Jun 30, 2014

Officials at Whole Foods Market Inc. have responded to a complaint about the sales of rabbit meat at the grocer’s Northern California stores.

Rabbit meat has been consumed by humans for a very long time and is having a resurgence in American dining, according to a company statement released on Friday (and posted below). Whole Foods also claimed to work closely with its supplier to ensure high standards for the treatment of rabbits that are bred to be consumed.

The statement was a response to a call for a Whole Foods boycott from Richmond-based House Rabbit Society, which in its own statement called the rabbit “the third most popular companion mammal” after cats and dogs.

Whole Foods also provided a link to this Los Angeles Times article on the recent rabbit meat “renaissance.” Here’s a notable paragraph from the article:

“At a time when buzzwords like ‘organic,’ ‘local” and “sustainable’ are driving the market, rabbit is ripe for resurgence. According to Slow Food USA, rabbit can produce 6 pounds of meat using the same amount of food and water it takes for a cow to produce only 1 pound. Not to mention the health benefits. Rabbit is a lean meat that is higher in protein but lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than many other meats, including chicken, beef and pork.”

Here’s the full statement from Liz Fry of the Whole Foods Global Quality Standards Team.



  1. So if eating dog was popular Whole Foods would sell that as well? I’m extremely disappointed in this response. I will never shop at Whole Foods again.

    Stephanie Lodge | Jun 30th, 2014
  2. I don’t eat pork but that doesn’t mean I boycott all stores that sell it. Whole Foods takes great care in ensuring its animals are humanely raised and healthy for its customers. Rabbits are prey animals – food. Yes, they make wonderful pets – I have one at my feet as I write this. But the truth is that they can be raised for food with virtually no environmental impact and provide a lean, healthy protein that has been a staple food for hundreds of years in America and around the world.

    Suzy Homesteader | Jul 1st, 2014
  3. Animals shouldn’t be eaten period. I don’t give a shit how “humanely” they’re treated the end result is still murder. You don’t need animals for protein numerous healthier sources for protein.

    Kat | Dec 17th, 2014
  4. MMMMMMM lets all just eat tofu

    Delay | Feb 10th, 2015
  5. Eating animals is a personal decision. Lets keep it that way. Like my grandpa used to say “opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one and they all stink.”

    Bruce | Feb 20th, 2015
  6. Is it safe to assume you are pro-life?

    Kymberly | Jul 1st, 2014
  7. Approximately half the existing rabbit breeds would no longer exist if not for breeders that breed them, they are called meat breeds for a reason. These are the breeds that you would never see in a pet store. Rabbits were domesticated to be food, period. Now there are fancy breeds but they are not what we are talking about here. No one is talking about serving up peoples pets here. They are a prey animal, dogs and cats are not.

    Fluffy Bunnies | Aug 10th, 2014
  8. There are THOUSANDS of New Zealands and California breed rabbits as adopted as pets every year. They are all over shelters and rabbit rescues, and they are considered the “golden retriever” of bunnies for their gentle nature. Sorry, everything is now a prey animal because people just eat everything. Whole Foods wants an easy profit, and will now advertise it as the next best thing. It’s SICK. Just SICK.

    BB | Aug 15th, 2014
  9. – “Sorry, everything is now a prey animal because people just eat everything. ”

    What a thoroughly stupid comment. Rabbits have ALWAYS been a prey animal, and have been (and still are in most of the rest of the world) a common…even staple…source of protein for human consumption for millenia. Keeping them as “pets” is actually far less common, and is…relatively speaking…a very recent phenomenon.

    WuzYoungOnceToo | Aug 18th, 2014
  10. The marketing and PR spin of “humane standards” for rabbit slaughter by “Whole Foods” is unabashed green-washing. In reality, Whole Foods is attempting to jack up demand for a new meat source. Adding rabbit meat dramatically increases the number of animals bred and slaughtered specifically for consumption. A new source of animal torture and slaughter is NOT “sustainable”). Whole Foods will also be directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of companion breed animals and the “leader” in growing this cruel trend.

    When I asked about the disappearing ocean species they were stocking, swordfish and orange roughy, which not even WalMart would stock, whole food
    managers essentially just said “it’s all sustainable” and practically flipped
    me off. Whole Foods management are very vicious and unethical when it comes to profits. You will lie and greenwash and insult your customers. Watch out Whole
    Foods, that kind of attitude will boomerang on you in a bad way. I want you to
    go bankrupt now.

    Mark | Sep 1st, 2014
  11. IF eating dog was popular here in the United States, for whatever reason, Whole Foods as well as every other market driven grocery establishment WOULD indeed sell it. Whole Foods is being demonized by pet rabbit extremist groups that threaten to never shop there again. Big whoop! >.< I have the largest meat rabbit group on the Internet. http://www.fb.com/groups/backyard.meat.rabbits It is that size because it IS what the PEOPLE want it to be. A no-drama place to learn about raising rabbits as food. The PEOPLE want that! The majority. The largest part of the population. Every time somebunny gets a bug up their butt and quits my group in a huff (they do) they think they are really hurting me. The reality is, there are always 25-50 people waiting to be screened that want to JOIN every time one of these sadly misguided extremist sheeple, led by a few terrorists that are laughing whilst they take money from these sheeple's purses. It really doesn't hurt me one bit, nor will they hurt Whole Foods or any other food establishment that sells what the PEOPLE want.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Aug 15th, 2014
  12. How aptly you are named Mr. Craven! And if jumping on bandwagons were a career you would be at the top of yours. Fortunately, the laws of karma cannot be circumvented nor its judges “bought off”. Be certain that monetary gain is all that truly seek from this life before it is too late to change your ways.
    1. contemptibly lacking in courage; cowardly.
    “a craven abdication of his moral duty”
    synonyms: cowardly, lily-livered, faint-hearted, chicken-hearted, spineless, timid, timorous, fearful, pusillanimous, weak, feeble

    1. a cowardly person.

    Misty Lages | Oct 23rd, 2014
  13. do you really want to play this “game” misty?

    indistinct or dim in outline

    if you wanted to i could call you dim and leave at that. but no im above that. Also karma isn’t a law. That is just asinine to assume. Good people dont always get the goods in life and bad people always dont get punished. He said rabbit meat was/is popular. (and it is) and people want to consume it. Just for you im going to shoot an additional rabbit when i go rabbit hunting!

    Aron Hasler | Jan 12th, 2015
  14. Just because a large part of the population consists of morons does not justify anything. You better bet when a large amount of people stop shopping somewhere they will eventually lose money. Just like Sea World is losing money and exactly how places go out of business. Also karma is a bitch and will find you nasty pricks and punish you for being evil cold hearted humans.

    Kat | Dec 17th, 2014
  15. So you can kill cows chickens and pigs, all nice cute fuzzy little animals. Yet bunnies get some kind of special treatment. Thats like saying you can kill and eat Japanese, Mexicans, germans and Americans but not Chinese. Also its a ton more economical to grow and eat bunnies than most other meats because they breed like fricken rabbits. Its not like whole foods is destroying an entire species….

    Anon | Aug 23rd, 2014
  16. Just because a place sells something you don’t like, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Stores across the country sell cigarettes. Now which is more dangerous, smoking or eating rabbit. Your misguided excuse to be self righteous over a poor excuse of a topic is mind blowing. How about alcohol, causes liver damage, or ibuprofen can cause kidney damage. And in some countries, dog IS eaten, particularly in areas of Asia. As for not shopping at Whole Foods again, I’m pretty sure they won’t go bankrupt over that. Have a nice day.

    Jason Moffit | Aug 24th, 2014
  17. Go shop at walmart then… Good Day!!!
    Eating dog is not the topic…

    Joe | Jan 26th, 2015
  18. And no one besides the other nutty members of your animal rights gang will care.

    That Guy | Feb 5th, 2015
  19. I guess that Whole Foods will start to sell dogs and cats next? I eat a strictly organic diet but will be taking my business elsewhere.

    Jenni | Jun 30th, 2014
  20. Unless your organic diet consists of all hand-planted and hand-picked grains, fruits and veggies – countless rabbits have been killed and mutilated by the farm equipment used to produce your food. Rabbits were prey animals and food long before they were ever kept as pets. If not for rabbit meat, hundreds of thousands of Americans would have died of starvation during WWI, WWII and the Great Depression.

    Suzy Homesteader | Jul 1st, 2014
  21. Goodbye, Whole Foods. Hello, Costco and Trader Joe’s. We don’t need your corporate cr*p any more, Whole Foods. I doubt the amount of money you make selling rabbit corpses will offset the tens of thousands of dollars that rabbit lovers WOULD have spent at your stores. They have the same (or better) products at better prices, anyway. SHAME ON YOU, Whole Foods. SHAME.

    Dana Krempels | Jun 30th, 2014
  22. Also say goodbye to Andronico’s and Berkeley Bowl. They have been selling rabbit for years.

    I applaud Whole Foods for standing up to to this protest by a fringe group and offering a protein source that is lean, healthy, sustainable, and one that has a lighter environmental impact that other animals.

    If they offered goat, would you also boycott Whole Foods? That is the most consumed land animal protein in the world.

    Armitage Shanks | Jul 1st, 2014
  23. So, you don’t care if other stores sell rabbit, only that Whole Foods does. I would be willing to bet that Whole Foods rabbits are raised a lot more humanely than Costco rabbits. Many rabbits found in grocery stores are imported from China. I won’t even begin to say what happens to other animals when they are slaughtered. I would much rather have humanely raise meat, even if it comes from something cute. I don’t think looks should factor into the decision whether a living thing should live or die.


    Jen | Jul 2nd, 2014
  24. THANK YOU DANA. You helped me with a rescue bunny twelve years ago (which saved her life). Sadly we lost her last Spring.

    This decision by Whole Foods is not only shameful, but an utterly idiotic business decision. The business you will lose (which WILL be sustained until you come to your senses and rectify this Godawful mess you’ve gotten yourselves into) will end up being far greater than any potential business it will bring in to your stores.

    Bottom line: bunny lovers (and we are much greater in numbers than perhaps you suspect) will NEVER STOP PROTESTING YOUR HORRIFIC
    BEHAVIOR/DECISION. And the fact is YOU need US a lot more than we need you.

    BTW, I’m not believing your spin regarding ‘a resurgence in American dining’ one bit. You’re attempting to create a market for bunny meat so you can pad your bottom line. It’s that simple. And that disgusting.

    Your Short Pump, VA store will miss me. Health nut, vegan. Young, willing to pay your prices, foodie, & healthy. I AM your target customer base.

    robin scheu | Aug 18th, 2014
  25. you save a rabbits life…. IT WILL STILL DIE… IT JUST WONT HELP HUMANITY

    Anon | Aug 23rd, 2014
  26. Oh please, get over yourself. You and your self righteous bunny huggers are not going to make a dent in Whole Foods Market’s profits. If you don’t want to shop there, don’t! That just means easier lines for those that don’t have their underwear all in a wad over something so stupid. Some fine dining establishments across the country have been using rabbit for years. It is really tasty and far healthier than other protein sources commonly used. And also did you know that in a lot of areas, rabbits are considered a nuisance animal? In Texas alone, rabbit season is open year round. So even IF they stopped carrying it, people can go hunt them. You are just bent out of shape over something so minuscule, it’s rather funny to read. Maybe you are upset because someone is eating Bugs Bunny or Roger Rabbit and your a fan of theirs. Laughable, completely laughable.

    Jason Moffit | Aug 24th, 2014
  27. My rabbits and my husband and I loved your store, most especially for its organic and produce choices. For years I hoped you would come to our town and save me from having to drive to other towns to shop. Well, you’ve saved me the drive now. Just not in the way I ever expected.

    There are people around the world who consume dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other animals and birds that many of us look on as pets, the reality being that for many of them there is no other available protein. We don’t have that problem in the United States. So, really, you have to add a pet species to your lineup? I can hardly believe you’re doing this.

    Nancy Ainsworth | Jun 30th, 2014
  28. Nancy, the reality is, that many people here in the US do not have affordable access to quality meat. My family is one of those. We started raising rabbits as a meat source, as well as chicken, and soon pigs, in order to feed our family. The meat from the grocery store has skyrocketed in price. I have learned that raising my own meat has lead to a better understanding of what it means to be human. To be a true part of the cycle of life. To take responsibility for my existence, and the needs of my body and my family’s bodies. I do not like to dispatch any animal, but I am thankful for it’s sacrifice, and I make sure I tell the animal just that. I take care of my animals as if they were pets, they get a great deal of attention and care. My family does not take any of this lightly as you infer. We are just simply surviving in a world that is less and less connected to what sustains it.

    Homesteading4Survival | Jul 1st, 2014
  29. I agree heartily that people are disconnected from the origins of their food. I believe that if more people were forced to participate in raising and killing their meat sources that there would be way more vegetarians. That said, you and many others have found a way to do it and that does make you more connected to what you eat, but also less apt to buy meat at Whole Foods since you are already providing what you need, less expensively. I can’t see Whole Foods making money this way but of course they can do what they want.. It’s a free world. I just won’t shop there again because I disagree with their decision to sell rabbit meat, again, my choice, free world.

