, and it left many pet rabbit owners wondering why. Why choose to offer a pet species as meat?

Lisa Rockwell of Menlo Park, California, responded by starting a petition asking the store not to sell rabbit meat. It currently has more than 11,000 signatures. The House Rabbit Society released a series of articles advocating that rabbits not be sold as meat. And on August 17, many rabbit rescues and rabbit enthusiasts are participating at peaceful protests at Whole Foods Markets across the nation, including 20 stores in California, nine in the Midwest, five in the North Atlantic and more. They will be distributing leaflets and collecting petition signatures. 

The House Rabbit Society’s offers the following advice to those participating in the day of action.  

"Your goal is to inform customers of Whole Foods’ decision, let them know what wonderful animals rabbits are, remind them how popular rabbits are as pets, and let them know that the company’s "humane standards” in terms of how the rabbits are being raised and killed are really just greenwashing PR. Your ultimate goal is to encourage these customers to walk into the store, and fill out a comment card expressing their concerns, and to also, if possible, talk directly to the store’s management."

Whole Foods Market has a page on its website discussing rabbit meat, and a recent news release explained that it chose to carry it at the request of customers. 

The news about the fight to save rabbits from the meat counter has been covered by Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times and numerous other news outlets.

See all small animal news
See all small animal exclusives

Posted: August 16, 2014, 3:40 p.m. EDT

 Give us your opinion on
Protests Rise Over Rabbits Being Offered As Food

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments
This is terrible. I hope they've stopped selling it!
Autum, Caldwell, ID
Posted: 5/25/2015 5:25:30 AM
View Current Comments
Rabbits USA
Rabbits USA
Top Products

Hi my name's fred

Visit the Photo Gallery to
cast your vote!