"Eating rabbit is offensive to millions of people who have rabbits as pets in the United States. They are the third most popular pet in the USA behind cats and dogs. Some estimates put them at 1.4 million upwards to 4 million pet rabbits. It is not an issue with the Bugs Bunny or Thumper, cartoon characters, as the rabbit meat producers and some chefs like to suggest. There is a growing number of people who know these animals as pets. Plus, the so called "meat" rabbits such as the New Zealand Whites, Californians and Harlequins, are routinely sold as pets and are affectionate house rabbits. People don't want to eat animals (designated as "meat rabbits" or not) that will nudge their hand for affection. There are places in this world, particularly in some areas of Asian countries where dogs and cats are consumed as food. We don't eat cats and dogs in this country because of cartoon images in the movies or on TV - some people understand rabbits for what they are to them - great pets. Rabbits purr (softly grinding their teeth when petted), can be littered box trained, clicker trained like dogs, enjoy affection, bond with their owners for life and other animals, and can be cage free in a bunny-proofed home. We don't poach Poodles or simmer Siamese cats so why should we braise a bunny or make one into meatloaf. As omnivores, we have choices and that choice can mean Not eating some animals like cats, dogs, horses or rabbits. Rabbits are butchered for meat at 7 weeks old before they are weaned at 8 weeks, they are not covered under the Federal Humane Slaughter Act and only 20 to 25% of the commercial rabbit meat producers are inspected according to industry statistics. There is nothing cartoonish about eating a baby rabbit - it is grotesque and repulsive to millions of people who know them as pets."
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