    Nancy Ainsworth | Jul 2nd, 2014
  30. Sorry but rabbit is livestock. People just also like as pet just like many people keep cows, pigs and other livestock as pets. Now do we stop eating cows because a few people think they are pets?

    eth | Jul 31st, 2014
  31. Its not a few people, rabbits are the third most surrendered pet…PET right behind dogs and cats. Just because something has been done for a long time does not mean its right, this livestock classification is dated. This fight at its core is about giving rabbits the rights that dogs and cats have because thankfully many humans have evolved enough to realize that rabbits have the same intelligence as them.

    tree | Aug 5th, 2014
  32. – “because thankfully many humans have evolved enough to realize that rabbits have the same intelligence as them.”

    Well…the same intelligence as *you”, anyway.

    WuzYoungOnceToo | Aug 18th, 2014
  33. Rabbits are definitely NOT livestock. We shared our home with a house bunny for twelve years. No difference in our hearts and minds between our bunny and our two dogs and two cats (all rescues btw). Drove fifty miles to a rabbit savvy vet. I’m “thinking” perhaps one factor that has caught Whole Foods, as well as,some people off guard is the fact that there are so many people who have rabbits as pets. Rabbits crossed the line regarding “prey animals” and/or livestock years ago. In today’s world they are beloved pets. And they make absolutely wonderful pets at that.

    Whole Foods should have conducted much more extensive research on this subject before they made this insensitive and utterly shameful decision. They can release press releases until they’ve reached exhaustion, but they WILL regret what they’ve done. Just a matter of time. Animal lovers will never back down. And we buy food. Right now you’ve bought your business a whole boat load of pure controversy. How’s that working out for you? Hard to sell your “wholesome” image while you’re killing and selling the third most popular pet in America.

    robin | Aug 19th, 2014
  34. Publix sells rabbit meat, and they are one of the fastest growing Supermarket chains in the United States. The Paleo diet is the most searched for diet on the internet again, and Paleo people love rabbit. Sorry, but whatever hang up you and your weirdo friends have about eating rabbit doesn’t translate to the general population. Whole Foods will benefit from this decision, and they will benefit even more if they start offering better offal selection and selling duck fat, tallow, and lard.

    FatDrunkAndStupid | Aug 24th, 2014
  35. That rabbits have the same intelligence as humans? Or maybe just some humans…I can get behind that. But if they’re as intelligent as us, shouldn’t we be concerned regarding our place dropping on the food chain?

    CAnative | Jan 10th, 2015
  36. “Third most surrendered” because people get one as a pet — ’cause it’s so cute! — and then get fed up with cleaning up after a stupid animal that does nothing but turn veggies into poo.

    That Guy | Feb 5th, 2015
  37. Do people really not realize that rabbits are traditionally a meat animal? Long before they gained popularity as a pet, they were raised for meat. Rabbit meat is an extremely dense meat, so five pounds of rabbit feeds several more people than five pounds of chicken does. It’s also a very easy-to-digest protein and is one of the few protein sources for people with certain illnesses, including stomach cancers. Whole Foods isn’t a front-runner in providing rabbit meat in its meat cases; the rabbit butcher houses in the U.S. all note that the demand is higher than the supply.
    Oh…and the third most popular pet on shelter surveys is “other”. The surveys have check-boxes for “dog”, “cat” and “other”. “other” includes hamsters, rats, birds…and of course, rabbits.
    BTW…an Angus calf is adorably cuddly too. I don’t see anyone here complaining that Whole Foods carries COW meat!

    Dawn | Aug 2nd, 2014
  38. Disturbing. I agree with the above comments. Shall we prepare ourselves and our children to see dog, cat, guinea pig, hamster, chinchilla and many other domesticated animal meats on your shelves? This is disgusting. The foreign countries who sell these types of meats have no other choice! America has enough meat for it’s on good, and quite frankly, more and more people are going vegetarian. People DO NOT need to consume yet another species, that wants to live and enjoy life just as much as you do. Look at your dog, cat or other pet and imagine seeing THEM hacked into parts brutally, being put on sale, fried with some seasoning and in shoved down the greedy mouth of some heartless American who then lays on the couch patting there belly and not blinking an eye at who they’ve just eaten. Will never shop at Whole Foods again, you folks have just lost SO much business. You’ve lost way more than you’re going to bring in by selling pets.

    Emily | Jun 30th, 2014
  39. Rabbits are for meat much more than pets. The meat is the healthiest meat you can eat. I just wish there was a Whole Foods store near me.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  40. My dog and cat LOVE rabbit meat.

    Suzy Homesteader | Jul 1st, 2014
  41. “America has enough meat for it’s own good”, while I can agree that yes, we have access to a lot of varieties of meat, your statement is doesn’t seem to take in to account a couple of things.
    -Rabbits were food WAY before pets in America
    -I can safely say that MY rabbits ate healthy and were happy and well taken care of (Whole foods standards show the same) AND are a healthy alternative to the crap GMO grain fed cattle that are currently available to the majority of America
    -I do not brutally “hack” my rabbits into bits and pieces. They are humanely slaughtered, in as quick a manner as a bolt gun to the head of cattle.
    -You’re going to in essence “discriminate” (for lack of a better word) against a store because you don’t like that it sells “Thumper”? While I can appreciate your personal choice not to eat rabbit, I don’t like the hotdogs with animal “offal” in it at my local supermarket. Do I not shop there? Nope, I just don’t buy their hotdogs 🙂

    Gypsy Girl | Jul 1st, 2014
  42. “Rabbits were food WAY before pets in America” good job that’s the same attitude that fueled slavery…

    tree | Aug 5th, 2014
  43. – “good job that’s the same attitude that fueled slavery”


    Is there an equivalent to Godwin’s Law for stupid comments like that one?

    WuzYoungOnceToo | Aug 18th, 2014
  44. Hahahahaha lmao wow, get a grip. Talk about going off on a tangent. Comparing eating rabbit to slavery? Really? An animal that is considered in most places across the globe to be considered a nuisance animal? That has been used as a food source for generations, BEFORE slavery. Tell you what, you go ahead and keep eating tree bark and leaves, Tree (snickers) and shop somewhere else while your at it, you won’t be missed. Have a nice day ^^

    Jason Moffit | Aug 24th, 2014
  45. Remember the food chain? You see….rabbits are what are called “prey animals”. THEY ARE FOOD. It’s not disgusting….it’s life. They aren’t pets, they’re livestock! Cows and pigs are intelligent, cute, playful, curious, etc. Do you have a problem with America eating them?

    The “meat” that the majority of America is eating is GMO crap. It’s the reason Autism is on the rise and why cancer is becoming all to common, especially with youth! Whole Food’s rabbits are GMO-free, and offer a great opportunity for those who do not raise their own meat to buy a healthy, full meal for their family. A bit pricy, but I raise my own anyways.

    I think America has become too ignorant. Ungrateful….many countries do not have access to healthy raised animals like the GMO-free ones Whole Foods sells. But you think that we should not eat them because they make good pets (sometimes) and are cute? THAT, is what’s disgusting.

    All animals die sometime or another………these rabbits live in good conditions and enjoy life until the day of slaughter.

    Mackenzie | Aug 4th, 2014
  46. The LAST thing we need to be doing in this country is ADDING additional food items in any grocery store considering our current obesity stats.

    We can live without bunny meat. God knows we can LIVE and enjoy a higher quality of life period if we would begin eliminating meat and processed foods.

    Surely, you REALLY don’t believe that these ‘rabbits live in good conditions and enjoy life until the day they’re slaughered’. What we do to animals in this country for our own consumption is beyond horrific.

    robin scheu | Aug 18th, 2014
  47. I certainly hope no one wants to eat chinchilla…they’re to be worn.

    CAnative | Jan 10th, 2015
  48. Wow. I am shocked by this sad news. Luckily there are plenty of other places to give my business to these days. Vitacost.com has all of your health and beauty products much cheaper anyway. It’s a shame because I truly did enjoy shopping at your store. 🙁

    Debbie | Jun 30th, 2014
  49. Cows can be pets but I bet you eat beef.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  50. Sorry Carol, but you are wrong.
    I do not eat or wear anything that comes from an animal.

    Debbie | Jul 1st, 2014
  51. Then you are a part of an extreme minority Debbie. You shouldn’t be so quick to judge others who simply sin differently than you do.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 1st, 2014
  52. I seriously doubt that Do a simple google search and you will find that parts of animals are in MANY of the common things in your household. Crayons, sugar (bone ash to whiten the sugar) are just TWO things that come to mind also many things that you use or have done to you( vaccinations and med procedures) were perfected on animals first. And your car probably has leather in it. You may be surprised exactly how much in your life is attached or came from animals in some way shape or form.

    faith Hobbit Hole Farm | Jul 3rd, 2014
  53. So Debbie, why don’t you boycott stores that sell ANY meat or animal products at all, rather than just picking on Whole Foods for selling rabbit?

    Sandy | Aug 1st, 2014
  54. So you shopped there even though they sold meat from all sorts of animals? But THIS animal bothers your conscience? Seems a silly distinction.

    Karla T | Jul 2nd, 2014
  55. Whole Foods will lose $200 a week (not a typo) in organic greens and specialty vegan products for me and my family (bunnies included). It just seems like foolish business practice to alienate an entire group of patrons for a trend. This is a step backward for the civilized world that I won’t forget.

    Christie Taylor | Jun 30th, 2014
  56. Your loss, a company that has standards as to how animals are raised to be used for meat has my compliments. I would shop there if one was near me.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  57. You are a stupid bunny extremist.

    Anon | Aug 23rd, 2014
  58. $200 is a small price to pay, to be spared having to listen to your tedious whining and complaining.

    That Guy | Feb 5th, 2015
  59. What a bunch of hypocrites selling cosmetics not tested on rabbits, while serving them in the meat case. This isn’t about “standards.” This is about Whole Foods driving up an artificial demand which will send millions of PET BREED , not wild, rabbits to slaughter. This is Whole Food being elitist. And not recognizing the offensiveness of this decision.to the millions of people who treasure their companion rabbits. How about Amy Sedaris, Ricky Gervais amd other well-known people who live with house rabbits? It’s not fringe. There are over a million households in the US who live with pet rabbits. .Do you have your own pet cat or dog? Just substitue the word “dog” for rabbit and apply the “standards of meat” argument. It’s disgusting and simply backwards, not progressive move. In other countries, for thousands of years, animals such as cat and dog have been routinely raised and eaten. Will Whole Foods be adding humanely raised horsemeat ? dog? You might think this argument is ridiculous, but it’s at least an honest one.

    Talking about “standards” reduces these rabbits , who are as loving and smart as cats and dogs into a commodity product . The “standards” argument is an excuse for Whole Foods to attempt to create demand. There is more demand from people NOT to sell rabbit meat. This is not a famine stricken country. This is just an excuse for people to indulge in a trend that will add to millions of animals being raised and killed each year. Who cares that you let them “play” before they are butchered. And, there has been NO mention that the rabbits sold in Whole Foods are the exact same type that people keep as treasured family members for 10+ years.

    Whole Foods is grteen-washing the truth and trying to dilute the message that people are eating animals who are regualrly pets. You can try to justify it with “standards” , “humanely raised” , but it is not cruelty-free. This is a PR spin on a business move that is repulsive. Whole Foods —you have lost my business (several hundred dollars a week) and hopefully you will lose enough business from others to get you to re-think this cruel and unnecessary addition to your stores. It’s not just rabbit lovers who are grossed out and don’t want to shop with you any other. You have crossed a line for the majority of people who love animals of all types.

    Marcy Schaaf | Jun 30th, 2014
  60. Marcy, I am a well known person. I have a house rabbit. His name is Mufasa. I also have have 3 does that live outside that have names and are fawned over by neighborhood kids. Their offspring are meat rabbits. All of the children understand that and are fine with it. They understand the difference in purpose.

    They also learn to grow organic vegetables in my garden with my wife and I. They know what it’s like to eat a raw green bean right off the plant. They also see that I don’t ever use chemicals on our food or the rabbit’s food, and they understand why.

    With all of the children that go hungry right here in the United States, let alone the rest of the world, I don’t understand where your views come from. I’d rather that every dog, cat and rabbit on the planet were eaten, including mine than before seeing even one child suffer from hunger. I TEACH people how to feed themselves all over the planet with rabbits. What are you doing besides whining?

