I have yet to understand why people lean toward ridicule and sick jokes when it comes to situations or incidents involving rabbits.
This week, during the setting up for a press conference to introduce to the German public their latest zoo acquisition--a "rare" earless rabbit--a cameraman accidentally stepped on this bunny and killed him/her. The obvious questions aside--why was this rabbit on the floor, why put a rabbit in a zoo in the first place-what really deepened the sadness of this incident was the appalling responses many in the public made regarding this poor rabbit. Go on any news site reporting this story; you will find some cruel reactions out there. Here are a few gems from the MSN.NBC site:
"Kill the rabbit, kill the rabbit."
"Sooooo...is Easter cancelled?"
"That reminds me, I need bunny slippers."
"I am horrified and laughing my head off at the same time."
Somehow i suspect that had this been a puppy or a kitten the reactions would have been much more sympathetic. This was "just" a rabbit, right? Why should people care?
Even more galling was the zoo director's reaction. As if this was a comforting thought, he assured us that Til, the 17 day old rabbit, died instantly, that "it was a direct hit." Yeah, I feel much better hearing that. The latest news is this poor rabbit has been frozen--so eager for a new exhibit, the Germans plan to stuff Til and put him on display. What kind of perverseness is this?! Incidentally this rabbit, claimed by some to be rare, in fact simply had a birth defect. There is no special earless breed of lagomorphs; in fact, some rabbits being born near Fukushima power plant in Japan are coming into the world earless. This is a deformity and apparently the Germans thought that would bring in the crowds---an animal freak show. Sadly they may be right--we are a very sick species in that way.
I am so tired that rabbits get so little respect in this world. Such gentle loving creatures deserve so much better. Certainly the tragic fate of this baby bunny deserves better than sick jokes. He surely deserves better than to be a taxidermist's pet project.
Rest in peace, little Til. In so many ways, you are better off than living in a world with such a cruel, heartless species like humankind.