Whole Foods announces that it will stop selling rabbit meat. Rabbits in my home are hippity hoppitying!
A year ago Whole Foods started a pilot program offering rabbit meat at selected stores across the country, citing customer demand, but this move did not go over so well with consumers and organizations including the House Rabbit Society, SaveABunny and the Rabbit Advocacy Network, who all came together to put a stop to it.
The domestic rabbit is a pet and companion to thousands of people that love them, owners banned together to help save the bunnies! As a rabbit Momma and rescuer myself I found Whole Foods choice repulsive and not a necessity for their growth or survival.
The main argument against Whole Foods' program is this marked the first time a major retailer in the U.S. put an animal most of us consider pets on its shelves in an attempt to make widely popular.
Whole Foods stated they spent four years to develop humane standards for raising meat rabbits, however evidence to the contrary showed the way these rabbits were raised and killed. Meat rabbits are classified as poultry and are excluded from the basic protection other livestock animals are afforded under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which means they get no federal protection from abuse and are subject to any state laws that may or may not exist to protect them from inhumane slaughter practices, which where left out of the store's guidelines.
Pictured above are Sam and Priscilla, pretty Priscilla is celebrating her 12th birthday! Her prior owner set her and her siblings free on a major highway Route 46 in Wayne, New Jersey. This may sound easy and fast however it took hours while crawling along the muddy grass while being pelted with rain. Oh and the lightning was comforting-hah! I am thankful for the large net and length of the handle that allowed me to get close enough without spooking Priscilla and causing her harm or worse having her dart into traffic to get away. A happy ending for Priscilla and one of her brothers....only.
There is a lot of documentation that can be obtained on this argument against Whole Foods. Documents under the Freedom of Information Act by the Rabbit Advocacy Network, and an investigation by NBC Bay Area uncovering low demand, false labeling cruelty and unsanitary conditions, all showed pretty clearly that Whole Foods couldn't back up its humane claims.
Thank you Whole Foods for listening to your customers and pet lovers across the country!