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Whole Foods decision to sell rabbit meat brings out protesters

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whole food protesters 1RICHMOND, Va. — The tales of Peter Rabbit and the Easter bunny fill many a childhood, and many consider the fluffy animals pets and companions.

But for others, they’re another source of food.

Nationwide protests were staged this weekend in response to the Whole Foods Market decision to sell rabbit meat in select stores. Some people say eating a rabbit is like eating a pet.

Protesters hope the market will be swayed by their presence. A group of protesters take responsibility for the Virginia Beach Whole Food Market’s decision to stop selling rabbit meat in July.

Protesters showed up Sunday at the  Whole Foods in Short Pump, which now sells rabbit.

The rabbit meat won’t be sold at every location, but is being sold in the Mid Atlantic, northeast, North Atlantic, Midwest, and Northern California, according to

In a statement, the company said the meat will be consistent with Whole Foods standards. That means the rabbits won’t be caged, will be fed, treated if sick, and allowed time to rest before being re-bred.

CBS 6 reached out to the public relations department. Spokeswoman Katie Malloy issued a statement:

“Whole Foods Market is sensitive to the companion animal issue and we understand this product won’t appeal to everyone. However, for those customers who have been asking us to carry rabbit, it’s our job to make sure we offer the highest-quality product from responsible sources. A number of shoppers have been asking Whole Foods Market to carry rabbit for years but conventional raising practices do not meet our rigorous animal welfare standards.
To meet our customers’ requests for rabbit we needed our own set of animal welfare standards, and these rabbit welfare standards are a direct result of a rigorous four-year process to address the welfare issues in rabbit production.  As we have done in the past, our hope is that our high standards will be a model for industry change.”
 To see pictures from around the nation, click here. 



    • kaya9660

      Just killed and cleaned my first chicken about a month ago…and it was gross. Your statement is entirely right on.
      Besides, just like one wouldn’t usually eat a “show quality” bantam hen, one would eat a pet store rabbit. There are different breeds of rabbits out there, some specifically breed for eating, other not. Educate yourselves you ignorant masses.

      Raising rabbits is better for the environment too. Much better than the antibiotic resistant cows and pigs currently available.

    • Raymond Najera

      Not really, thankfully my hubby and I turned our backyard into an organic garden we keep learning and growing and feed ourselves now from it which is great and healthier. We have a Norwegian Forest cat and it’s abhorrent what Whole Foods is doing

    • Raymond Najera

      not really we turned our backyard into an organic garden where we grow our food and eat from it which is healthier. We have a Norwegian Forest cat and what Whole Foods is doing is abhorrent!

    • Lee Britt

      “Would you like to shoot me now or wait until you get home?”

      Stupid hippies…always thinking that THEIR way is best for everyone else. Way to be ‘tolerant’ & open-minded to views other than you own. What about MY freedom of choice? Guess “hippie” is short for “hippie-crite”…

      • Proud bunny lover

        You clearly have the freedom to be an idiot…identifying all people who stand up for the rights of animals-pets-as “hippies”, really?
        Would you feel the same if they were selling dog or cat meat and people were protesting that?

  • Diana Filipi

    I think it’s weird that folks are so up in arms about rabbit meat. I eat meat. I eat cow and pig and I’ve eaten animals folks have hunted like dear and squirrel. So far the only meats I’ve not cared for are mutton and bear.

    • WuzYoungOnceToo

      No one is trying to make you eat any of your pets. If you have a rabbit as a pet, don’t eat it. Problem solved. But don’t try to tell the rest of us that we can’t eat something that has been a stable source of protein on dinner tables for centuries.

      • David

        athynz. Doubt anyone would stalk someone as insignificant as you, certainly not me. But continue to believe whatever. Apparently you are paranoid as well as incredibly simple minded. The “OP” is anything you want fat blowhard wussie.

      • athynz

        athynz. Doubt anyone would stalk someone as insignificant as you, certainly not me.”

        If I am truly that insignificant then why have you replied to every single post I’ve made? But no, you are not stalking me on this forum…/sarcasm

        “But continue to believe whatever.”

        I will – with or without your permission.

        “Apparently you are paranoid as well as incredibly simple minded.”

        This coming from the guy who replies to every single post I make and uses multiple screen names to do so, the guy who is incapable of addressing the actual topic at hand, the guy who calls people liars and yet gets proven wrong time and time again. Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong David?

        “The “OP” is anything you want fat blowhard wussie.”

        The “OP” in this instance stands for “Original Poster” – if you had a modicum of the intelligence you claim to possess you’d realize that. Then again it is the uneducated ones who have to resort to starting up with insults to “prove” their points. Case in point is every single reply you’ve sent my way, manalishi’s way, becky’s way…

      • athynz

        athynz …. your rant is very weak, as per usual. You must be very tired of being extremely stupid.

        AUGUST 22, 2014 AT 12:13 AM”

        As usual you openly display your lack of intelligence, common courtesy, and willful ignorance.

        Proof of anything to an idiot like athynz is not likely to happen. athynz couldn’t make his way from a premise to a conclusion in a million years.

        AUGUST 22, 2014 AT 12:18 AM”

        More proof that you continue to stalk me – nice try oh brave keyboard warrior but replying to my every post is a rather juvenile way to try to get rid of me. Sadly for you it’s still not working after almost 2 years of this. The definition of idiocy is repeating the same action time and time again and expecting different results. You’ve done this repeatedly expecting me to leave. Idiot.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      Eating dogs and cats is legal in most every state. Just have to slaughter it properly. Don’t like it? Oh well, not your decision, and your little protest is doing nothing but letting people like myself who didn’t previously know, know that rabbit is available there now. THANKS!

