They litter train themselves. They purr. They will lick your hands to groom you. When they get bored, they rearrange their own furniture to spice things up. They come when you call their name, and their poops don’t stink (and they know it). So, why don’t more people have these soft, affectionate, smart creatures as pets? Further, why are they often found in a two-foot square cage outside often on the brink of death from freezing or sweltering temperatures?
Education and lack thereof seems to be part of the
answer—at a more rudimentary level, the food chain. Bears and big cats will eat
your dog. Coyotes will eat your cats. We eat rabbits along with coyotes and
birds and many other predators. We stopped eating dog and cat (except in China
and Korea) centuries ago when their value to society became commonplace.
Friend or food?
This confusion is partly history and partly fashion. It’s on the face of most people that I share little rabbit stories with. I’ll say, “My bunny lay at my feet when I turn off the lights at night for his nightly snuggles and begins to purr before I touch him.” The look is complete bafflement. “But I thought rabbits are just big rodents.” One woman said. A man said to me, “Food!” and continued on with how dumb they are and basically as useless as a potato bug. I punched him hard, in the arm.
Humor aside, there are weekly accounts of neglected,
abused rabbits. Just last week, a woman who houses many rabbits in small cages
in her house left the door open and her large dog enthusiastically ate one of
her rabbits. Although, animal control had been made aware of the situation
before this awful event, they didn’t investigate. This is fairly common. A
rabbit isn’t in the ranks of a real’ pet like a dog or cat. And, they suffer it
Since most of us have trouble staying in bed for a day when we are sick, can you imagine what it’s like for a rabbit, built to run, living in a little box all it’s life? Rabbits may not seem like it, but they have feelings too! : )
Authored by Niya Sisk with Editorials from the Irreverent, Rogue Rabbit, Dakota.