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Turning Bunny Butchers Into Babysitters?

Posted by at 7:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)


lewie-the-bunnie by Alisa MullinsI’m on “bunny duty” this week. I’m taking care of my Mom’s two rabbits while she is on vacation-which makes thelatest undercover investigation footage obtained by PETA all the more heartbreaking for me. Investigators went undercover on rabbit fur farms in China and France and documented that rabbits were living in cramped, filthy cages and being killed in horrific ways–yanked out of cages by their ears, shackled by their hind legs, shocked with electric stun guns, and decapitated. In the video footage, which I would caution you not to watch shortly before or after a meal, the rabbits scream–yes, scream–during slaughter. One investigator saw one rabbit lose control of her bowels after being shocked repeatedly.

One of the rabbits in the video looks very much like my Mom’s bunny Lewie (named after Lewis Carroll because he looks like he sprang straight from the pages of Alice in Wonderland). Lewie is huge–bigger than many cats–but he’s a gentle giant. When I let him out of his cage in the morning, he always waits to get a good scratch behind the ears before leaping and twirling and going on a mad dash through his bunny tunnels.

Mom’s other rabbit, Eddie (get it? Eddie Rabbit …), is barely half Lewie’s size, but he has a Napoleon complex and tries to bully Lewie if given the chance. When they first met, they latched onto each other’s rear ends in a ying-yang-style fight that was remarkable not for the amount of fur that flew in the 10 seconds before we broke them up, but for the silence. They made no sound whatsoever as they busily yanked tufts of fur out of each other’s rumps.

Rabbits are prey animals–it’s in their nature to hide their pain and to stay quiet in order to avoid attracting the attention of predators. So you can imagine how utterly terrified a rabbit must be before he resorts to screaming. The thought of someone inflicting that kind of torture on Lewie or Eddie–who can so easily be made blissfully happy by a simple ear-scratch or a few bites of banana–makes my blood run cold.

PETA has sent footage from the investigations to Georgio Armani because he claims to have sworn off all fur except fur from rabbits, as if rabbits are somehow less deserving of compassion and respect than a mink or a fox. The logic of this escapes me. I think that if Armani were to spend a week on “bunny duty” and got to know bunnies like I have, he’d quickly change his tune.

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    Linda says...

    October 27th, 2008, 11:23 am

    Hi Alisa,

    I have a house rabbit. He’s over 10 years old, one of the joy’s of my life, and he is one of the reasons it was so easy for me to go vegan and get rid of all my clothing containing any animal products. Thanks for this post to remind us all that every animal, no matter how small or how quiet they are, needs our voice to remind others that animals are not ours to wear or to eat!

    Tucker says...

    November 1st, 2008, 10:08 am

    I JUST WISH AND HOPE SOME DAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE THAT
    ALL ANIMALS WILD,TAME, PETS
    IN, AROUND AND OF THE WORLD WILL BE PROTECTED, LOVED AND SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ALLL ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THERE ARE TO MANY BAD THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO ANIMALS FROM EXPERIMENTS TO SHOOTING TO ABUSING AND NEGLECT AND SO ON THAT IT ALLL NEEDS TO
    STOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THE FINES AND JAIL TIME NEED TO BE HIGHER AND LONGER!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I HOPE MORE PEOPLE LIKE MY SELF WILL SPEAK UP AND HELP ALL ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT FOR ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD FOR ANIMALS OF ALL KINDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cathyg says...

    November 1st, 2008, 7:11 pm

    To Alisa Mullins,

    I love bunnies. I hike daily and always try to go and dusk (or dawn if I am awake) and see them come out of the brush they live in into the grassy areas to nibble on the greens around there. I absolutely love them and hope to have two from a rescue place one day when I have the time and money to stay home more to take care of them.
    I just wanted to thank you for this beautiful article, every word of which is true about bunnies and the crimes committed against them in the names of retail and testing. Your writing is well planned and thoughtful. Hopefully you will reach other people who just do not know.
    I cannot watch the video; it took me a long time to start watching some of the videos. But here is why I think they are so important. When my now 21 year old daughter Gia came to me at 12 or 13 and in middle school with the idea of never eating meat, foul, or pork again, for no reason at all I said, “Ok, we can try that.” We changed our diet permanently that day, Gia before me. Gia was at a friend’s house whose older brother had a PETA VHS where cows were being farmed, tortured, and abused. This took over my daughter’s thoughts so she brought the idea home to me. I never saw the video, but it so struck her that it was easy to change in a flash the very way I was existing. I am so healthy because of it and so is Gia… but that was just a bonus!
    I believe videos help people who just do not know. You don’t know what you don’t know…as silly as that sounds. Sending videos to people in fashion, I believe is right on target. There are so many, many substitutes for warmth and fashion.

    Bless your heart and take care of those bunnies! Cute names.

    Kind Regards,

    Cathyg

    Val Schewe says...

    March 11th, 2009, 5:50 am

    Hundreds of people in the Kelowna, BC, Canada have been fighting a looseing battle with the Kelowna City council for over a year now to stop the slaughter of the feral rabbits. Kelowna was even featured on the Action page of PETA last summer. Unfortunatly even that did not stop the slaughter. In all its press releases the city uses terms like live trapping and they also have said repeatly that they would be giving the captured animals to animal welfare groups but that some of them would have to be culled. By using these terms they had hoped to lull the general public into thinking that they were in fact trying to save some of these animals. Nothing could be further from the truth. I spoke to Ian Wilson, who seems to be the man in charge, and he told me none of the animals had been given to any welfare groups. All the animals had been killed. including lactating mothers, leaving thier babies to starve to death. EBB Enviormental was hired to rid the city of these animals and they in turn hires a retired police officer to shoot the rabbits with an airgun. If the animal didn’t die they where then stomped on. This has been well documented. There are only an estimated 22 rabbits left and in todays news councillor Graeme James is adament that culling be an immediate option, even going so far as to call rabbits rodents. My point is that cruel, inhumane treatment of animals is not only going on in third world countries, it is happening in our own back yards. We. the people who care for animals, must unite and send a loud and clear message that we will no longer allow animals to be treated inhumainly, weather it be for food, leather products, or fur to make clothing. Nothing screams macho man more than a hunter hiding in the bush to kill an animal that is defenseless, or trapping a rabbit in a cage then putting a bolt through its brain stem.
    Val. S.

    JennyNZ says...

    April 10th, 2011, 12:36 am

    Thank you for “keeping it real” Alsia. You are quite right – why should one rabbit enjoy a happy, healthy life as a beloved pet, and another be treated in such a disgusting, inhumane and horrific way? No one buying a fashion garment with cute fluffy fur trim would imagine the suffering behind it’s production! I too cannot watch the video, but I appreciate you sharing your experience. I have consciously reduced the amount of meat we buy and eat each week, since joining PETA, and always support free-range eggs & chickens. If we all do a little bit, we can help change the lives of so many living creatures we are priviliged to share the planet with.

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