It’s incredible how some people will criticize something they know very little about. While this is not new in any aspect of life, it does rear it’s ugly head in the most unexpected places. I think I have a few acquaintences who can’t decide if I’m a horrible person for raising meat rabbits or if I’m the really fun, friendly cool chick they knew before I got into raising New Zealand rabbits. They are appalled that I bring to this world a litter of “cute fluffy bunnies” just to process some of them to eat. Some I do sell to 4-H members, which is cool to my acquaintences since their mindset is “help the kids out”. Obviously my acquaintences don’t know what happens to a lot of 4-H or FFA projects. I had one person tell me that they mentally see my hands stained red.
I will not deny that I have processed rabbits for my freezer. I love rabbit bacon for breakfast. I love knowing what exactly is in my food and where it came from. I love knowing that a dish I serve hadn’t been contaminated by chemicals from China or infected with samonella and e. Coli at a massive butchering plant.
I consider myself a very small farmer, which is why my Facebook page is listed as an Agricultural Company. While some of my rabbits do go to folks as pets (mean rabbits aren’t eligible for this program) most are sent out into this world as livestock, to help the human race continue in one form or another. I am a member of a local community garden committee and the main reason I expanded my footprint there was to provide healthy forage and herbs for the rabbits. The garden had benefitted in return from the loads of rabbit poop compost which has made its way back to organically enrich the soil.
Most times folks who are critical have no idea the work that sometimes goes into saving a litter or individuals of a litter. If you think I just stand around and wait at the end of a conveyor belt for rabbits, then you should read “A Tail of Two Virgins, Part 2” and see how much heart and soul goes into my rabbits. If anyone has ever read James Herriots personal experiences as a farm vet in Yorkshire, England, you know how deep caregivers and stock owners can feel for their animals.
So the next time the opportunity arises to criticize small farmers and owners of livestock, stop and think how much those people are putting back into their land, their community, and their hearts.