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 1st, 2014
  61. Some folks seem to have a need to spout off without fulling knowing the subject. Food is food and there are pet breeds of rabbits and meat breeds of rabbits. I would rather raise rabbits, chickens, and any other animal for food so that I know it was well cared for and fed the very best. No chemicles, no growth hormones, no antibiotics etc. I prefer clean healthy meat.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  62. In my opinion, you’re making the world a far worse place by teaching people to kill. Do you know what the most environmentally friendly, healthy, and ethical thing you could teach people would be? To grow and eat plant based proteins. If you’re truly concerned about starving children than you need to educate yourself, get over your selfish desire to consume flesh, and BECOME VEGAN. Some of most intelligent and knowledgeable people on the planet are donating billions of dollars to companies that create plant based protein alternatives to meat because they know that veganism is the most effective way to save the planet and feed the masses. Marcy and other animal activists are making the world a better place by taking a stance against sanctioned violence. You on the other hand, are making the world a worse place, by teaching people that palate pleasure and hedonistic desire trumps all else. I live with my beloved rabbit and even if I was starving, I would not eat her, or breed her and eat her children. I also taught in an “inner city” school and 90% of the students were on free or reduced lunch programs. You know what was the best way to help these kids and their families? Send them home with PB&J sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and nuts. You know what generates huge problems for law enforcement, cities, and animal rescue organizations? Urban farming and slaughterhouses. The world needs compassion and despite what you and others might think, there is nothing compassionate about killing an animal, and especially a companion animal, for food.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  63. You are so “far out there” Stacy Burwell Portner, there’s no sense trying to educate you it seems, that the very food (mass produced on average 1,500 miles away from your distribution point) is what’s making these children fat, sick and more importantly dependent on hand-outs. Are you teaching them how to bake bread for themselves, grow peanuts or make peanut butter themselves? How to plant a fruit tree, harvest fruit when it’s ripe instead of ripening it with gas while it’s in transport that 1,500 mile average? Do you even know that that’s how it’s done? Do you care what was sprayed on those veggies by people wearing hazmat suits in foreign countries that hate us?

    The thing that made this country great in the first place was we learned to take care of ourselves, then we sold our extra to the rest of the world. Presently, the rest of the world is doing that. They are becoming more mighty, and we are becoming more weak. Again, you are in a super-minority with your beliefs.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 2nd, 2014
  64. I may be in a minority but it is a steadily growing minority. Study after study shows that vegans and vegetarians live longer lives with far fewer incidences of cancer and heart disease than omnivores. Not all of the food we’re eating is locally sourced and organic and so it must be the plants based diet that is working. I live by the philosophy of, ‘ If we can live happy and healthy lives without hurting others, why wouldn’t we?’. If you are all about teaching people to be self sufficient and butchering their own animals, than why are you so in favor of selling rabbit meat in grocery stores? Is it because you would benefit financially?

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  65. I do agree with many of the points that you are making and applaud the work that you are doing within your community. However, I do not believe that Whole Foods is teaching the communities who need it most how to make these vital health choices because it is an expensive specialty food store.

    Inner city kids will not learn how to make sustainable inexpensive food decisions if the only place that they can get rabbit meat is at Whole Foods which is selling rabbits at $11 a pound.

    A Thought | Jul 15th, 2014
  66. The marketing and PR spin of “humane standards” for rabbit slaughter by “Whole Foods” is unabashed green-washing. In reality, Whole Foods is attempting to jack up demand for a new meat source. Adding rabbit meat dramatically increases the number of animals bred and slaughtered specifically for consumption. A new source of animal torture and slaughter is NOT “sustainable”). Whole Foods will also be directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of companion breed animals and the “leader” in growing this cruel trend.

    When I asked about the disappearing ocean species they were stocking, swordfish and orange roughy, which not even WalMart would stock, whole food
    managers essentially just said “it’s all sustainable” and practically flipped
    me off. Whole Foods management are very vicious and unethical when it comes to profits. You will lie and greenwash and insult your customers. Watch out Whole
    Foods, that kind of attitude will boomerang on you in a bad way. I want you to
    go bankrupt now.

    Mark | Sep 1st, 2014
  67. You, my dear, make sense/practical down to we all live on this earth sense. I can understand your beliefs & what you’re teaching the kids, but then again, I’m old school. (leather shoes, but too poor for fur coats) A nicely marbled & well aged Angus steak would be lovely, but egg salad sands will have to do. No one’s standing up for Lobster rights! Not furry or even remotely cute enough? Got no fight to pick w/Whole Foods…can’t even start to afford their gorgeous fresh produce & flat-out refuse to pay $7.50 for a gallon of milk…

    CAnative | Jan 10th, 2015
  68. My reply to you got lost a couple comments down/the Jan 10 4pm one.

    CAnative | Jan 10th, 2015
  69. Stacy, the best thing you could do for the world would be to find a tall building and try to fly from the top.

    That Guy | Feb 5th, 2015
  70. In many parts of the world, all the animals you mention — dogs, horses, cats — are all eaten routinely. I have had all three, and they taste fine. Not my first choice for an entree, but certainly edible.

    It is such a Western elitist position to declare some animals off limits for consumption. And BTW, the U.S. is a famine-stricken country. According to Feeding America, 15.9 million children lived in food insecure households in 2012. If we could promote more sustainable and cheaper animal protein production, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and nutria, perhaps these children would be less hungry.

    I really don’t care if you have “Fluffly” as a pet rabbit. No one is interested in eating it. I am interested in eating humanely raised rabbits from an ethical and thoughtful supplier like Whole Foods.

    Using our logic, if I have chickens as pets, then Whole Foods should not be selling poultry.

    Armitage Shanks | Jul 1st, 2014
  71. Stacy Burwell Portner – I was a vegetarian for 6 years, then a vegan for 4 years. I’m neither one any more. Like you I believe in the health of my body and mind and this planet as well as the health of all the people who inhabit the planet. I slowly changed my diet to an omnivore based diet because I love animal so much. Doesn’t that sound ironic? I added eggs and milk to my diet because of my beloved chicken and goat friends that I wanted to have live on my land. The thing is, they all reproduce, and pretty soon there are a lot more animals on your land, and you soon realize nobody else wants all your bucks that you can no longer keep from each species either, unless they become food for their tables. The other thing that happens is you start to realize the animals aren’t freaked out about death and don’t find it brutal or violent… that’s a human quality that doesn’t exist in the animal world. Animals accept life and death without judgement.

    I have made my sole living as a farmer for the past 14 years. It’s eye opening working with plant based foods to realized the amount of animal/insect lives that are lost while growing, harvesting and cleaning produce. The sheer number of birds, frogs, rabbits, snails, slugs, lizards and mice that are killed in the process of growing certified organic crops is unreal, and if you start to count the lives of insects the numbers quickly jump into the hundreds of thousands.

    Plant based agriculture is a death sentence to many species of animals and bugs, it actually doesn’t bother me that that’s true because nature provides for their survival by making so many of them, their reproduction rate is staggering. If you look at areas of the world that have introduced prey species to an area where there are no predators that kill and eat that animal you’ll find entire towns over run with the introduced species that is continuing to reproduce as if its very existence depended on it. The same is true for many of the animals that humans consume as food, the reproductive numbers of them are staggering, because in the natural world they are prey animals that are naturally used as food by many species of animals on the planet, including people.

    Rabbits, you may have heard, reproduce like…well, rabbits. They do that because they are, in the natural world, a prey animal that is meant to be food for other hunting species. Having rabbits as food for people is not only natural in every sense of the word, it’s also sustainable in a man made world of unsustainable agricultural practices.

    Now, I appreciate that you don’t want to eat any animal proteins, but wouldn’t your efforts be better spent protesting and/or boycotting factory farmed chickens and cows that have known to be abused while alive, inhumanely slaughtered and an utterly unhealthy source of meat protein for any human or animal that eats it. Wouldn’t that be more in line with what it is you’re saying you care about?

    Laurie | Jul 2nd, 2014
  72. Laurie, I can understand where you’re coming from and you have some valid points. I do spend most of my energy fighting factory farming and thatis one reason I feel so passionately about this issue. I am not railing against hunters or even people who raise and kill rabbits for their own consumption. I think it is a terrible idea to start selling another mass produced meat in a grocery store. Rabbits could be the next chicken; the most abused animal on the planet. Even if Whole Foods has standards for how their rabbits are raised, how are they going to enforce this, especially in Iowa? Whole Foods could be leading a trend that results in rabbits being mass produced and sold in grocery stores and Wal-Marts across the nation. If the small rabbit breeders on this forum truly care about rabbits, than why do they want to turn them into a mass produced and sold commodity?

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 3rd, 2014
  73. So if I kill you quickly, it’s OK to eat you? Come to think of it, eating human meat would solve the hunger and population problem simultaneously. If you’re so hellbent on saving the planet with meat, why are you wasting your time on defenseless animals instead of offering yourself to be eaten? By you logic, people should be lining up to eat human because people love people.

    Steven | Jul 14th, 2014
  74. In many parts of the world, all the animals you mention — dogs, horses, cats — are all eaten routinely. I have had all three, and they taste fine. Not my first choice for an entree, but certainly edible.

    It is such a Western elitist position to declare some animals off limits for consumption. And BTW, the U.S. is a famine-stricken country. According to Feeding America, 15.9 million children lived in food insecure households in 2012. If we could promote more sustainable and cheaper animal protein production, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and nutria, perhaps these children would be less hungry.

    I really don’t care if you have “Fluffly” as a pet rabbit. No one is interested in eating it. I am interested in eating humanely raised rabbits from an ethical and thoughtful supplier like Whole Foods.

    Using our logic, if I have chickens as pets, then Whole Foods should not be selling poultry.

    Tony Fairfax | Jul 1st, 2014
  75. How about eating plant based proteins and feeding far more people? In every culture certain animals are considered “off limits” and so this is not unique to the US. Eating meat was considered elitist until about a half a century ago. You know what else is elitist? Eating all sorts of animals because they’re trendy or exotic. Whole Foods is also pretty elitist. If they are truly raising these rabbits humanely, they will not cheap. Poor people are not going to be walking into Whole Foods to buy rabbit. Wealthy foodies will be the ones buying rabbit while convincing themselves that their exotic taste is somehow benefiting the planet. I also find it suspicious that Whole Foods is farming these rabbits in Iowa, a haven for factory farms and a state that passed a law that makes it a crime to tape animal abuse. I have to think that this was strategically done on the part of Whole Foods.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  76. What planet are you from? “Eating meat was considered elitist until about a half a century ago.”??? Excuse me?? MEAT was the main source of food for everyone INCLUDING the peasants, for (at least) the last 5000 years. Try for a little common sense in your arguments. You are looking extremely foolish making totally inaccurate claims which have no basis in fact on THIS planet. A very little research will tell you that there is no way to substantiate that statement. Very few cultures food are plant based. The only one I can think of is the Hindu culture. Unless you want to make yourself loot totally ridiculous..try to stick to FACTS..not fiction in your arguments.

    Circle HR (Rabbitry) | Jul 2nd, 2014
  77. Yes, elitist in the sense that people couldn’t afford meat before the dawn of mass production farming, unless they owned land and raised animals on this land. Owning land and livestock was a status symbol, especially for the European immigrants who settled here.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 3rd, 2014
  78. – “What a bunch of hypocrites selling cosmetics not tested on rabbits, while serving them in the meat case.”

    You think that quickly and humanely killing an animal for food is equivalent to torturing it for testing cosmetics? Your reasoning has all the depth of a tea cup saucer.

    WuzYoungOnceToo | Aug 18th, 2014
  79. I was spending approximately $200 a week at your store, but I am taking my business elsewhere until you stop selling rabbits. These domestic rabbits are companion animals that are every bit as loved as treasured in U.S. households as dogs and cats. Justifying slaughtering and selling rabbits because historically people have eaten rabbit, does not make it right. There are many things that have been done historically that don’t need repeating. Certainly extending the range of torture and abuse that is the norm for other animals used for food, to now include rabbits, is a huge step backwards. You can tout how you take into consideration the well-being of the rabbits all you want, but this is all smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, these young rabbits are hung screaming in fear, their throats are slit and their short lives abruptly ended all due to greed and politics. Call it what you will, but if you were truly concerned about animal welfare as you claim, you would take a stand by making a conscious decision to NOT cause unnecessary suffering to yet another being.

    As Anna Lappe said:
    “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

    I believe this to be true which is why I am taking my money elsewhere.

    Lynda Kluck | Jun 30th, 2014
  80. Lynda You obviously have no idea of how a rabbit is slaughtered after living a much more kind life than most other kinds of meat. I have a group of 14,000+ people who raise rabbits for meat and I know of zero of them that process as you so theatrically describe. That is all hype put together to deceive the public to support your cause. 95% of all rabbits are dispatched via cervical dislocation (breaking their neck) with a tool designed for that purpose. About 4% are shot in the top of the head. They have a very good, enjoyable life, then they have 1 bad second. Let me take you on a tour of where your your kids chicken nuggets and hamburger patties and hot dogs come from! Go save a chicken. The majority of them have a crappy life.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 1st, 2014
  81. Another person that knows nothing about this subject. Sad that the subject is not searched out enough to know that a meat rabbit meets a quick and painless death when being dispatched for food.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  82. So you’ll shop there while they sell a variety of other meats (beef, lamb, chicken, pork, buffalo, ostrich, etc…) but you cross the line at rabbit? Hypocrite much? How about you do a little research on how rabbits are slaughtered before you start talking about that you know nothing about.

    whargoul | Jul 2nd, 2014
  83. I usually don’t post replies to comments like these, but I’m concerned about the constant level of disconnection and ignorance that Americans display. Rabbit meat is not an “historical food”, it’s still being consumed in many CIVILIZED countries around the world. It’s a very healthy meat and as the article says it’s a lot easier, cheaper and better on the environment to bring to consumption than other meats that are constantly and commonly consumed (abused) in the United States of Hypocrisy. Whenever you feel less guilty and comfort yourselves by picking up a piece of “organic” chicken, pork or beef (that being the acceptable chewable muscle?) to feed your family, realize that those animals were not sang lullabies before being KILLED, and visit a slaughter house or processing plant to realize how cruel it is to stop any animal life. But, we are the top predators and we need to eat, right? Then again, I see Americans everyday behave better to their pets (my iguana loves me!) and show more care to the animals than to other humans, so… this was probably a waste of time anyway. Just grow up, quit eating any flesh and THEN say something about ethics. Those adds you see about “happy cows” are a bunch of BS.

