Equal Hoppertunity

Jul 10, 2011 by

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Equal Hoppertunity is throwing down a thought-provoking challenge for you: “Forget everything you know about rabbits.”

But what do you really know about rabbits? They’re great for Easter? They eat carrots?

Most of the people who I’ve spoken to are under the impression that rabbits are boring, easy to take care of, some kind of rodent, stupid or even worse, dinner.

But anyone who’s ever opened their hearts and home to a bunny or two, understands their true nature: They’re rambunctious, entertaining, tough, loving, affectionate, angry, intelligent and otherwise beautiful creatures.

According to “Why Does My Rabbit?” written by Anne McBride, “The rabbit was the third most popular mammalian pet in the UK (Cat #1 and Dog #2) with over 1.4 million kept as pets in the UK.” So I know that I’m not in the minority in my thinking.

Despite their growing popularity, rabbits are often misunderstood, overlooked and even mistaken for rodents (They’re Lagomorphs!).

That’s where Rebecca Sansom and her eye-opening bunny-friendly documentary Equal Hoppertunity come in.

In the film, Sansom and her partner Jen West dress up as “bunny crusaders” complete with floppy bunny ears and weapons of choice to defend bunnykind’s honor.

As they hop around Huntsville and Birmingham, AL., they hoped to educate the public about our long-eared friends and find out more from about the people who love them.

Equal Hoppertunity combines comical Jay Leno-esque “man on the street” style Q & A, with cut-scenes of cartoons, educational interviews with rabbit experts, plenty of happy bunny b-roll and entertaining interludes with the popular dynamic duo, Buns and Chou Chou of Rabbit Bites.

What they discover is disheartening, but sadly not surprising – most people don’t care or don’t know much about our furry little friends.

Sansom & West have to sift through quizzical looks, misinformation and the occasional cruel and unnecessary comment about bunny stew.

The bunny crusaders continue on their quest and ask the people who enforce animal rights laws what can be done to help stop animal cruelty and the sale of underage rabbits.

They learn that despite the fact that there are many laws in place, there aren’t enough people to enforce it. So the sales continue and many underage bunnies are taken away from their mothers too young and end up dying.

If that doesn’t kill them, the misinformation provided by the clueless pet store workers will.

On the other end of the spectrum we meet Ruth Fledermaus of the Huntsville Friends of Rabbits, Linda Howard from Alabama EARS/Alabama HRS and Dr. Alvin Atlas of the Riverview Animal Clinic.

They each offer insight and advice about the true nature of rabbits, as well as their own unfortunate experiences with rabbit that were mistreated, died due to lack of information or worse from misinformation.

In an eye-opening scene, the crusaders decide to visit an rabbit farm, where hundreds of caged, dirty and terrified rabbits are trapped in tiny cages stacked up next to one another, not unlike the film the Matrix. A heart-wrenching fearful scream that I’ll never be able to get out of my head, is heard when one of the poor rabbits is pulled out of its cage.

For those that are unaware, this scream is referred to as the “Death Scream” due to the fact that rabbits only make this sound when they believe that they are going to die. It’s so disconcerting that when other rabbits hear it, it causes them to panic and become hysterical.

In fact, PETA is using this horrible sound to protest Donna Karan’s continued use of rabbit fur in her clothing line.

The film concludes with a heartwarming ending that is sure to bring tears to your eyes and possibly restore a little faith in your hope that rabbits may some day get an Equal Hoppertunity.

Equal Hoppertunity is a great introductory documentary for anyone who is curious about bunnies or a bunny owner that is looking to understand the complex nature of their curious little furball.

by Kara Ogushi of Rabbit Reporter

For more information about Equal Hopportunity visit their website.