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We must eat more rabbits!

BBC Rabbit stew

BBC Rabbit stew

What a great Twitter row about Jeanette Winterson eating the thieving rabbit who ate her parsley. Here are some interesting facts/thoughts about rabbits.

The parsley eating rabbit had a life 10 times richer that the average intensively farmed chicken, pig or cow.

Rabbit meat is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than chicken, pork and beef

Rabbits can start breeding as early as 3-4 months of age and the gestation period for a rabbit averages 31 days. So one female rabbit could produce 300+ baby rabbits (kits) in its lifetime.

Rabbit proof fence, Western Australia.

Rabbit proof fence, Western Australia.

This was a huge problem when 24 rabbits were introduced to Eastern Australia in 1859. By 1905 they had become such a menace that the government in Western Australia had to build a rabbit proof fence 1,138 miles long to keep the rabbits off the farm land. That’s 30% further than Land’s End to John o’ Groats!

When the fence failed, the Myxomatosis was introduced. It was first observed in Uruguay in laboratory rabbits in the late 19th century and first field-tested for population control in 1938. A full-scale release was performed in 1950. It was devastatingly effective, reducing the estimated rabbit population from 600 million to 100 million in two years.

In the UK our farmers have cut their staff levels so much in the last 20 years that ditches and hedges are no longer managed allowing rabbits to colonise.



The important and growing popularity of ‘Grow Your Own’ means that thousands of people will lose their carefully grown crops to rabbits and may lose interest.

The popularity of rabbit as a regularly eaten meat has dropped dramatically over the last 20 years.

Some say that unless you are prepared to skin and eat a rabbit, or watch the meat you eat slaughtered and butchered you are a hypocryt to eat meat.

Looks to me like we should get rabbit back on the menu and learn how to catch, skin and eat. For ourselves and pets!

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