Nice article. The one thing I would disagree with though is:
The fact that rabbits require a gentler environment than a factory farm can offer means the market largely relies on family-run operations like his own. “Mother Nature designed them at the low end of the food chain so they die easily. That’s problematic.”
I agree that they aren’t really suited to a factory farm. I *really* disagree that that’s a problem. Quite the contrary – it’s a great selling feature – these animals HAVE to be raised more humanely than pigs and poultry.
We should be moving away from factory farming, not trying to find new ways to add to it.
Like all prospects of panacea, there’s a catch: farmers have yet to figure out a way to produce rabbits on an industrial scale, which means that getting them into grocery stores, whether consumers want them or not, remains problematic.
OOOH, OOOH, I know! People can raise their own!
Just think …. people can have 3 or 4 rabbits – they can use their own lawn clippings to supplement their feed, and they can use the manure to fertilize their gardens. Heck, they can even use the manure to fertilize their house plants – rabbit pellets really don’t smell and come in nice little time-release capsules.
Of course, if they use the lawn to feed their rabbits they shouldn’t be spraying it with anything (a GOOD thing) …. AND, if they use the manure to fertilize, they also won’t need as much factory-made fertilizer (ALSO a good thing).
AND …. they will be forced to get back in touch with a part of the natural world that many (if not most) urbanites seem to have forgotten.
I wonder what the impact would be…. less use of chemical herbicides and fertilizers. Less garbage (rabbits are now eating all the lawn clippings). Less demand for factory raised meat. Healthier diets (rabbit meat is really good for you). New markets would spring up for things like custom butchering, and tanning of hides (maybe we’ll even find more environmentally friendly ways to process hides). The ripple effect could be substantial.