Earlier this summer Whole Foods decided to launch a pilot program that put rabbit meat on its store shelves at select locations across the country, but the move isn't sitting well with animal lovers who are calling on the store to shut the program down.
It's not that bunnies are worth saving from dinner plates and soup bowls because they're super cute, even though they obviously are, or that they're more important than the billions of other animals we raise and ruthlessly slaughter for their flesh every year. There are many other problems with the move to raise and kill a breed of rabbit we keep as pets that have both animal lovers and rabbit advocates reeling.
The store claims that it has developed new humane standards for raising meat rabbits, but they're open to the same problems that already plague a relatively small industry and there's nothing humane about adding to the number of animals raised and killed every year for their meat. These so called standards will also be virtually impossible for the store to ensure or enforce.
It's also setting a dangerous precedent by marking the first time a major retailer in the U.S. has put an animal that most of us consider a pet on its shelves in an attempt to popularize it and make a profit, which animal advocates believe will help start a cruel trend by creating a demand for another animal product that most people really had no interest in.
Please sign the petition asking Whole Foods to do the only "humane" thing it can: stop contributing to the growing number of animals raised and killed for food every year by shutting this program down.
As someone who is concerned with animal welfare, I was outraged to learn that Whole Foods is testing a pilot program selling rabbit meat at select store locations throughout the U.S. and am writing to ask that you reconsider.
While you claim the move was in response to "lots of customers" demanding rabbit meat, far more people are offended that you would choose to support the raising and killing of an animal that most people in this country consider a pet.
However, it's not only that rabbits are seen as companion animals that makes this move so incredibly insensitive as it is the precedent your store, which is seen as a place for caring consumers to shop, is setting by attempting to popularize it and make a profit, which will help start a cruel trend by creating a demand for another animal product that most people really had no interest in.
Claiming that years were spent to create "humane standards" for keeping and killing an otherwise smart, sensitive, social and loving species, is also insulting and clearly a pathetic attempt at humane-washing, which will be virtually impossible for you to enforce or ensure.
I sincerely hope that Whole Foods will stand by its loyal customers who are asking that this program be ended and will not be shopping there until you do.