    Tim Crawford | Jun 30th, 2014
  84. Unless you are a vegetarian, I don’t see how anyone here can really have an argument. More efficient to breed, healthier meat? Seems like an all around positive. People also have ‘pet’ pigs, will you stop eating ham and bacon?

    Eitan | Jul 1st, 2014
  85. Finally someone with the right insight to the subject of meat rabbits. Thank you for your reply.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  86. You are incorrect about meat rabbits versus pet rabbits. They are all the same.
    I have no objection to someone raising their own food. I object to a commercial enterprise displaying a domestic pet animal carcass in the same place people buy the very foods fed to family member pets.
    Truly it would be no different if they sold guinea pig.
    It is a matter of cultural taboo. Please consider it would be the same if they sold horse, cockatoo, cat, mouse, parrot, bearded dragon, etc.
    As for pigs, when they become regular household members for hundreds of thousands, I may very well rethink my enjoyment of consuming pork.
    Please respect all animals and our evolving culture. Consider why horse, shouldn’t be featured in the butcher’s case.

    TJ Brown | Jul 7th, 2014
  87. Wow, shame on you all commenting if you are anything other than vegetarian. The idea that you may be okay with eating a cow, but not an animal 6 times as efficient to produce is absurd. Do you just want to watch the world burn? Do you have no concern whatsoever for the environment? Please pay attention to what massive meat farming is doing to the world and think for one moment. Eating rabbit leaves a vastly smaller footprint on the worlds resources than eating a cow or pig.

    Sam | Jul 1st, 2014
  88. Ridiculous comments on here. I agree with the few that state unless you are a vegan and take issue with the consumption of any meat, then you do not have a leg to stand on.

    MEAT comes from killing a living animal. The disconnection Americans have with WHERE their food comes from is beyond absurd. Glossy, well packaged store-bought meat is still MEAT and it still came from a living, sentient animal. Be it rabbit, chicken, cow, or pig – they are all living, breathing creatures. If you believe that eating meat is what we are meant to do as omnivores, then the responsible thing to do is to eat meat that is sustainable raised and kept in as natural as possibly and cruelty free setting.

    Being that more and more people are wising up to the horrible conditions most feed lot animals have to endure as well as the chemicals that go into them (antibiotics in cow, bleach in processed chicken, etc), my question is WHY NOT support a food movement that includes rabbit? They take up little space, are easy to provide sanitary accommodations for, breed readily, and produce a tasty protein in 3 short months. Their droppings are immediately available for garden fertilizer, and even city dwellers can keep a trio and provide their family with over 100 lbs of meat a year.

    I don’t have a Whole foods where I shop or live. I have to drive over 30 miles to buy rabbit from a specialty farm. Those of you who do live near one, thank them for offering you a sustainable protein source and count yourself lucky that you do not “need” to raise your own food, because surely you would starve.

    Carrie | Jul 1st, 2014
  89. No way this sales practice survives in California much less the Bay Area. That Texan is going to be very sorry exporting his version of Liberitarianism.

    Martyn Collins | Jul 1st, 2014
  90. California is one of the biggest meat rabbit producers in the United States. So much so that they can not keep up with the demand in California. I believe you are just a little misguided. http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2013/06/03/32061/as-popularity-grows-california-rabbit-farmers-stru/

    Kymberly | Jul 1st, 2014
  91. You go Whole Foods! More stores should carry the healthy easy to raise rabbit in their meat cases! Rabbit has been a staple on my family’s plate forever and I know many others that raise and YES EAT rabbits. I am a commercial rabbit raiser and I supply many families with humanely raised and humanely butchered rabbits for their meals and their carnivorous animals meals. All this flap about selling rabbit meat is just plain ridiculous! It goes on everyday all over this country. What is better an animal that is raised humanely here in the states or one that comes from unknown living conditions from overseas? Now I do not totally agree with HOW you want your meat rabbits raised and do not see that being the most cost effective way to do it but hey whatever works for you. There is no WRONG way to raise rabbits as long as all their needs are being met. I hope you do not give in to the bleeding hearts that are nay saying you selling rabbits and stick to your guns! Best of luck
    Faith Miller
    Owner of Hobbit hole farm (rabbitry)

    faith Hobbit Hole Farm | Jul 1st, 2014
  92. Thank you Faith for how you addressed this subject. So many people have no clue how most of out meat animals are raised for meat. Crowded into small areas, living in their own excrement, fed all kinds of chemicles and growth hormones. I’ll take a clean raised rabbit anyday over most store packaged meat.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  93. Very true, Carol. I shudder when I think of the way chickens, pigs and beef cattle are raised commercially.
    Early every morning, I take my grow outs OUT of their cages and transfer them to a play pen. I kiss them on their noses and give them a cuddle before putting them into the movable pen, where they play and eat fresh grass and forage all day long. If it gets too hot I provide my bunnies with frozen water bottles to lie against and cool off. I use no hormones or antibiotics (my animals are fed herbs to treat any -rare- ailments, and if one does happen to die, I cry over its loss) When it comes time to butcher the grow outs, I kiss them on the nose, give them a final cuddle, thank them for their sacrifice and painlessly dispatch them . My rabbits have a MUCH happier life than most ‘pets’. I even take mine for walks and bring them inside to ‘snuggle’ with, when I am feeling a bit down. I call it ‘bunny therapy’. But they are there to provide FOOD, and I know it. So many people, these days, have no idea where the food they eat, comes from. They have a vague idea that it is ‘created’ in the stores, where no animal was harmed..*smh*. I applaud Whole Foods, both for selling rabbit and for the standards it requires the rabbits it sells, to be raised under.

    Circle HR (Rabbitry) | Jul 1st, 2014
  94. “There is no wrong way to raise rabbits as long as their needs are being met”. WTF? Rabbits have very specific needs, but I’m sure those are being ignored at Hobbit Hole Farm.  There is no such thing as “humane” slaughter. How is killing humane? It’s mind boggling to me that you can raise and kill these sweet animals. I and others opposed to this may be ” bleeding hearts”, but at least we have hearts.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  95. Correct Stacy there is no wrong way to raise rabbits. As long as rabbits have proper food, water and shelter you are doing in “correctly” I have at times raised rabbits in the house, in colonies, in hutches and in wire cages in a barn. All way worked at the time. All ways have their ups and downs. I have settled for wire cages in a barn for my current rabbits and rabbitry because it provides the best protection and health benifits for the rabbits I have now and in the situation I am in now. All my rabbits needs are being met and that can be seen by the healthy rabbits in my barn the very rare times of illnesses and the very large constant litters I am getting from my rabbits. Unhealthy rabbits do not have healthy litters. Yes animals can be humanely slaughtered. Humane as in very quick and as painless as possible. My rabbits are killed by cervical dislocation that renders them DEAD in a matter of a second or two. No pain response from the rabbit and very little twitching afterwards. I consider that humane and so do the thousands of other rabbit breeders that utilize this exact same method to dispatch rabbits daily.

    faith Hobbit Hole Farm | Jul 2nd, 2014
  96. I am sure that you are raising healthy rabbits and slaughtering them in a less cruel manner than that factory farms, but that doesn’t say much. There a a lot of people that wouldn’t agree with keeping rabbits in wire cages in a barn in a barn. Yes, your rabbits are having their basic needs met, in the same way that keeping children locked in a room and feeding them organic food are having their needs met.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  97. Please excuse all the typos.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  98. Yet you rabbit lovers (extremists) keep your rabbits in metal cages AND THEY DIE ANYWAY… rabbits are completely useless to humanity except as food. its better to raise a rabbit and feed starving people than to raise a rabbit and just let it die.

    Anon | Aug 23rd, 2014
  99. – “Rabbits have very specific needs, but I’m sure those are being ignored at Hobbit Hole Farm.”

    It’s funny how “sure” some people are about things they know absolutely nothing about.

    WuzYoungOnceToo | Aug 18th, 2014
  100. You guys are nuts. Rabbit used to be a staple in the american diet and is far more “green” and economical to produce than beef.

    Joshua | Jul 1st, 2014
  101. If you can eat chicken, beef ,pork, quail ,pheasant, lamb ,goat or tuna then you can eat rabbit. Its not like they are going into your house and eating your pet. These rabbits are raised as meat not as a pet. Just like all the other meat in the geocery store they were raised for the purpose to be eaten. Even in shows they are called meat pens or single fryers at any county fair or arba show. In the rabbit standard they are called a commercial rabbit used for meat or fur. Try it ya might like it!!! Its great served as a taco!!!

    chris | Jul 1st, 2014
  102. Or enchiladas or chili.

    Jan | Jul 1st, 2014
  103. It is very interesting that several of the posts in favor of Whole Foods justify their arguments by assuming that rabbit owners are not vegetarian/vegan. I haven’t seen hard statistics, but I know a lot of rabbit owners, and the vast majority are vegetarian/vegan. There is also a complete disregard, in those comments, about rabbits being the third most popular pet. Perhaps that wasn’t the case in the distant past, but it is true now. Finally, if you are so concerned about rabbits being more “green” of a protein, how about broccoli? Anyone ever hear of legumes? Lentils? If you want to be green, take a look at the alternatives. If you are just pulling out a specious argument, perhaps you should continue it to the logical conclusion, instead of stopping where it is convenient.

    Karen | Jul 1st, 2014
  104. I also have a pet rabbit that lives in the house with me. I love him every bit as much as my cat that’s 21 years old. Mufasa is a working pet, in that he provides stud service to my meat rabbit does. Admittedly, it is a complicated issue, but there is simply no reason that an animal designed by nature as a prey animal cannot be both pet and dinner. Anyone so closed minded as to disagree with that probably has issues with other complex human behaviors and practices such as race, religion or sexual preferences. I have no such hangups.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 1st, 2014
  105. To me it just seems silly that the vegans and vegetarians were fine with shopping there when they sold meat from cows, calves, lambs, chickens, etc. They also do not agree with eating those meats but it didn’t stop them from shopping there.

    Karla T | Jul 2nd, 2014
  106. Vegetarians are always in the minority. There are no groups of pet owners that are predominately vegetarian.

    Melissa | Jul 2nd, 2014
  107. My father and grandfather and nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles have been or will be hunting for rabbit meat for yrs … why is rabbit different than cow or hog or chicken for that matter…rabbit has been feeding this country for centuries…its now that people began making them pets and now you say its wrong….sheesh…get real..where do you think you dinner comes from?

    Jamie | Jul 1st, 2014
  108. Bravo Whole Foods!

    Please don’t “cave” to the pressures of those threatening to discontinue shopping at your stores over this. We have an organization of 14,000+ members and growing every hour of people who recognize the critical need for meat eating people to have a more efficient choice than those that King Corn can grow that plan to START shopping at your stores because of this!

    Rabbits can produce 2,000% of their own body weight each year easily, on 6 times less food, water, and transportation (read oil) than the other meat choices. Anyone so disconnected with where their food comes from and what it really costs should Google me and talk to me. I’d gladly explain it to them. There are enough LAWNS in America to feed enough rabbits, to feed every American at least once per week. That doesn’t compete with any other meat source out there!

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 1st, 2014
  109. Really people? Whole Foods is not a vegetarian store. It has a variety of meats available. What a bunch of whiners. I bet the majority of you eat meat and have no idea how it’s processed or raised…get over yourselves.

    Megan | Jul 1st, 2014
  110. I’m vegetarian and have 5 rabbits. Enough said.

    Patti | Jul 1st, 2014
  111. I’m NOT vegetarian and have rabbits. ‘Nuff said.

    Dawn | Aug 4th, 2014
  112. HRS claims rabbits are the 3rd most popular pet – that’s not true. Not even close to true! Statistics show fish, birds, even reptiles, rank above rabbits. Rabbits are a high protein, lean meat that is and has been used for more than pets for decades. If customers are asking for it, makes sense to supply what they’re asking for if possible.

    Jan | Jul 1st, 2014
  113. You’re wrong Jan. Rabbits are the third most poplar pet (mammal) in America. House rabbits tend to have more ‘personality’ than most cats. They are delightful and actually quite loving. Sadly, some of you here haven’t really and truly ‘lived’ with a rabbit which I suppose is one reason you can so coldly describe them in terms of lean meat and high protein. Eventually, I sincerely believe your ranks of like minded people will be out numbered. In the meantime, God I hope so.

    For now, Whole Foods will continue with the slaughter and selling because they’re attempting to create a market for this which translates into more profits for them. In time, I believe they’ll experience some significant regrets in that it IS a fact that more and more people view rabbits as pets and not a food source.

    robin | Aug 25th, 2014
  114. i do not know if anyone at Whole foods will even see this but on the off chance that someone in a position of authority does I would love for someone to contact me at faithyoder1990@hotmail.com so that I could for myself and other rabbit raisers find out what it would take to become one of your rabbit suppliers. Thank you Faith

    faith Hobbit Hole Farm | Jul 1st, 2014
  115. Good for you, Whole Foods! Responsibly produced rabbit is an environmentally-friendly, delicious, and very healthy protein, and I hope that it becomes an extremely profitable product for you. Obviously the House Rabbit Society is going to be outraged and vocal (as they’ve demonstrated here), but I hope you’ll ignore them like most of the rest of the country will! I haven’t shopped with you before, but I’m now going to make the effort and drive a little farther in order to do so. Won’t need to buy rabbit, though, since we raise that ourselves!

