By Deborah Claasen
In an effort to rally support from the AR community of which I am a part, I wrote this and posted it to my time line…
Why should AR advocates care that WF is selling rabbit meat?
Because we are on the cusp of either preventing or promoting another species of factory farmed animal being added to the menu and your action or inaction can make the difference. Please allow me to clarify why it is so important for each of us to participate in at least a boycott of this trend setting food chain who caters to vegetarians and vegans and is hell bent on adding another species of tortured animal to the list of those bred and killed for their flesh.
When I first learned WF had a “pilot” project marketing rabbit meat in “select stores,” I really believed that the activist community would mount a large campaign and it would be an issue that was quickly resolved. Who eats rabbits in this day and age? Bunnies are considered pets by most people. What’s next- dogs and cats? When I posed this question to the numerous whole foods managers I spoke to early on, they were animate that they would never sell the dead bodies of our favorite companion animals and many were not comfortable selling the carcasses of the third most popular companion animal (rabbits) either.
I have watched in horror as WF has expanded their program and added store after store, region after region to their list of places carrying the cruel product despite the efforts of a small army of bunny admirers and activists. It has become obvious that WF is heavily invested in adding these beautiful creatures many of us enjoy sharing our homes with to what used to be a shrinking list of animals being bred and killed for their flesh. They are sparing no expense promoting their consumption by advertising widely and touting them as a “sustainable” alternative to other meats. They are offering cooking classes and tastings in their stores. They are marketing them as being “humanely” raised and killed ( like their other animal products) even though they are being produced in states that have Ag-Gag laws which prevent documentation of conditions on farms and slaughterhouses. Additionally, rabbits are considered poultry and are exempt from humane slaughter laws. How can they possibly know how the rabbits are raised much less claim they are humanely killed? They don’t and they can’t. The same is likely true of all of their animal products, but that is a fight for another day.
The majority of the burden for fighting this has been borne by a hand full of rabbit rescue organizations who are already stretched to their limits with the rigorous and challenging work they do daily to save as many lives as possible. A job they fear will become even more challenging as more rabbits are bred as a food source. They have been doing an amazing job, but it is simply not sustainable for them to continue to lead the charge. They need the animal rights community to come out in support of this issue before it is too late.
I have been perplexed and disappointed in the lack of support and participation by my vegan activist community. The only explanation I can come up with is that many are simply unaware (which I learned was true last weekend at Veg Fest) or are under informed. I am writing this to clarify the issue and hope that everyone who reads it will at the very minimum, stop supporting whole foods until they stop promoting the consumption of yet another species of innocent animal.
I have had no trouble finding other places to find every single product I used to buy at Whole Foods and I have saved a lot of money in the process. Please feel free to contact me if you want details on how I have managed to continue to find healthy vegan foods while staying away from whole foods.
As I said before, we are on the cusp of either preventing or promoting another species of factory farmed animal being added to the menu. If you are not at least boycotting the organization responsible for moving it forward, you will be regretting not taking action when you see it evolve and realize your complicity.
Please, please, please, show your support before it is too late.
Boycott whole foods.