• Wrong in so many ways. Interesting concept, but just wrong.

  • Dave Riley

    Here in Australia rabbits are an environmental disaster. Read review. They aren’t cute at all.

    In 1950 the Australian Rabbit population had increased so much that Myxomatosis (a severe viral disease) was deliberately introduced into Australia and released into the population which caused a drop of around 500 million, this still left the population at about (?) 100 million. By 1991 the population had recovered to about 200-300 million due to genetic resistance…Then another virus — calicivirus — was ‘accidental ‘ released in 1996.

    So while the only good rabbit is a dead rabbit — they do , nonetheless, make good eating. I love rabbits and used to breed them for consumption. In terms of garbage recycling — esp green wastes — rabbits make a viable alternative to keeping chickens or pigs.

    They grow fast, breed like …rabbits — and don’t require much husbandry. Rabbit dung is much easier to harvest than from these other critters too. However, in my present state of Queensland rabbit keeping is banned.

    But rabbits make great paella . and unfortunately that are now rather expensive — now grown commercially on a couple of rabbit farms in the country.

    Here during the Great Depression many unemployed hunted and sold rabbits as a income stream and the main city markets, when I was growing up , always had rabbiter stalls — which sold wild rabbit. Unfortunately the viruses have gutted the industry and rabbits are no longer easily available or standard tucker.

    (But give me a chance to hunt, gut and skin one — and we’ll be eating grand. They are easier to preepare for the table than chicken)

    I think maybe there is a place for rabbit in a sustainable future. (Like the guinea pigs in Peru which live in the kictehn and are fed kitchen scraps). There are many great French and Spanish recipes that feature rabbits and domestically grown rabbits are better tasting than chicken or pork. Wild rabbit is a slightly gamey in taste and can be stringy.

    The fur is excellent too and is easily tanned for later use — it makes great lining for gloves or a hat. Here the famous Akubra hat is made from rabbit fur felt.

    So it is a great crime to just burn them — when you can eat them or wear them around town.

    And if they didn’t breed so much they’d make great pets too…And boy! Do they love the breeding business!

  • DJ

    Out here what we have most is the jackrabbit– not so good for eating, and a carrier of tularemia or “rabbit fever.” I’ve seen websites claiming that you can cook them safely and end up with an “edible” result, but cottontails or snowshoe hares they are not.

    We have an overpopulation, primarily because ranchers kill coyotes on sight, eliminating the jackrabbit’s major predator. However, the population rises and falls on a cycle. Apparently, disease thins out the population every few years and the cycle starts over. When we first moved here five years ago, it wasn’t unusual to see 30-40 jackrabbits running across our road when we came home at night. Now we see two or three. I’m sure that’ll increase again over time.

    The problem with jackrabbits is, they eat anything. Our 20 acres of rangeland was ravaged when we bought it. The rabbits trashed our garden, and when we put in “rabbit repelling” plants, they ate those too.

    We don’t kill coyotes. If they threatened our llivestock, sure, but in five years that hasn’t happened. We consider jackrabbits a worse threat to our sustainable existence than coyotes. And yes, I shoot jackrabbits when the population is high. I consider it self defense. If they could be a source of renewable energy, Utah might becaome the clean energy capitol of the world!

    • As I recall, one of your dogs likes jackrabbit for breakfast.

      • DJ

        Indeed she does– and she’s fast enough (or persistent enough) to catch one.

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