    Kerry | Jul 1st, 2014
  116. Yum rabbit meat! It’s a good way to raise your own food without supporting AG GAG! If you eat other meats and you’re complaining about rabbit.. you’re a hypocrite. I can totally understand if you’re a vegan or vegetarian because well you don’t want any animal killed for any reason.
    Anyways rabbits are livestock animals and yes people have them as pets. Just like how pigs are kept as pets. I have pet chickens and rabbits myself. The rabbit’s offspring are food. If you have ever bred a rabbit you will know that re-homing kits is difficult and it’s just better to make soup instead of wasting time. I’m in California and it is LEGAL to eat them as they are livestock. I support wholefoods even though I never shop there. I raise my own!

    Susan | Jul 1st, 2014
  117. I do so wish there was a Whole Foods store near me where I could buy good holesome food including humanly raised meat animals, including rabbit. I don’t understand the off the wall comments that have been made against rabbit meat. I’m sure for every person that threatens to stop shopping WF will be replaced with at least ten that would gladly buy from them.

    Carol | Jul 1st, 2014
  118. I am disheartened that “civilized” society has become so distanced from reality. The Circle of Life is a FACT Things die so that others may live. That holds true whether you eat meat or are a vegetarian. Whole Foods, I applaud you for listening to your customers’ requests for humanely raised rabbit. Looking forward to my next visit to your great store!

    Suzy Homesteader | Jul 1st, 2014
  119. When I have the opportunity, I shop at Whole Foods. It is over an hour drive but close to other stops on my monthly travels. I can trust Whole Foods to carry many products I simply cannot purchase in my small town. So, when I go, I stock up on supplies I need. While I raise my own rabbit and won’t be adding it to my shopping list, this announcement further affirms my choice to patronize your chain.

    There are many reasons rabbit is a commonly eaten food around the world. It is highly efficient at converting feed into an extremely lean protein. The reproduction rate allows a breeding trio to provide for the protein needs of a typical family. Provided clean living conditions, fresh water, and healthy foods, they rarely require intervention with antibiotics and never require hormones. Rabbits can be fed entirely from food sources not consumed by humans in situations where food is scarce.

    Yes, they are loving, beautiful animals that can live many years as a beloved pet. But the same is true of chickens, pigs, cows, and goats. Aside from Angora rabbits who provide fiber, the primary purpose of a rabbit is to provide meat. My pet adult rabbits can produce many litters each year to provide my small family with plenty of meat. While I fully support others who choose not to eat meat or other animal products, I choose to be an omnivore. But I also choose to eat organic, humanely raised food whenever possible and am thrilled others will have the opportunity to purchase rabbit for their own dinner table.

    Terri | Jul 1st, 2014
  120. Who are you to determine someone’s purpose? I understand that you make the decision to murder your companion animals and their children, but please open your eyes to the fact that rabbits (and other animals) have purposes that don’t involve feeding you and your family.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 2nd, 2014
  121. It’s original purpose was to feed FOXES, and WOLVES, so why not me and my family?

    Circle HR (Rabbitry) | Jul 2nd, 2014
  122. I don’t think the purpose of any animal is to be food. Lives are undoubtedly lost in the circle of life, but the idea that a being’s purpose is to feed someone else sums up what is wrong with agriculture. It is no more a rabbit’s purpose to feed you than it would be your purpose to be food for a lion. Rabbits have families and friends, experience the same emotions as we do, and value their lives as we value ours. To designate someone as food seems to strip them of their identity as an individual worthy of love.

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 3rd, 2014
  123. I first visited your store to purchase turmeric. I found the loveliest, healthiest roots there to make my daily longevity tea. Thank you for that. I have nowhere else to go to find such treasure. The last time I was there, I found the fattest, crispest sunchokes that I’ve ever seen. And now to know that you also will only be selling the healthiest, happiest-raised rabbit meat is a real boon. Because of your prices, if you had any sort of respectable competition, I would have to share my loyalty, but as it is, you simply do not. You own me, and now maybe I can shop in peace with far fewer ignorant snobs*. Winner, winner, rabbit dinner.

    *No joke, one guy was glaring at me and rolling his eyes at his partner when I first found the turmeric and spent all of 60 seconds loading up >3 lbs. of it. I didn’t know I was causing anyone any distress until my husband told me about it as he was the one that witnessed the whole thing. Turns out, the guy didn’t want any turmeric, he just wanted to be able to stand where I was standing so he could take his time making his own selections. I hope he, and everyone else who won’t allow people who are different from them a smile or any elbow room in the world, are among the ones boycotting the store.

    Bye, Felicia | Jul 1st, 2014
  124. It is atrocious that Whole Foods has started to sell dead rabbits. What started as a great idea, the Whole Foods market, has taken a terrible turn. The only way to kill a rabbit humanely is by injection, the way a sick/dying companion animal is humanely euthanized by a veterinarian at the end of his/her life. Of course these rabbits Whole Foods are selling were not humanely euthanized, they were slaughtered. The whole idea of selling dead rabbits is shocking to me. I can’t wrap my mind around why they would do this. I won’t be able to shop there again which is a terrible shame. I loved my Whole Foods which is literally 2 blocks away from my home. I hope Whole Foods will re-think this terrible idea and end the practice of selling rabbits immediately.

    AnnetteB | Jul 1st, 2014
  125. No meat intended for human consumption on the planet is dispatched via lethal injection AnnetteB. Your ignorance is showing.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 2nd, 2014
  126. She was talking about putting a pet down for terminal illness. I believe the pot had called the kettle black.

    Steven | Jul 14th, 2014
  127. I guess the alternative would be to sell a live rabbit for you to butcher yourself? Do you worry about your hamburger the same way or how about your bacon? You mention they were slaughtered.Yes yes they were just like the cows and pigs were in the slaughter house. I go to the store and there are plenty of things i dont eat from the store like say pigs feet or salmon i dont like either one yet i dont tell the store if you dont stop selling what i dont like im not coming back here. Its a simple solution if ya dont like it dont buy it easy peasy!!!!

    christopher | Jul 2nd, 2014
  128. Leathal injection? Humane? I have seem many animals put down by “humqne” lethal injection. Their bodies tighten up, Sometimes they scream. It’s awful! The methods used by rabbit raisers is instant and the rabbit is dead before it ever has the chance to feel pain or fear. You people boycotring whole foods for this are just plain ignorant!

    Marcy | Aug 1st, 2014
  129. Dead rabbit? You’d prefer they sold it live, to be butchered by the inexperienced consumer?
    Euthanasia by injection is NOT as humane as cervical dislocation or (my preferred method) gunshot to the head. Both cause instantaneous death. Cervical dislocation immediately damages the lower portion of the brain, so that pain isn’t felt in the few seconds before the brain is completely dead. Gunshot simply destroys the brain–no brain, no pain (or fear or anxiety). Injection does NOT. Euthazol (the purple juice) causes the heart and lungs to stop working and causes (hopefully) unconsciousness. 🙁 Brain death comes AFTER due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Sedating the animal beforehand makes the death less obvious to the owner, but actually increases the time it takes for the brain to die. 🙁
    Both times that I’ve had a rabbit euthanized by a veterinarian, it was neither painless nor instantaneous. I will never, ever subject an animal of mine to that again.
    Until you have a bit of experience, you probably shouldn’t comment on what is humane or isn’t.

    Dawn | Aug 4th, 2014
  130. Whole Foods,
    Regarding your reference on “Health Benefits” ” health benefits. Rabbit is a lean meat that is higher in protein but lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than many other meats, including chicken, beef and pork.”

    Whole foods is Grossly Misinforming the public while encouraging them to eat dangerously-lean meat that can cause Rabbit Starvation. You are also encouraging more over breeding and suffering of rabbits in back yard rabbitries, domestic rabbits – that are the 3rd most popular pet in the U.S.

    Liz Fry, where are these “new standards” posted? They are not listed in your Animal Welfare Standards?

    They are not included in your Global Animal Partnership Guidelines either? Were these “new standards” are they just made for this article or to quiet the public?

    Goodbye Whole Foods, your greed and ignorance disgusts me.

    Linda Sue | Jul 2nd, 2014
  131. “Rabbit Starvation”? Really?? That is a ridiculous argument. Someone would need to eat a diet almost entirely made up of rabbit and have high calorie needs for that to even become a consideration.

    Karla T | Jul 2nd, 2014
  132. In regards to “health benefits”, the last thing Americans need is MORE FOOD. By any standard on the planet, as a society, we are horribly, in fact, dangerously over-weight. Additional meat choices, of any type, is NOT the answer.

    robin | Aug 19th, 2014
  133. To all you people ranting about how rabbit has always been a food staple…that may be true, however the power of an advanced society is in it’s ability to advance from old ways to new ways of thinking and acting. Animals raised to be eaten are rarely loved and cared for in a compassionate manner. Those that become sick are often ‘treated quickly” not with veterinary care and nurturing to health but with death. Female breeding animals are forced to continuously be bred and suffer too. For an animal whose life expectancy is 10-12 years those breeders live only a couple years at best; their offspring have only months before they are killed for human consumption. Years ago there were no child labor laws, children were forced to work (and are still in many parts of the world,) they were seen as a cheap renewable resource yet we have, to a great extent in the US, advanced beyond treating children like a resource to be used. The call for compassion and the elimination of suffering is a worthy cause. It’s sad that many corporations cannot see fit to support these efforts. Shame on WH for failing to see the worth in this plea; for keeping the cycle of suffering in place.

    DebraD | Jul 2nd, 2014
  134. Since you’ve almost certainly never raised an animal intended to be eaten, how do you presume to know how the farmer feels?? Your conceit is astounding.
    I grew up raising one of the most common food animals there is: Angus cattle. I can’t count the sleepless nights, the hours laying in the mud with the rain pouring down tending to an ill or injured animal. We did without luxuries to provide our animals with proper care and shelter. No human sat down to a meal before the animals were cared for–and that’s the rule in every ranching family I’ve ever met. Those animals provide everything for a ranching family–and they’re treated with respect.
    Now, I raise rabbits. My house rabbit is the love of my life, my breeding stock is adored. The offspring are treated with the utmost respect and compassion. I formulated my OWN feed for them, spending countless hours researching and consulting with experts.
    You can NOT imagine the love a farmer has for the animals. You may think you love your pet but the fact of the matter is, when you know that YOU are responsible for these animals being born, that they will die to improve YOUR life, there is a depth of caring that pet ownership can’t approach.

    Dawn | Aug 7th, 2014
  135. Whole Foods “humane” labels are yet another marketing ploy to make people feel better about eating animals. I roll my eyes when I see the “free range” labels on eggs knowing that they are not REALLY treated much better than battery hens http://www.peacefulprairie.org/freerange1.html

    Happy cows on happy farms? PLEASE!

    As far rabbits, I am sure the same creative BS marketing will lead most people to blindly believe that these bunnies will lead happy enriched lives and then painlessly and humanely be slaughtered for meat.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are some very small rabbitries that do follow humane guidelines. Sadly, those places are NOT the ones supplying for high volume stores like WF. The truth of the matter is, when animals are killed at such a high volume for places like While Foods or other stores, comfortable living conditions and humane slaughter are NOT a top priority. MONEY is.

    Debbie | Jul 2nd, 2014
  136. Actually Debbie, most of the pro-meat rabbit voices that you are hearing from here ARE owners of very small rabbitries that DO follow these humane guidelines! We are a group of 14,000+ people and families that grow our own rabbits for meat and would like nothing more than to sell our extras to Whole Foods as a cooperative arrangement. We are not a bunch of bloodthirsty, wild eyed maniacs. We are your neighbors, quietly and kindly raising our rabbits in our backyards under great careful conditions. You can probably see one of our homes from yours. You are welcome to visit our group to see for yourself what the “Rabbit Revolution” is all about. We maintain it as a closed group that you must request to join, only to maintain the ability to excuse “haters” from our midst. Come peacefully, and you will be welcomed: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Backyard.Meat.Rabbits/ We also cooperate with a group that consists of rabbit breeders who feed the hungry with their extras. I’ll leave it to them if they want to post their link in such a public place.

    Boyd Craven Jr | Jul 2nd, 2014
  137. Exactly Boyd. Our animals are treated with much care and love. Most that I have sold as pets have ended up abandoned at the animal shelter where I have had to rescue them or rehomed because they were no longer cute and cuddly and left in a malnourished state. My rabbits are treated far better than most that I sold as pets, forgotten and unloved in a wire cage. This is why I no longer sell my rabbits as pets.
    All of our animals are loved even thought hey are raised for food. There is nothing wrong with us being directly accountable for all of the food on our plates, ALL OF IT. We never look forward to the days when we dispatch and process any of the animals and they are well cared for to the point that a vet is never needed. Our children respect the animals that provide them with nutrition and never turn their noses up at a meal prepared using the animals we raise knowing the animal sacrificed for their needs. My children are not jaded by grocery store freezers and coolers, that are filled with animals never once shown an ounce of affection raised and processed as things and not individuals.

