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Thursday, September 23, 2010

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This is a big leap forward in evolution for all us meat lovers. Although, I don't if I could look a little bunny in the eyes and pull the plug. If you ever start raising pigs, can I come over for breakfast?

ahem, *you* killed it? (*coughcough*boyfriend*cough*)

I'm not sure how I feel about this, but then again, I hope to buy rabbit skull from you eventually, so I guess I'm not too weirded out. I think as long as you kill the bunnies instantly like you learned in class, then it's okay.

I'd much rather eat mushrooms and dandelions than a poor, defenseless rabbit. It's a *bunny*, for goodness sake. You can kill a bunny and then eat it??? That's simply treacherous to me. I love you & your comix, but I don't know about this...

Tay, do you eat any meat? If so, this is a much more humane way to live (and die) for any animal that's bound to be food. If you've ever seen a rabbit farm and how they handle the animals there, I think you would absolutely feel differently.

Martina will treat those rabbits with more love and respect than any other animal farm could. I personally couldn't do it, but I fully support Martina!

Will they stink up the yard? Because I don't think i can handle that. Otherwise I'm game (no pun intended). Let me know if you want to collaborate over my recipe for roasted rabbit saddle stuffed with rabbit heart and livers. It is awesome. Especially served over a warm salad of farro, frissee, yam brunois, and mushrooms served with a fantastic White Burgundy. Ask your father for something Puligny and 2000. We can have a party.

I think raising rabbits is one of the best ways to cycle the unused production from your garden to make high grade protein. Rabbit is the highest in protein of any meat and has no cholesterol. The rabbit manure is high quality fertilizer and can be put around the plants straight out of the rabbit. It requires no composting. No smell. There are no antibiotics or hormones used to create you own protein with home raised rabbits. I congratulate you on being able to take this step to provide for your own food supply. You are doing your part to lower your carbon foot print by producing at home and not consuming fuel to ship food from far away. You are also cutting back on the amount of fertilizers use to produce the food you consume. Synthetic fertilizers require fossil fuel to produce and organic fertilizers require fuel to be trucked from their point of origin to where they are used. Keep exploring and enjoy learning about what it takes to live.

Hey Tay-
I totally understand that this is a tough idea for some people, and I appreciate your comment.

I want to point out that a rabbit is no more "defenseless" than the cows and pigs that are slaughtered every day in the big business of the meat industry. At least my rabbits are dying a painless, humane death... more than can be said for big slaughterhouses.

I think people have trouble with rabbits because of the cute factor. We have to remember that both food and pets are cultural: in America we eat pigs and love our pet dogs, but in other countries, they are appalled at the idea of eating pigs and dine on dogs regularly.

Leif,
They really shouldn't be too smelly. Just like any other pet, I'm sure the cage can get a bit musky if I don't clean it often enough, but rabbit poos have no smell.

Now, when it comes to slaughter time, I'm going to be EXTREMELY clean and careful so as not to contaminate the yard. That shouldn't smell unless I'm careless and leave rabbit guts on the ground.

I wanna help with the slaughter please.

I remember when Martina first told me she was planning to raise and slaughter rabbits in her Brooklyn urban farm. As an animal lover, my first reaction was sadness, but over time I realized my gut reaction wasn't necessarily the fair reaction.

I've struggled over the years with the decision to eat or not to eat meat. What I've learned is that being black and white about the topic doesn't move us forward. Eating meat shouldn't be the debate we consume ourselves with, but rather, we should be more concerned with how we can eat responsibly.

Living responsibly doesn't stop at cloth bags and energy efficient light bulbs. If you think about it, how and what we eat is as much a culprit for our current environmental state as driving a Hummer. As Martina mentioned in her post, the modern meat industry is one of the most poorly regulated industries in the U.S. What we allow companies to do to animals so that we can order a burger for under a dollar is proof of how far we have regressed as a society.

If you're able and willing to provide your own food, I say more power to you. Locally farmed and raised foods are the only way to ensure that you are not only eating healthy, but the food you are eating isn't destroying the planet. And while I won't be partaking in a homemade rabbit stew, I truly believe you can't judge others for doing so, as long as they are raising and killing their food responsibly.

