Why Rabbits?

Editor’s Note: To honor the launch of the new rabbit.org on January 1st, 2024, Rabbit.org Foundation board member Marinell Harriman was asked to share her thoughts on this auspicious occasion.

WHEN WE ASPIRE to live in harmony with animal occupants of our planet, we may ask — why do rabbits, in particular, need special consideration?

In a perfect world, all animal inhabitants would be blessed with inherent or conferred protection and live in an environment conducive to survival and contentment. We want domestic rabbits to receive their fair share of protection.  Rabbits have had less than a fighting chance in civilizations with “humane” laws that are inconsistently applied.  They have existed in a no man’s land of ambiguity–classified as both companion animals and as livestock. They have been farmed, experimented on, eaten, worn, trivialized, and made into lucky charms or toys for other animals. Extensive breeding programs have produced a lot of them, but abundance does not coincide with quality of life for the species or its individuals.

Thanks to the persistence of caring rescuers and educators around the world, many human attitudes regarding rabbits have changed over the years.  Enlightened earth dwellers improve the lives of existing and future rabbits—by adopting them from shelters and rescuers into safe, loving, lifelong homes, that include play activity and medical care. By supporting the work of rescuers, we continue to spread the enlightenment.

  • 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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