Today is Chinese (Lunar) New Year, and this marks the beginning of the year of the rabbit according to Chinese astrology.
Rabbits are supposed to be a lucky entity this year, especially for those born as the rabbit zodiac sign, but rabbits themselves are not so lucky. In Asia, there is high demand for pet rabbits right now, but as with other past "animal trends," many rabbits will very well be abandoned when the year is over or will be mistreated as pets. For example, after the 101 Dalmatians movie, many people bought dalmatian dogs but later dumped them in animal shelters when the hype was over. Furthermore, rabbits need even more care than cats and dogs. Rabbits can not be just stuffed into a cage says Ashley Fruno, Asia representative for PETA. (source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/28/rabbits-threatened-by-zod_n_814822.html)
As with the recent chihuahua trend that originated from Hollywood (California) and led to widespread abuse and neglect of the chihuahua dogs, I believe that people need to rethink before deciding on a pet. People should definitely NOT be picking up a pet because the animal looks cute or brings luck, as I suspect many people are doing this year for rabbits.
Sadly, being adopted or purchased as pets for the wrong reasons are the least of the rabbits worries. Rabbits have become one of the most endangered animals on earth, and thousands face slaughter every single day for their meat or fur. Because meat is a much more multi-sided topic, I will only say that there is no justifiable reason for rabbits to be killed for their fur, which again happens every single day in fur farms.
- In France only, 70 million rabbits are slaughtered for their fur on fur farms.
- Rabbits are stunned with an electrical device before being hung upside to have their throats slit.
- Being stunned does not make rabbits unconscious, but instead as you can see in the video, they are aware of their pain and continue to struggle.
- Fur farms in China are just as cruel.
- In a Shang Dong region in China, as many as 2,000 rabbits are killed each day.
- They are hung by their foot upside down on a wire and have their throats slit by a knife while kicking and screaming.
- It takes 30 to 40 rabbits to make just one coat
- source: https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1137
Instead of loving and respecting rabbits this year, many are instead killing, eating, or testing on millions of these gentle creatures all over the world. Please keep a conscious mind about this matter this year and for years to come, because simply boycotting fur-brands or avoiding eating rabbit meat (when you're not facing life-death situations) can reduce demand and prevent more rabbits from being killed.
A last note: I do NOT believe in categorizing whole groups/ethnicities of people (Chinese, French) and attacking them simply because a small % of their people engage in animal cruelty. In this particular case for fur farming, I believe (1) you and I as consumers are responsible for generating demand and giving clothing companies incentive to outsource and pay people to kill animals, and (2) designers and clothing corporations who continue to use real fur are greedy, inhumane beings who needs to be pressured to change or go out of business. I only say such a harsh statement because many of them still refuse to drop real fur from their clothing even when they are aware of animal cruelty.
Donna Karan is one designer that knows about the suffering of rabbit in fur farms, yet she refuses to stop butchering them for their fur- find out more here: http://dkbunnybutcher.com/. Sign a petition against DK here.
Giorgio Armani continues using real fur in his new deigns, such as fur coats for babies and children. Sign a petition here.