This past week has been a depressing one for all those who love their companion rabbits. On Wednesday 3 March the New York Times offered in its Food and Dining section a horrific article with the callous headline "Don't Tell The Kids," which discusses parking lot seminars in Brooklyn on how to kill your own rabbit for only $100 a lesson (article complete with a photo of a lovely white rabbit with red eyes, similar to the Cadbury bunny we have seen over the years in the candy promotional ads which come out this time of year, just prior to Easter. No Easter Bunny this year, kiddies. He is getting carved up in Brooklyn by people eager to part with their money to learn how to kill and eat him.) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/dining/03rabbit.html In addition, the blog http://www.good.is/ offered an article entitled "Backyard Bunnies Are the New Chickens.) http://www.good.is/post/backyard-bunnies-are-the-new-urban-chickens. Please take note of the disturbing photo of three women laughing as they touch the skinned carcasses of animals many of us know and cherish as pets. I have seen horror movies that have not sickened me as much as this photo has.
To me, this photo vividly reveals that human beings remain out of touch with their own food. Obviously these women see bunnies only as a means of nourishment and take great joy in their preparation, ignoring the obvious that these were once living, breathing, sentient beings. Surely if they perceived rabbits to be sweet affectionate animals who bring joy to so many people in this country, they couldn't LAUGH about the task at hand. If these ladies recognized ALL animals as creatures we should share this planet with and not dominate, truly they could not be there, knives in hand, happily clutching dead rabbits by their skinned paws. Within the second article about backyard bunnies, Sasha Wizansky, the editor of Meatpaper (a print magazine about the art and ideas about meat--ugh! both name and concept is repulsive) makes an argument that everyone still eating meat yet living with pet rabbits should note. She states that “I don’t have a prohibition against eating cute animals. I feel like if I’m eating animals I should eat all of them; If not, I should rethink my omnivorism." (emphasis mine.)
So to you out there, still eating meat but who cuddle and treat your rabbits the way others treat their cats and dogs (i.e. spoil them rotten), consider this before you get outraged over the articles I have linked here today. If you are still eating chicken, how can you be angry if the women in this blog article or the people taking those classes in Brooklyn rejoice in devouring rabbits? Those who are vegetarian or vegan are entitled to their anger and outrage--we have already reached conclusions that all animals deserve a full life, and are living our lives as best we can to respect those lives. We already are aware that no one needs meat to live and in fact, many studies show that vegetarian and vegan diets are the healthiest plans today to ensure a long life for humans and our fellow creatures alike.
I ask, as Wizansky puts it in the article, rethink your omnivorism. If you think pigs are cute, why eat them? If your rabbit loves his or life with you and vice versa, why should other rabbits be fed upon by us? If cows have sweet eyes, if you have ever cheered at those all-too-infrequent stories when a cow has escaped a slaughterhouse, why are you still eating steak? Why is the cow on your plate any less sweeter than the one who survived? Think of all animals as you do those you live with, pet, feed, and nurture. If you are feel the least bit appalled at the articles linked above, really consider why you feel that way and apply that to all animals who are slaughtered for food. It should never be JUST about the "cute" ones.
The Hoppy Vegan