    Kymberly | Jul 2nd, 2014
  138. Exactly Boyd. Our animals are treated with much care and love. Most that I have sold as pets have ended up abandoned at the animal shelter where I have had to rescue them or rehomed because they were no longer cute and cuddly and left in a malnourished state. My rabbits are treated far better than most that I sold as pets, forgotten and unloved in a wire cage. This is why I no longer sell my rabbits as pets.
    All of our animals are loved even thought hey are raised for food. There is nothing wrong with us being directly accountable for all of the food on our plates, ALL OF IT. We never look forward to the days when we dispatch and process any of the animals and they are well cared for to the point that a vet is never needed. Our children respect the animals that provide them with nutrition and never turn their noses up at a meal prepared using the animals we raise knowing the animal sacrificed for their needs. My children are not jaded by grocery store freezers and coolers, that are filled with animals never once shown an ounce of affection raised and processed as things and not individuals. https://www.facebook.com/thebrownbunnybrothel?ref_type=bookmark

    Kymberly | Jul 2nd, 2014
  139. Omigreatgods! Go read the link that was posted, about how meat rabbits are supposedly raised!!! ROFL!!! http://www.foodispower.org/rabbits-raised-for-meat/
    It’s hard to believe that ANYONE swallows that baloney, but apparently some people really are that gullible. To top it off, there’s a picture of rabbits in TRANSPORT cages, that they imply is their housing. I couldn’t find a single accurate piece of information in the entire article. Amazing. If they posted that cattle prefer to roost in trees, would people believe that too? It would be as plausible as the “facts” in that article!

    Dawn | Aug 7th, 2014
  140. Dawn, the conditions in slaughter houses are horrific even for the workers. People need to read a few sociological research papers on the subject if they truly want the TRUTH.

    robin | Aug 19th, 2014
  141. Oh yeah, I bet you really would like to sell your “extras” to Whole Foods. You people literally make me ill. You’ll do anything to promote your own self-serving interest. And bank account.

    And I can’t TELL you just how much I HOPE I can’t see your home from mine. :((

    robin | Aug 25th, 2014
  142. I see nothing wrong with eating rabbit. We raise them for consumption ourselves, and I agree with what whole foods is saying. If they are raised happy and humanely as possible, if their processing is quick and painless…then that is the best. Rabbit is healthy and delicious, it is good for you…much better than beef, and pork (in my opinion).

    I applaud Whole Foods for standing up for what they believe is the right thing to do. I am not a vegetarian, obviously, but I don’t push my beliefs on others either. If you don’t want to eat Brussel sprouts because they give you gas, don’t eat them. If you don’t want to eat rabbit, because it’s cute and furry, don’t eat them. But don’t try to take away our right to do what we feel is best for our health either.

    Julie | Jul 2nd, 2014
  143. Oh, Please, people! Rabbit is good food, and people should eat more of it. Unless you raise it yourself, it is hard to come by. I happen to raise it myself, so I don’t need to find it in a store. Cows can be cute, pigs can be cute, chickens, can be cute, and turkeys have really friendly personalities. I still eat them all.

    Deborah A | Jul 2nd, 2014
  144. Whole Foods has no Transparency on the rabbits they sell as meat, who the suppliers are or who the processors are. If they stand behind their claims of Welfare Standards as stated above in their response, this information should not be hidden from their website and available to the public..
    Please advise Whole Foods

    Linda Sue | Jul 2nd, 2014
  145. Do you know where your eggs, milk or any other meat that you may eat comes from?? Or heck what about the veggies?? NO there is NO transparency as to where ANY Of the food stuffs anyone eats really comes from. There is absolutely NO way that you could go to ANY store (except MAYBE a local butcher or farmers market) and buy say a tomato and KNOW where it came from. So why expect MORE from WF than Walmart or costco or any other store??? The only way you know for sure where your meat comes from is to do it like many here do RAISE IT YOURSELF!! I have no question as to where my steaks pork or rabbit comes from considering I had a hand in every step from birth to death.

    faith Hobbit Hole Farm | Jul 3rd, 2014
  146. I would only have trouble eating a rabbit I knew the name of.

    Alan | Jul 3rd, 2014
  147. I think I should try eating rabbit. I used to shoot them for eating the bark off my young trees at my property in Illinois because they’d ring the tree and kill it, especially in the winter. Now I have a beautiful forest that serves as a wildlife refuge, including rabbits.

    Jerry | Jul 3rd, 2014
  148. Kudos to Whole Foods for raising the standard on the industry for rabbiteering. I own a small rabbitry in which we not only sell for pets and show, but for meat as well. Our rabbits are healthy, BIG, and happy. Our breeders are our babies and nothing will ever make us overbreed or overcrowd our rabbitry. Whole foods, so long as they are making sure to a fault that their standards listed are met, have a great opportunity to reintroduce rabbit as a common meat much like chicken. Let’s face it folks, cow and hog keeps getting more expensive while the treatment of the animals keeps getting lower standard. Rabbit is a great replacement that will also make beef and pork farms take a closer look at their standards and pricing. Time to get competitive in the market not only price wise, but treatment of the animals wise as well. Too bad goat is still off the menu.

    Donna Reed | Jul 3rd, 2014
  149. It’s interesting to me that all of the people in favor of this raise and slaughter their own rabbits. These people proudly declare how humanely their rabbits are treated and killed in comparison to cows, pigs, and chickens. I believe that they are correct in these statements, but what I fail to understand, is why they want to grocery stores to sell rabbit. If you truly care about rabbits and are proud of your small scale operations, then why would you want to risk their well being and the status quo by turning them into a mass produced commodity? The only answer could be so you can reap the financial benefits. Even if you’re treating your rabbits humanely, who’s to say that every greedy person who jumps on the rabbit meat bandwagon will treat their rabbits in the same manner? Are you aware of what is going on in the Australia concerning rabbit meat? Do you care? That could easily happen here. It happened with chickens; who’s to say it can’t happen with rabbits? The USDA doesn’t care to deal with the current problems concerning factory farms so why would rabbits be any different? Whole Foods could be the kick starter in the demand for rabbit meat and once the demand is there, people who have no concern for the humane treatment of rabbits will get involved solely to get rich. If you truly care about rabbits, why do you need the industry to grow?

    Stacy Burwell Portner | Jul 3rd, 2014
  150. Whole Foods Response with a link to their New Animal Welfare Standards for Rabbits which
    Do Not Include or require humane guidelines on how they are Processed (KILLED).


    Linda Sue | Jul 4th, 2014
  151. Can I tell you all a little secret? Rabbit is sold In ALL grocery stores.. at least all the ones I have been to.. Kroger, Walmart, Market basket, tom Thumb, Winco, Cosco… here is the big thing all that meat comes from CHINA! At least whole foods has local rabbits

    Kelsey Stringer | Jul 4th, 2014
  152. Good job Whole Foods for sticking to your guns!! I’ve never shopped at your store before but I’m going to start. You may loose a lot of customers, but you will certainly be gaining a lot more. I raise meat rabbits but it will be nice to know where to get rabbit meat if the time comes when I don’t have any “in stock”. Please don’t change your ways just because people threaten to stop shopping at your stores. Good meat that has such high standards as yours is is way better.

    Jared | Jul 4th, 2014
  153. You better take some money Jared. A LOT of money. I have the money to shop at Whole Foods and have been perfectly willing to support our local store with my business. Foodie to the core. BUT NO MORE. Done with them until they recognize and rectify their policy regarding rabbits.

    robin | Aug 19th, 2014
  154. Boyd,

    You have a cat so I’m curious, how do you prepare kitten meat? Do you prefer to fry or boil? Also, the children you instruct, how do you recomend they prepare puppy meat? I would think the grill would be best.

    Also, are you growing grass for your fryers? It takes about 200 square feet to grow enough alfalfa hay to bring one rabbit to five pounds, producing enough protein for one meal. How much protein do you think that same space would yield if it were planted with soybeans instead?

    Steven | Jul 14th, 2014
  155. Mmm, rabbit good! Let’s do guinea pig next. Lots of places sell rabbit. You can have your rabbit and eat it too. Just like fish.

    Jason | Jul 27th, 2014
  156. This whole thing is nothing more than a smear campaign being orchestrated by House Rabbit Society, “save a bunny”, and the rest of these scam artists who hide behind labels like “non-profit shelter/rescue” etc. for the sole purpose of scamming people out of donations. These defamation campaigns are growing to be very popular among animal rights extremists. Rabbits have been eaten for meat for thousands of years, wild and domestic. HR$ and $AB are claiming, “there are few people who eat rabbit meat, this is a trend WF’s is starting” Wrong, millions if people eat rabbit, everyday word wide! Another one of their claims” rabbits are the 3rd most popular companion pet”. Well guess what ? The AVMA has rabbits listed as LIVESTOCK! Rabbits are also not classified as companion animals anywhere, by any creditable source. On one public forum, one if the smear campaign supporters asked ” why are we supposed to say that, when the link doesn’t even support that statement. The response posted by their “higher up” was, ” people are lazy now a days, they won’t click on the link, people believe what they read on Facebook these days” clearly, this is all about money with these people. “Adoption fee” “re-homing fee” there’s all kinds of new terms these days to define the words SCAM ARTIST!!

    Jeff Bridges | Jul 31st, 2014
  157. Jeff, your post is laughable. The bunny, dog, and cat rescue people I’ve known over the years simply don’t have TIME to devote to being scam artists. And your claim that they’re making money off of adoption fees is utterly insane. Sorry, there is just no other word for it. Most rescue groups actually lose money, but then they’re not in it to MAKE money. The people actually MAKING A PROFIT/MONEY in this would be Whole Foods. They have NO other reason for existence other than to bring in the profits. Which is fine, yet don’t for a minute believe they have some type of ‘higher’ calling because they don’t. BUT we as consumers also have the right to either support or not support them in their efforts.

    My and my family’s personal choice is to no longer support them. True they may not miss my patronage.. even though I used to consistently spend quite a bit of money in their store. But eventually, my guess is they will begin to notice the loss of business. For years I worked for Stanley Marcus (merchant prince.. founder of Neiman Marcus), who sincerely believed EVERY customer counts. I agree with him. In time, Whole Foods might agree with him also.

    Robin | Aug 20th, 2014
  158. Lisa Z | Jul 31st, 2014
  159. You should all be more appalled at what they put in pop. I raise rabbits for food, it is economical and I can not afford or find this quality of a food resource. They are humanely treated and dispatched with no pain. Can you say that for the meat in the stores?
    As far as vegetarians are concerned, they did a study on plants and found they have much higher sensitivity than mammals and are also psychic. They know before you pick them that you are going to harm them. If you want to eat a diet that does not involve ending life I guess you will need to acquire a taste for dirt and rock?

    Michael Dan | Aug 1st, 2014
  160. I’m just curious….where are you people boycotting Whole Foods going to shop now? I have seen rabbit at every grocery store in my area. Did you know that new reaearch shows that plants can “hear themselves being eaten?” At least rabbits are dead before you eat them!

    Marcy | Aug 1st, 2014
  161. I’ve been a vegetarian for more than twenty years and a vegan for five. I’ve had rescued house rabbits as my companions for twenty years (along with my dogs and cats).. And I have to say–it’s both irrational and hypocritical to criticize and boycott this store for selling rabbits when they already sell cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, etc. Either you think it’s immoral to eat animals or you don’t (a personal choice, by the way, which you have no right to impose on anyone, in the same way no one else has the right to impose his/her values on you). If you do, it shouldn’t matter whether the animal is one you keep in your home as a pet or not. And yes, since it is not illegal to sell animals as food, it IS a more ethical choice to only buy meat from animals who were both humanely raised and slaughtered. At least Whole Foods is setting a precedent by imposing standards on its suppliers. If you really want to make a difference in the lives of domestic animals, don’t buy your rabbit supplies from places like Petco and other stores that breed and sell live animals. There are worse things than being eaten.

    Karen | Aug 2nd, 2014
  162. I have been a shopper of Whole Foods for years and with their decision to sell rabbit meat I will not go back until they stop selling it. I do have a therapy pet who happens to be a Californian mix rabbit I take to a hospital and a library and a cancer center. Rabbits are sociable, intelligent and the humber 3 house pet after cats and dogs. Please see this article on Psychology magazine about Whole Foods and their decision to sell rabbit meat:

    Blanca | Aug 5th, 2014
  163. Does America NEED to sell rabbit meat? No, we have tons of beef, pork, and chicken avaialble. We also have the highest incidence of heart disease in the world, mostly due to our reliance on beef and pork products. Rabbit meat is lean, high-quality protein, and people in the US have been eating rabbit meat since the pilgrims first set foot on these shores. Those comparing selling rabbit meat to hamsters, gerbils, chhinchillas, guinea pigs, etc., are just being ridiculous. A pair of rabbits can produce up to 200 pounds of meat per year, at a tiny fraction of the cost of one head of beef.

    People have eaten rabbits since ancient Rome. It’s nothing new. Get over it.

