Once upon a time it was the season of eggs and pastels, spring was right around the corner. Parents began to wonder if little Susie would like a bunny for Easter and rabbit breeders far and wide began to bicker.
The Fight of the Easter Bunny divides into two large camps with a scattered few opinions in between. One one side you have the people who appreciate the pet rabbit buyers. On the other side are those who take the high ground that pet bunnies are the next thing to evil, mix breed rabbits are best used for meat, and anyone who sells to anyone other than a reputable breeder is hypocritical.
And the scattered few in between scratch their heads and wonder out loud, “Can’t we all just get along?!”
Both camps have valid arguments. Anyone who cares about the sanctity of any life recognizes that an animal purchased on a whim then left unattended in a cage that fills with feces is not acceptable. Rabbits have a 7-10 year life span and require the same sense of commitment and care that a dog or a cat need. If veterinary care is needed there’s a large price tag that comes with the professional; letting a rabbit loose in an empty field or dropping it off at a shelter is a sure-fire way to prove you’re a pretty low human being yourself.
On the other side, many, many people fall in love with their rabbit companions and treat them with love and affection! Most rabbit breeders begin their love of the animal with a mixed breed bun they picked up at the pet or feed store for a few bucks. It is unfair to assume there is no purpose for a pet rabbit in this world.
At Mad Hatter Rabbits we’ve decided to straddle the fence between these two camps (and I’m sure we’ll get a splinter or two on occasion). We will never breed more rabbits than we can personally provide excellent, loving, and humane care for. We also provide a blanket guarantee to accept any rabbit we have bred back if their new owner can no longer adequately meet their rabbits needs. Each animal that leaves our rabbitry goes with a booklet with recommendations of how to care for your bunny at the bare minimum requirements of the Animal Welfare Act and recommendations for how to go beyond the bare minimum into to a truly enriching relationship with a furry friend.
We don’t see the Fight of the Easter Bunny as black and white. Our primary reason for beginning to breed rabbits was to provide a healthy, organic meat source free of antibiotics and such things for our family. This is a rabbit’s natural role in the life cycle – at the bottom of the food chain as a meal for larger predators. But in our rabbit journey, we found we really enjoy rabbit shows – and it takes the same amount of feed to raise a show rabbit as it does a less type-y rabbit so we may as well work toward having excellent show rabbits with sweet dispositions, fun personalities, and great pedigrees! Finally, for those rabbits that aren’t quite up to snuff on a show table for one reason or another, their attitudes make them a reasonable option for a person who wants a companion.
If we don’t limit human beings to only one point and purpose of life – if we can comprehend a life where there is a capability to wear multiple hats – then there’s space in this world for our livestock to fulfill a multitude of purposes as well!
Anyone want to join us on the middle ground?