    • Joe

      Why weren’t you liberal dingbats protesting Whole Foods for the past 20 years while they’ve been selling cow meat and chicken meat?

  • D

    I’m a vegetarian and yet I don’t understand this protest. Why draw the line at rabbits? People have pigs for pets too. And Charlotte’s Web anyone? Pigs are cute to many people; yet they don’t protest pork. Raising rabbits is FAR better for the environment than cows. From that standpoint this would be progress… yet they don’t protest beef they protest the rabbit meat. As a tree hugger lefty I’m embarrassed. The right wingers are having a ball with the hypocratic sentimentality and rightfully so I’m afraid.

  • Bill

    That’s awesome. Thanks to the protesters for advertising that rabbit is available. I now know where to go if want some to cook.

  • Gregg

    Come on people. No one Is going to eat pets of any sort. My family has hunted to provide meats for long periods of time. Deer, Rabbit , Turkey, Squirrel, Duck, Catfish, Turtle, Crabs. We dont need trophies. The woods…… Natures Whole foods

  • mia

    I raised livestock, including rabbits, when I was a girl. My parents were raised on farms, as were my grandparents. Dirt farming never provided the full nutrition that adding protein did.
    Making things MORE complicated today is the lack of nutrients today genetically modified and hybridized frankenveggies suffer. My bet is that vegans and vegetarians might be better off eating the box their seitan comes in for the amount of nutrient value modern vegetables jave.
    We are omnivores, plain and simple. I dont like the thought that some animals we consider companions are used for food, but that is the reality of feeding people.

    • Jim

      Thanks for the vocabulary improvement. I guess it’s a good thing vegans aren’t gluten intolerant. Before anyone takes that to seriously, I’m sure some of them have to survive on ethereal things because they are allergic to reality.

  • king

    I wish I could be there to throw down my weber grill in the parking lot and grill up some rabbit meat in front of them

  • Linda

    Are you seriously kidding me? So they think people do not care for their farm animals that not only feed these idiots but allow them to have designer handbags, shoes, hats, coats, belts and the list goes on and on!!! Protest something worth the time and effort like no jobs, no housing, Vets with no limbs, etc., etc., etc. Get a life idiots!!!

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    What a bunch of idiots. Some people keep pigs as pets, goats as pets, sheep as pets, etc. I think them and the rabbits have the same IQ.

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    You know fish have feelings too. I hope they feel the same way about fish. I had a gold fish when I was a kid.

  • Gail

    These yuppies are ignorant! If you don’t want to buy the rabbit meat simply don’t buy it! It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out! If you don’t want to see it simply don’t look!!! What is the difference in killing & eating a chicken or a cow versus a rabbit! I as a kid had both a pet cow & pet chickens & yes we eventually ate them! People need to get their heads out of their rear ends!!

    • Raymond Najera

      what whole foods is trying to do is start an artificial market for rabbits which is WRONG in every aspect so don’t support it anymore. I was going to their store and why since there are so many other inexpensive great stores who are great.

  • Morning Dew

    From the picture, it looks like there were 3 protesters. Three! Three people protesting. That’s nothing to get your panties in a wad over.

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    Gail, I agree with everything other than the “Yuppy” thing. These aren’t yuppies, they are “Hipsters”, pretend hippies, college dropouts and trash. For the most part. Yuppies, (which I am) usually only protest things relating to fiscal matters. If at all. There are some nice restaurants out there that have rabbit on the menu. They just want something to complain about.

    • Tammy S Johnson

      I am a republican, Christian, with a 4 year college degree( not a 2 year college degree) and I support these people and a baby boomer. Most of us grew with a bunny pet. I feel these people have a soul, and very smart. And they are the kind of people who care and probably help the houseless more than the rest of the people. While people in Whole Foods were going in and out I observed 2-3 houseless people who stopped by to ask about their cause and one was really caring while the shoppers didn’t even acknowledged them nor offered a bottle of water nor said Hi to them. I do believe this country has so many issues but the issue here is helping the bunnies and other groups can help the other animals. But they are focused on helping these creatures. As for Whole Foods stores, am sure people losing trust and respect and one can shop elsewhere. This is not the way Whole Foods to make money. .

  • Becky

    Wonder if rather than resorting to childish Disney Cartoon Rabbits and PBS Characters of big yellow birds….
    The Celebrated Correct Positively(?) PC Richmond Media of In-Crowd Mindset, celebrated a new celebrity chef, featuring rabbit, with it celebrated game selection. Would the celebrated Richmond Foodies Networking Estabishment celebrate it then as Positively Foodie Fru Fru?

  • T Sweeney

    Rabbits are among the highest efficiency converters of grain to meat in the world. Cheap, high quality protein. And they taste good. And you get rabbit skin for mad bomber hats,

  • Cherry Biggins

    By the comments I see thus far, none of you have had a problem getting access to rabbit for consumption. No one is telling you what you can or can not eat, why is that always the first comment? Whole Foods not selling rabbit is not going to keep anyone that really wants it to obtain it. There just doesn’t NEED to be another animal added the torturous commercial food chain. Especially one that more than 2.5 million keep as HOUSE pets. And for those that keep saying ‘meat is meat’ wait till they do start offering up dogs and cats. The fact is that it is NOT illegal to kill and use for human consumption dogs and cats in more than 40 states here in the US. No…Whole Foods is NOT selling ‘Wild’ rabbit as they would like the public to believe.

      • David

        Proof of anything to an idiot like athynz is not likely to happen. athynz couldn’t make his way from a premise to a conclusion in a million years.


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