    Iman Oldgeek | Aug 8th, 2014
  164. I have both pet and meat rabbits.
    My rabbits live a very idyllic life. My bucks live in large grazing pens or hutches and are pampered, loving critters. My does live in a large colony pen with a ramp to an enormous hutch. Half their pen is roofed, the other half is uncovered and wire topped. They have logs to play on, buckets and tunners and wooden boxes to tunnel through, raised platforms to get off the ground, and I clean their pen regularly, putting down fresh hay. They are fed a diet comprised entirely of wholesome, delicious natural foods such as garden grown oat grass, carrot, beet, turnip, and parsnip tops as well as roots, whole sunflowers grown just for them, vegetable trimmings, apple, mulberry, blackberry, lilac, rose, and maple trimmings with leaves, and a mixture of whole oats with black oil sunflower seeds. They get as much alfalfa hay as they wish to eat. They get plenty of kitchen scrap veggies too like celery tops, carrot peels, bruised fruits, etc. I pick dandelion, clover, plantain, mallow, and many other “weeds” for them and they get fresh herbs like parsley, lemon balm, mint, etc. My girls get to roam our fenced yard daily under the watchful eye of our guardian dog. (Who, incidentally, is raw fed including rabbit) My rabbits go back into their pen when I tell them to “go home, girls!” I am a firm believer in species appropriate diets and proper exercise. Kudos to whole foods for making the welfare of the rabbits an important requirement for their farmers. I’m a tiny operation, less than 20 adults, and I approve wholeheartedly the sale of humanely treated animals of ANY kind!

    Kim Wolf Outlandish Rabbitry | Aug 13th, 2014
  165. So many selfish, self-important people ‘chiming’ in. Heavens forbid that anyone gets between a stupid animal and their choice of food. Looks like evolution topped out. Thanks for adding to the hypocrisy whole foods.

    Johnny Metall | Aug 13th, 2014
  166. I think it’s foolish to protest the selling of rabbit flesh when there are other animal flesh sold at A$$Whole Foods.

    People should be just as outraged at selling any kind of animal flesh–not just rabbits. There is no difference in their lives; all animals are sentient beings who have the right to live, and also important, people do NOT need to eat animal flesh to be healthy…And not eating animal flesh is in the long run, great for the environment as well, plus we would be saving billions of lives every year–including our own lives….

    Peace out.

    LorriePaige | Aug 16th, 2014
  167. LorriePaige, you’re exactly right regarding health and eating animal meat. Research consistently indicates that there are huge health risks in consuming animal meat. Additionally, of course, we in America are experiencing so, so many health problems due to obesity. A huge drain on our well-being, our health care system, and our way of life. Red meat is literally killing us.

    Robin | Aug 20th, 2014
  168. I think the reason Whole Foods is doing this is because it no longer holds the number 1 spot in organic foods it has many competitors and sadly in a desperate move which will in the end make it lose more customers like myself . Walmart is introducing organic stuff. It had the worst performing S&P stock. But this is no way to win WF, it is alienating so many great customers over the years! and new ones who are seeking good stuff..bye WF

    Jacie Lowes | Aug 18th, 2014
  169. The dog instead of rabbit meat argument is the stupidest attempt at an argument, dogs are canines feuds what else are canines…wolf coyote fox jackal…you get they idea…they are called predators…you get rabbits that are prey animals that the canines eat, if you kill rabbit you are lowering the population especially if you get a company to stand next to the rabbit fence in Australia, it will help overpopulation and provide meat for there closest relatives or maybe stop the Africa problem. Rabbits are overpopulated (humans are more so)

    Discord | Aug 19th, 2014
  170. Whole Foods is killing DOMESTIC rabbits, not wild rabbits in the US or anywhere else for that matter. Not buying the “prey” animal reasoning. Actually, almost every animal on earth could be considered and eaten by another species, depending on the particular species. Including humans. (btw, we do not have a problem with rabbit over-population in the US. even in the wild, to my knowledge. perhaps in certain areas, but definitely not here in VA)

    In OUR country domestic rabbits are pets in the same category as dogs and cats. They are easily trained (mine was litter box trained) and thrive indoors as delightful, loving indoor pets.

    Whole Food will regret their decision to invest and implement their decision to enter this “fringe” market in an effort to actually create a market for rabbit meat.

    robin | Aug 19th, 2014
  171. Whole Foods has to follow the same stringent guidelines that all stores who sell commercial market animals have to follow. Statistically, there are 3.2% of U.S. Adults who are vegan (only 0.5% are true vegan). I’m sure the stores selling meat are aware of this, the same can be said for the animal (and rabbit) welfare groups which is why they delete and block the other 96.8% of the posts telling them to stop shoving their views done our throats. As far as what they are accomplishing, well they’re advertising the rabbit meat for all the rest of us because we are all now fully aware of where to shop! ALL farm animals could be “pets” and many are. Thank you for promoting farms and market animals because I can guarantee you that that the 3.2% of you won’t be affecting the pockets of these stores.

    Trish D | Aug 19th, 2014
  172. Trish, has it occurred to you that views which promote the killing and eating of animals are horribly offensive to animal and animal welfare groups, therefore they most likely block (if in fact they do) due to utter disgust and upset? This is a miserable hard discussion for those of us who believe all creatures on earth have rights, including what you’re labeling ‘prey’ animals. While understanding that part of it is cultural, I also understand that when it comes to killing any animal that is defenseless, including the elderly and children, it takes a certain ‘type’ of person to be able to do so. With an exceptionally hard heart and mind.

    Btw, your stats are wrong. Too, not only vegans are opposed to killing rabbits for food. Show us some stats regarding animal lovers in general. There’s your real story. That’s also the stat that’s going to be a problem for Whole Foods bottom line.

    Robin | Aug 20th, 2014
  173. Do you realize that a rabbit will die weather it was killed for food or not. A rabbit killed for food will be much more useful to humanity then a rabbit bred as a pet

    Anon | Aug 23rd, 2014
  174. O.k. that should be whether not weather (corrected by a dyslexic btw lol).

    Secondly, I absolutely realize that rabbits die regardless if they’re killed for food or not. Which, btw, could also be said for US. The fact is rabbits have an average lifespan of around 10 years (my little Binkster lived 12 years, free roam inside & spayed). Also, in my case, my bunny was a rescue and not bought from a breeder. If we believe we have the right to live out our natural lifespan, why do you believe other animals shouldn’t have that same right? Humans can live healthier, longer lives without eating other animals. Humanity (in terms of ‘American society’) would enjoy a much higher quality of life (i.e. the end of all those motorized shopping carts people use due to immobility caused by obesity) and most likely a longer life as well without all the processed food and meat we consume.

    As for humanity, Whole Foods Market is NOT breeding, slaughtering, and selling rabbit meat for the benefit of humanity. If they did not expect to make a nice profit from this, believe me they wouldn’t be engaging in such a cruel, disgusting practice. From my perspective, considering our current problems with health and obesity the last thing we need would be additional meat choices. However, there is more money to be made from meat products than healthier fruits and vegetables. And God knows.. in our society it’s all about the bottom line. Even when it’s literally killing us. I’m a sociologist and an animal rights advocate.. if you truly believe Whole Foods is concerned with ‘humanity’ I’d strongly advise additional research.

    robin | Aug 23rd, 2014
  175. So if Whole Foods is selling rabbit meat, you’ll all go to other stores and buy your bacon, chicken breasts and hamburgers there, because who care s about those other animals, right?

    Anonymous | Aug 25th, 2014
  176. We raise meat rabbits for our own consumption. Occasionally we give one or two away to friends. Our rabbits are well loved and are part of a living system. Our 4 gardens wouldn’t be possible without their manure. Our compost would be out of control without rabbits, chickens, and alpacas (we have all of those). We name our rabbits, hold them, talk to them…eventually eat some. Growing up, my parents had a similar circle of life…except fearing my brother and I would be scared to eat rabbit, called it ‘city chicken’. Eating rabbit has drastically improved our health. By the way our chickens and alpacas all have names too. We know our food. We love our food.

    Saeriu | Sep 11th, 2014
  177. I have only 1 question. What kind of person breeds or slaughters a living thing for the profit
    are we such greedy people that one needs to create and kill to fill there own enjoyment.
    its no different then those who keep woman to breed children to sell them to sick people who only want to harm. I hope all you breeders for profit ( which I find mentally off and sick) die and come back as a animal.
    how do you live with yourself and find any peace in life . no one needs meat to live its a proven fact. we kill and eat meat because it is enjoyable, that’s just messed up .

    michelle | Oct 24th, 2014
  178. Shame on you, Whole Foods.
    I’m a vegetarian who has shopped at Whole Foods since before it was Wild Oats. I’ve never been pleased that Whole Foods sells meat, but I’ve overlooked it for the things that I do like about the store.
    It’s silly to pretend that Whole Foods does not have a huge percentage of vegan and vegetarian customers who would be offended by their bringing yet another dead animal into the store.
    The camel’s back is broken, Whole Foods. I, and most of the people I know who shop there, will not be stepping foot into a Whole Foods Market until rabbit is taken off the shopping menu.

    Laura | Oct 25th, 2014
  179. Then you’re being a hypocrite. You should not shop there for their selling ANY meat if you are being true to your supposed belief system. To deem one meat animal’s life more valuable than another is just ridiculous.

    Kim | Oct 28th, 2014
  180. Not at all, Kim. I don’t think you read my post. It’s the slaughter and selling of an additional order/species of animal that has turned me away from Whole Foods. It’s their attempt to bring rabbit meat into the elite mainstream, and the resulting suffering and death, merely for profit, that has turned me away.
    I have to wonder if you, by your stated standard of not deeming one animal’s life to be more valuable than another’s, eat cats or dogs? Or if you would condone their killing for profit and consumption?
    Forgive me if I’m right, but putting the word “meat” in front of the word “animal” is a very weak attempt at suggesting that an animal has less sentience than another simply because its fate is to be slaughtered at 3 or 4 months of age. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but the two rabbits that I cuddle with and keep happy and healthy for their own sake, are my pets. The breed of rabbit being slaughtered and sold by Whole Foods is a very common house pet here in the US and Canada. Not that breed matters, but these are among the most gentle and loving of all rabbits.
    Putting the word “meat” in from of the word “animal” is a way to justify, to rationalize the abuse, the suffering, the killing of feeling beings, and the eating corpses. It does not change the nature of the animal.
    You can paint a house any color you want, white house or green house – it’s still a house. Designating an animal as meat may make its fate easier to digest, but it does not change the nature of the animal.

    Laura | Oct 28th, 2014
  181. What you don’t realize is that rabbits have been meat long before pets. They were brought here by immigrants to help sustain their families. The domestic rabbit is descended from European rabbits, so they cannot breed with native wild rabbits in the US. There are many breeds of rabbit today that would be extinct if not for meat breeders like myself.
    No, I don’t eat cat or dog, but know people who did where they came from. I choose not to eat predator animals. Our culture is like that. If I had a survival situation, I would. But since I live in the land of choice, I make the choice to eat only prey animals. They taste better. I have both pet and meat rabbits, for the record.

    Kim | Oct 29th, 2014
  182. Kim, I realize much more than you imagine….
    It makes sense that you are a breeder/killer now that you mention it. I would do everything I could to justify my actions as well, if I were you.
    So, guess you don’t eat fish then – or maybe you didn’t realize that fish are predator animals. As are humans. Both predator and prey. Interesting, isn’t it?

    Laura | Nov 8th, 2014
  183. To provide you an concept of the effect: my credit rating is
    lower than it normally is (around 720 now, normally
    it is nearer to 760), but that is largely because I am floating a large steadiness on a 0% card.

    crédit contentieux | Dec 17th, 2014
  184. Rabbit is tasty.

    Robert Tricks | Dec 20th, 2014
  185. Rabbits after mice are basically the definition of prey for the pet matters pigs are smarter yet someone in the 40-50 in the Us decided pork, beef, and chiken are ok to be in the table. Insects have been part of the human diet as well but someone was squemish about it despite being a lean source of protein. Discounting vegan and vegetarian practices for religious or moral reasons most human and primates are omnivorous we do need all the aminoacids to survive. Beef consumption is ecocide it requires way too much resources is not a native specie to any part of America just the Europeans settlers were not to keen on buffaloes which is an indigenous specie that was brought to the brik os extinction to help with the native American genocide. Any practice that diminishes beef consumption is good for the eviroment and if the animals are treated more humanely than in pig factories the better.

    lorena G | Dec 28th, 2014
  186. I guarantee you that the selling of rabbits as food at Whole Foods store will not diminish beef consumption. All signs have shown that rabbits to be sold at Whole Foods are not raised or killed humanely. You may also notice that those who come out in favor of selling rabbit meat at Whole Foods tend to be rabbit breeders, who obviously have their own financial interests in mind.