There is some hope that people will get over that they are 'Bunnies'. Small localized production of meat is a step to a substantial and high quality food supply. This was posted on CL Humboldt CA

Rabbit Meat (Humboldt)
Date: 2010-10-12, 7:24AM PDT
Reply to: sale-4ff8w-2001988691@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Hello! I was just curious as to whether there is a market for rabbit meat in this area. With so many health-conscious individuals in humboldt county, I would think it would be more popular? Rabbit meat is the best meat known to man. Of Rabbit, chicken, veal, pork, lamb, and beef, Rabbit is lowest in cholesterol, calories and fat, highest in protien, and tastes much like chicken. It's a very sustainable meat as well. A single doe rabbit can produce more meat than a cow annually. It's easy to cook if you follow some rules about cooking low-fat meat, and it could be fairly cheap providing there is an adequate market for it. We have enormous respect for all animals and our rabbits would be treated with the highest degree of care possible. They would not live indoors in tiny cages suspended from the ceiling, but rather outdoors, eating fresh grass, in large enclosures. Send me a quick email just saying "Yes, I wish rabbit was more available" or "No, why would you eat bunnies?". Thanks Humboldt!

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I am a vegetarian and an environmentalist. And your quest is commendable in its determination, straightforwardness and honesty. I haven't been always a vegetarian, and neither am I a fanatic. For survival, if need be, I am all for meat consumption. But there is a huge distance between the need to survive in a dire situation/catastrophe and regular everyday/lifestyle meat consumption.

So I will not try to say anything against meat eating, but I will comment on the healthiness of rabbit meat, with something that I know from nutritionists and veterinarians:

In order to get sufficient nutrients from the plants that it eats, the rabbit has to ferment what it has eaten. For this to happen, as you perhpas have noticed, from dissection/slaughter, the rabbit needs a chamber for fermentation with an alkaline environment. Since the rabbit doesn't have a pre-stomach like the bovines do, it uses its enlarged caecum. Its caecum is sandwiched between its gut and rectum and most of the absorbtion of the nutrients takes place there. When the rabbit redigests this material, it becomes coprophagous, that is its own excrements. As a result rabbit meat has a higher level of toxines than other herbivores - bile salts, fatty acids, gases, and ammonia levels are all at unrecommended/unacceptable levels for human consumption. All rodents, and even the horse (consumed in Italy for example), fall into the same category.

Why not think of hens for example, as they are simpler, its still low cholesterol meat...?

And if the subjective preference for the taste is a strong motivation, I would like to share my subjective viewpoint on meat eating and taste: Although I do remember some delicious meat dishes that I liked in particular years back, without having any bias against meat eating, when I've recently to eat the same delicious dishes, I didn't get the same feeling. My taste-buds unlearned/forgot/became so unaccustomed to that particular taste that I realized that I don't like that taste anymore.

Good luck in your well thought endeavours! From Europe:)

Laurentiu, I actually chose rabbits because they are the only animal I can legally raise and slaughter in my own yard in New York City. There are many other meats that are more versatile for cooking (and yummier), but rabbit meat is the one that I can do entirely on my own from start to finish.

Also, I appreciate everyone's comments, and I'd just like to say that we are fortunate to be in the position where we can have this conversation at all. We can actually make decisions about what we do and don't want to eat, instead of worrying if we will even find enough food to eat today.

I started the same way... I grew gardens in my backyard because I loved the fresh produce! I then added ducks to the equation (letting them in the garden during the off season). Then I added rabbits. I have been raising rabbits for meat ever since! After graduating with a degree in biology I began studying rabbit nutrition and now I have put together a free e-mail mini course on breeding and raising rabbit that I know you'll find helpful. Check it out at www.naturalrabbitfood.com

I too, understand the cycle of sustainable production that can be attained by raising rabbits. I have spent portions of my life as a vegan and my initial reaction to the slaughter of an animal is repulsion. However, I find myself eating meat these days. If you eat meat, you should meet your meat before it meets its maker. I watched a slaughter video of a rabbit. After I got over the shock of watching the life drain out of the creature, I saw that is was skinned and ready for cooking in a few minutes. If the rabbit is stunned unknowingly, the death is simple and causes no suffering. I am in New York also and I find myself researching the raising of rabbits all the time lately. I would love to see your operation! Good luck!

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Hi! My name is Martina and I have a "farm" in my New York City backyard called FarmTina.

My definition of "farm" is really just a living space that brings together home grown vegetables & fruits, animals, flowers & trees, and concoctions that use all of these ingredients together... read more