Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 - Year of the Rabbit

I am thrilled that this is the Year of the Rabbit. Really. It provides rabbit rescues and rabbit advocacy groups lots of opportunities to promote the joys of living with lagomorphs. But this also carries a darker side, yin to the yang, as it were.

Think about it. Rabbits as status symbol--this will attract so many people to the idea of possessing a rabbit since this is the "year" for it. You can already see it in the media. In Japan people are dressing their rabbits in kimonos for photo shoots. The SPCA in Singapore is publicly pleading people to deeply consider what adopting a rabbit entails. In 1999, the last year of the rabbit, 625 rabbits were abandoned in Singapore, a 116% increase from the year before.

So yes, I am always happy when rabbits get the attention they deserve--how often they get forgotten when competing with dogs and cats! But the attention must not be counterproductive to their overall welfare. It is up to us involved in rescuing and advocating for rabbits to get out there and educate those tempted to impulsively buy a bunny. For every family who would be perfectly suited for a high maintenance pet such as a rabbit, there are sadly many more that are not.

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