    Laura | Dec 30th, 2014
  187. I believe everybody has a right to eat what they want to. However, eating meat is unhealthy, and the meat is genetically altered. I don’t think a person has to eat meat to get their protein. They can always eat leafy greens, beans, and eggs. The Rabbits can still carry dieses ,and the fecal matter can still cause the PH levels (in the ecosystem ) to be high. Not to mention the pain, and suffering the Rabbits have to put up with-until they die. And the large amounts of Rabbits they are breeding in a small space is unhealthy. They are bound to get sick, or have anxiety ,and fear. There are all kinds of Rabbits diseases people are not familiar with. If someone eats a Rabbits that has one of those diseases they are going to suffer the adverse effects. If they give them antibiotics the person that eats the meat can eventually become antibiotic resistance. That’s why I don’t eat meat at all. Being kind to animals means all animals.. Besides the meat industry breeding thousands of cows, pigs, chicken ,and rabbits and their fecal matter polluting the rivers. And the PH levels out of control.

    lisa | Jan 12th, 2015
  188. so they sell rabbit here? I might come there just for that! No one near me sells rabbit and now i have a specific reason to go there. Thanks Whole Food Market! You got another costumer.

    Aron Hasler | Jan 12th, 2015
  189. why is everyone so hostile? i understand where both parties are coming from, but the people commenting on this article are not cold blooded killers or dirty hippie scum. why is it that we need to be so rude to have an opinion? people have always and will always eat meet, if you don’t eat meet that’s awesome! you will probably be very healthy for the rest of your life but some people like meet just cuz. is that wrong? the way we treat the animals and the environment is very important but damn it, its apart of the history of our planet to eat meet. if there is an option to humanely produce meet in an environmentally friendly way then i think we should pursue that, and if it turns out its not sustainable then we should pursue other avenues. To be honest, I support Whole foods cuz at least there trying to be conscience of there impact on the planet. If you think you can do a better job then do it and be the example to live by. I will be the first to jump on the band wagon. But more importantly then any of this, is respecting a fellow human being. if you tell me I’m an idiot why would i listen to you? you could be right and if i decided to implement your teaching it could change my life, but i’m not going to listen to you if your a dick. call me an ass but i just assume most people feel this way. No one likes to learn from a bully. I’m just a no body and i’m not trying to cause problems but if you ask me, changing the world and giving mother nature the love she deserves starts by gaining the trust and respect of your fellow man. we should be united even tho our beliefs are different. Be patent, respond with love, and teach in away that inspires learning and not anger. But yolo right its your life do what you want.

    kevin | Jan 30th, 2015
  190. Lisa | Mar 13th, 2015

    Adriana | Apr 18th, 2015

    Adriana | Apr 18th, 2015

    A | Apr 18th, 2015

    Bar@@** | Apr 18th, 2015
  195. Adriana… Did your parents leave you unattended online again? You do know that caps does nothing but make you look unintelligent.. wait, no, your nonsenical rambling makes you look unintelligent.
    I can’t be bothered to war with you, you’re terribly unarmed.
    By the way, there are a number of diseases rabbit can be a vector for, several of them zoonotic.
    You and your ilk do not have the right to make choices for everyone else. Your little rant shows so much the psychi of the typical AR fanatic.. so full of self hate that you can only identify with animals and hate other humans. And l am so sorry that someone so abused you at some point in your life that you cannot identify with your own species, unless they are as rage filled and broken as you.
    Note, I am referring to the AR quotant. I respect the food choice vegans and vegetarians, so long as they respect mine. In fact, I make some really nice vegan dishes for those of my friends that do not eat meats or animal products.
    But I have no qualms about breeding, raising and eating non sapient animals.
    Interestingly, rabbit meat is one of the top three meats in Europe, which is where the domestic rabbit hails from. Rabbit has always been on the menu. Many people even had rabbitries in their backyards along with their victory gardens to support the soldiers.
    Rabbits were domesticated for food, that is a fact. It is only recently that they have been considered pets. I greatly look forward to raising, breeding and yes killing my own rabbits for my table and to feed my cats and dogd

    Bella | May 7th, 2015
  196. I support anyone who is against eating rabbit from not buying it. This is nothing like eating dogs or cats that are only pets here in the US (or supposed to be) Rabbits are a food source primarily and sometimes a pet. The line is more clear for animals like cows who are rarely pets. So if you have a soft spot for rabbits don’t buy them. Vote with your actions. I, however,want to buy rabbit from Whole Foods.

    Karen | May 29th, 2015
  197. Judging from the comments some people feel very strongly about eating rabbits and some about eating any meat. Consider this: you do not eat or wear any animal products, right? Do you drive a car, wear store bought clothes, live in house, use a computer, use some form of heat for cooking or heating, want fruit nuts and vegetables to eat, buy canned goods, breathe air, drink water, use medical facilities or medication to mention but a few. The solution is easy. Save the planet not just rabbits. Reduce the population worldwide to 10% of current volumes. It is easy to condem someone whose values differ from your. In time of drought game such as rabbits survive where little else does, including vegetation.

    Amanda | Aug 5th, 2015
  198. I eat rabbit because I prefer to raise my animals humanely, rather than eat a cow or chicken or pig that was raised in a warehouse somewhere. I give them lots of room, and generally treat them humanely. I do not have the room to raise other animals in the same way.
    Rabbits have a very low feed conversion ratio. this means that for the amount of feed it takes to produce one pound of beef, you could produce about three poound rabbit meat. All of you people hating on rabbit meat are ignorant, as well as tolerant of world hunger. the strain on the earths natural resources would be significantly reduced if more people would switch to a food source that makes more sense, like rabbit. As for them being a pet, none of you have ever known a pig. Almost every pig I’ve ever known was nicer and more friendly than my rabbits, even the pet ones I’ve had. There is no logical argument to eat other animals but not rabbits.
    As far as other countries having no choice… do you mean France? or Sweden? It is common throughout Europe to eat rabbit. I understand most of you are probably uneducated on the sunbject, but people are hardly starving in Scandinavia.
    So go ahead, keep thinking with your hearts rather than your heads and help drive the world further down the spiral. I’ll be eating rabbits.

    Rabbiteater | Aug 9th, 2015
  199. I raise and I eat Rabbits. I will continue to do so. The ramblings of some dumb ass that thinks they are right about everything and think thier shit don’t stink can kiss my hairy ass. Some of the comments have me convinced that the writer has the head stuck so far up that ass they could start pulling it out now and wouldn’t see daylight for six months.

    TJ | Sep 4th, 2015
  200. Hurray for the rabbits! Whole Foods got caught not meeting standards and will stop selling rabbit meat! Victory is Ours, say all the evil little poofy headed bunnies!

    laura | Sep 28th, 2015
  201. It’s amazing that people have such a difficult time accepting that an animal is an animal eaten or not eaten. How is the life of a dog, cat, or other animal worth more than the life of a cow, pig, chicken, or turkey? Yes, it is rather unappetizing to imagine eating an animal that many in our country consider a pet, however, the real reality no matter what our feelings, which are simply opinions and not based on any factual evidence, is that meat is meat and killing is killing. Since killing for meat is allowed in our society, people should be allowed to eat what they wish as long as they are not infringing upon the rights of others to keep their pets, inhumanely treating the proposed food or putting others in danger with tainted product. How can one accept the eating of dogs, rabbits, cats, etc.. from others outside of our society, but not within. Do you realize that some animals we consider food are considered inedible in other cultures? There is no need for ugliness simply because someone’s opinion is different from yours.

    Nooney | Oct 20th, 2015
  202. Whole Foods was found to be, in fact, treating their meat rabbits inhumanely. Whole Foods sells bullshit, just like every other enterprise that tells you they raise their livestock humanely. If you must eat meat, or animal products of any kind, I beg you to look long and hard at how the animal is living before it is killed. If you aren’t allowed to see the animals in person, you don’t want to see it. If you don’t want to see it, you are lying to yourself by saying it’s okay.

    laura | Oct 23rd, 2015
  203. There seems to be a huge problem with humanizing rabbits here. Don’t get me wrong, I feel the same way about my dogs. I treat them like children. However, as much as I love bunnies too, I want to get into rabbit farming. It’s ecologically friendly meat I can raise in my own back yard with minimal care, healthier than store bought meats (especially now that it can be slaughtered here, processed in china, shipped back.. and they don’t have to tell you that legally), and efficient to raise. Keep Thumper as your pet, be offended and don’t buy rabbit meat, but keep your paws off my ability to do so. Really, it’s like telling someone that AC in 100 degree weather is bad for the environment. Well, heat exhaustion is bad for me. Rabbit meat lovers are like the solar panels of the meat industry here, being told they’re weird and nuts when really it can be more efficient and productive and better for the environment. Viva la rabbit!

    Madison | Oct 22nd, 2015
  204. i am an animal lover and was an animal activist when i was a teenager, however i also understand that animals were put on this earth for consumption. even you. if you don’t want to eat rabbit and find it disgusting, fine, that’s your prerogative, but stomping on everyeone elses right to eat rabbit because you don’t like the thought of it is very arrogant, selfish and is wrong as well. i had a pet rabbit as a kid … but i also ate rabbit for dinner. i also had a pet pig … but i also ate pig feet for dinner. animals don’t care about your make believe morals and people who get all emotional have a real problem.

    Z0ë | Nov 23rd, 2015
  205. I am excited to hear they will be selling meat Guinea pigs in the near future in select markets.

    Robert | Nov 25th, 2015
  206. First world problems amuse me. Rabbits were food long before pampered people turned them into pets. The recent rise of putting crocheted sweaters and dresses on chickens will no doubt have the ARA crowd screaming that chickens are the fourth most popular pet in America and people are barbaric for eating them before long. I also find it cute how people recoil in horror over seeing an animal they consider fluffy and cute on a styrofoam plate under plastic, but have no such issues over seeing a chicken or hunk of ground beef on that same plate. I suspect these are the same people who worship the likes of the Kardashains but sneer at the less attractive among us. Good for you Whole Foods. Rabbit is a healthy, lean meat and millions of people worldwide eat it, including here in the US. It should be readily available, and those who don’t like it can just clutch their mood rings and go eat a murdered carrot.

    Jane Doe | Dec 6th, 2015
  207. I do not have a whole foods around me ,but would like to comment. While I can understand peoples concept of rabbits as pets you must keep in mind rabbits are a very good source of protein while the meat is so lean you don’t pack on the pounds eating it. Dogs are not ate because Americans have a thing about eating carnivores and that is the only reason we don’t eat dogs and cats,but we do eat horse cows shreep and so on.

    Mark | Dec 6th, 2015
  208. Good for whole foods! Selling one of the healthiest meats possible! As for the growing trend of racing your own rabbits for consumption is on the rise all over the country! Knowing what happens to chickens and cows and complaining about rabbits is ridiculous! The horrible life they go through!

    Dawn | Dec 6th, 2015
  209. I love rabbit. I raise and eat rabbit. Some of you folks are just nuts. Meat is meat. Are cows less worthy of living? How arbitrary and arrogant to appoint yourself as judge of what meat is acceptable to eat. If you aren’t vegan then you are a hypocrite. Every meat you eat had a face.

    yum | Dec 6th, 2015
  210. It isn’t a matter of not having the protein choices but of becoming more health conscience. Many Americans are waking up to the desire to lead healthier lives and that includes making healthier dietary choices. Rabbit meat is a lean meat that provides excellent benefits. And as more and more people consume the meat and find the benefits first hand, they will likely migrate to raising their own. As it is a meat that is easily raised for yourself without the need for lots of acreage as other animals would require. You are free to MOVE ON and not pick up that meat just as another is able to walk by other choices that are available on the WF shelves.

    Terri | Dec 6th, 2015
  211. I raise rabbits for meat and we also raise all of our poultry here. Rabbit by far is better for the environment, better tasting, better for your body, and more filling. We have replaced almost all red meat with rabbit in our household. Whole Foods is free to sell any type of meat they want. I am glad to see them bringing back this highly nutritious , sustainable, green, source of protein.
    For those who garden, you may also be impressed with the rabbit manure. It is not hot, so it can go directly into a vegetable garden and produce ten fold what dumping chemicals into the soil will do. This is good for organically growing the very food the rabbits consume as well as keeping the nitrogen blooms from destroying our water ways. You can’t say that about cats and dogs. Studies have shown that animal waste from yards ,along with nitrogen rich fertilizers on lawns and gardens in the Chesapeake bay water shed is destroying the delicate ecosystem that supports our fisheries. One could say that eating more rabbit may save the ocean . So get off Whole Foods back and use rabbit poo to grow your veggies.

    Virginia | Dec 6th, 2015
  212. ya’ ll toward the end here are a little late. Whole Foods’ rabbit raising practices were found to be far less than humane. As a result, they have already been forced to stop selling rabbit meat in their stores. Victory for the loving, sweet souls that will not be made to be born, to only be tortured and killed.

    laura | Dec 7th, 2015
  213. As “city folk” who recently started my own family rabbitry, the process of raising and dispatching these creatures has made me infinitely more respectful of the animals and the sacrifice they make. It’s not always easy to take something you cared for and dispatch it so your family can eat. That small moment of hesitation at each butchering has helped my family better understand the ramifications behind all the food we eat. Each rabbit is thanked and hugged for their sacrifice.

    Taking the life yourself forces you into a much different mindset than picking up a ready-to-go package from the meat counter.

    KFW | Dec 7th, 2015
  214. i want my bunny braised

    federico | Apr 15th, 2016
  215. I think it a bit appalling that I’ve never eaten rabbit. So it’s on my bucket list.

    Robert Cox | Apr 21st, 2016
  216. […] Whole Foods Market responds to complaint about rabbit … – Recent News. Whole Foods Market responds to complaint about rabbit meat sales […]

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About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.