Rabbit People: How we define ourselves 

To be a true rabbit person you must be more concerned that your bunnies are happy in their environment than you are with how well they meet your demands. You must have compassion, not only for your own bunnies but for their kindred as well. You must want the best for all of them. 

We rabbit people consider ourselves enlightened people, who are able to appreciate the intrinsic value of these often disregarded creatures. We care about what kind of lives they live, how appropriately their needs are met, and how humanely they are treated. Rabbit people help each other because we care about other people’s bunnies. We conscientiously share experiences and learn from each other. 

Rabbit people are anxious to get the best veterinary treatment available. Accumulating information on rabbits and seizing opportunities to educate the public, we are committed to elevating rabbits’ status in the world. 

More advanced rabbit people learn how to share their own space in a way that allows human and non-humans to live as equitably as possible. In her lecture at the Rabbit Center, and her article in the House Rabbit Journal, Margo DeMello exposes us to a philosophy that exonerates us for being what unenlightened people consider foolish. We may not choose to live in a “normal” house but one that meets our bunnies’ needs. 

“Changing one’s house to accommodate rabbits involves, at one level, trying to understand how rabbits see the world and a willingness to take up their culture as part of our own.” Applying this philosophy involves compromises, “in the form of baby gates, wrappings for electrical wires, and a tolerance for ruined things.”

As rabbit people, we take pride in our tolerance, as well as our bunnies’ inventiveness in renovating their surroundings. We laugh with each other about their accomplishments. When we are praised for our patience, kindness, or compassion, we turn our attention to the animals who evoke these traits in us. 

In trying to define rabbit people, we find it’s not about people at all. It’s about the rabbits who take over our hearts and inspire us.

  • Marinell Harriman

    Marinell Harriman is the author of The House Rabbit Handbook. Over the past 35 years she has fostered and rescued hundreds of rabbits. She has published numerous articles on house rabbit philosophy, care, and behavior. She has a special place in her heart for disabled and special needs rabbits.

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