Friday, May 16, 2014

Bunny bummer

[Begin rant]
Yesterday, the local rag published a story about the resurgence of rabbits as food. Some local DJ posted a picture of himself with the article... as a trendsetter who served his daughters rabbit for Easter.

What people don't realize is:
- what they are likely eating are domestic pets, just like their cat or dog - NOT wild game
- this food was likely raised in horrid conditions - animal cruelty (more on that below).
- it didn't make the grade for other wonderful purposes such as sales for laboratory testing, for shows or to pet stores.

So they are eating the rejects. Here's an example:

Hundreds of Bunnies Confiscated After Two Breeders Are Busted (from June, 2013)
[Emphasis marks and bracketed comments added]

What would cause someone to stack rabbits four high in wire cages inside a ramshackle garage or yard, and allow the urine and feces to pile up so high that animals are living in their own waste? [Sounds yummy,right?] You might guess that only a hoarder—or someone with a similar psychological condition—would do this. But there is another reason someone might be driven to keep animals in such horrid conditions. Profit.

In Indianapolis on Tuesday over 375 rabbits were seized after neighbors complained about the smell. When Animal Control officers showed up they saw cages caked in feces, and rabbits standing in their own waste. Many of the rabbits had the fur rubbed off their paws from standing on wire bottom cages. Animal control officers confiscated the rabbits from the home of Rick Cartheuser, Vice President of the Indiana State Rabbit Breeders Association—an organization which has promoted rabbits for meat, wool, fur, and laboratory use throughout its history. He sold the rabbits as pets, as “feeders” for reptiles, and used the “best” rabbits to display at “rabbit shows.” Despite previous warnings, Cartheuser had not improved the living conditions of the rabbits.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. On occasion, RR has posted these type stories as the occur.

Not expecting people to become vegetarians.
Just wish they would not eat pets and encourage this "cycle of death":
> Restaurants want to be avant guard, be trendy or at least, not be left behind, so they offer new dishes.
> Pet stores sell cute, little baby bunnies that are too young, and for next to nothing so that they can sell a bunch of supplies that ring the cash register. But they know next to nothing about rabbits and their care, so they leave them all in a group, without the hay that is the staple of their diet and sell products to customers that are dangerous for the rabbit (cages that are too small and "treats" with ingredients that can be deadly).
[See the post: Pet store bunnies ... make me very sad]
> People buy the cute little baby rabbits, often around Easter, as impulse buys. When they realize that they know nothing about how to care for it or get bored with it or harm it, they may relegate it to a corner of a too hot or cold garage (ignored, with no socialization or proper food and care) or let it go (a domestic rabbit is a pet and has no coping skills to protect itself from predators, or find food and water, like its truly wild cousins).

So there's a profit to be made and like the "entrepreneur" in the story above, a torturous factory is set up. Keep costs low. Sell them for any purpose possible. A lot of the same thing goes on with other pets, like cats and dogs - except restaurants don't offer them on the menu.

Some are saved... Raids by Animal Control. Rescue volunteers find and catch bunnies let loose. Knowing pet owners realize that a friend is clueless about how to care for their impulse buy and take it into his or her own home.

Not sure how to end this except to ask that if you want a pet:
- Understand what is involved in taking proper care of it.
- Adopt from a rescue shelter, do not buy from a store.
There are too many great animals already looking for loving homes to encourage more heartless cruelty.
[End rant.]

Thank you to the thousands of volunteers that rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abandoned and abused pets... these are the lucky ones.

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