UPDATE FEBRUARY 9: Central Grocers reports that Central Grocers, Inc. no longer carries nor distributes imported rabbit meat!
February 2, 2016
Ken Nemeth, President
2600 West Haven Avenue
Joliet, IL 60433
Dear Mr. Nemeth,
This letter is being sent on behalf of dozens of animal rescue and animal welfare organizations, for which Rabbit Advocacy Network speaks. We are requesting that Central Grocers stop distributing rabbit meat.
We estimate that there are approximately 9 million pet rabbits in the United States, and that number is increasing every day. Indeed, after cats and dogs, rabbits are becoming one of America’s most popular pets; they are the third most popular companion mammal in this country. The website of House Rabbit Society, an international rabbit rescue and education organization headquartered in the Bay Area, receives over 400,000 hits per month from individuals interested in rabbits as house pets. These people are as repelled by the idea of eating a rabbit as would most Americans of eating a cat or a dog for dinner.
Beyond that population, there are many millions of Americans who don’t live with a pet rabbit who also view the consumption of rabbits as an abhorrent practice. This is doubly true when we add in the fact that the rabbit meat that Central Grocers carries comes from China—a nation with absolutely no legislation which protects the rabbits who are raised and killed for meat.
Most people now know that rabbits are intelligent, funny, curious, and emotionally engaging animals, whose role in millions of American households rivals the family’s dog or cat. They sleep on (or under) our beds, eat from our refrigerators, and chew on our shoes. Americans do not want to think that a cherished companion animal is also kept in horrible, overcrowded conditions simply to be slaughtered (by unspeakably cruel methods) for human consumption.
We are asking our members, our supporters, and everyone who visits both the Rabbit Advocacy Network and the House Rabbit Society websites and social media sites to be contacting Central Grocers to register their unhappiness with your company for your inhumane choice, and to cease shopping at the stores you service until you stop distributing rabbit meat.
We eagerly await your reply.
Margo DeMello, PhD
President, House Rabbit Society