Can You Eat a Pet Rabbit?

Categorized as Bunny Facts

Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Eating your pet rabbit is not a matter of being legal because pet rabbits are not illegal to eat in the United States. Only dogs and cats have laws that prohibit people from slaughtering them for human consumption.

It is, however, unethical to slaughter your pet rabbit because, if you truly love your pet, why on earth would you even consider eating it?

Additionally, pet rabbits are not raised to be eaten; they are raised as companion animals.

Pet rabbits have less meat compared to rabbits that are raised to be eaten, which are called “meat rabbits”.

So, even if you did decide to eat your pet rabbit, the amount of meat you would get is not worth it.

If you really want to eat a rabbit, you can buy a meat rabbit from a rabbitry or meat shop that sells rabbit meat.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the article in more detail:

A black rabbit smelling a gavel

It’s legal to eat meat from rabbits in the United States. Because of the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018, only the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption is illegal.

As for other countries, only Kerala, a state in India, has banned the slaughtering of rabbits.

Every other country (except for Kerala, India) has yet to ban the consumption of rabbit meat.

In fact, the global rabbit meat market has seen an increase of 12% in 2017 and is expected to grow.

It seems that meat rabbits’ only hurdle for growth is the fact that it’s considered taboo to consume them.

Rabbits are in fact a healthy alternative to other meats like chicken, pork, beef, lamb, veal, and turkey.

Rabbit meat has more protein per serving, the lowest fat, and the lowest calories per serving compared to the mentioned alternatives above.

It’s also more environmentally friendly to consume rabbits due to how fast it is to raise one for meat consumption and how little space it needs.

Religions that prohibit eating meat from rabbits

Religions like Judaism prohibit eating rabbits because it’s not considered Kosher. 

Other religions, like the Brahmins, also prohibit the consumption of meat from rabbits because they are vegetarians.

Why should you not eat your pet rabbit?

A girl hugging her pet rabbit.

The number one reason why you should not eat your pet rabbit is that it’s ethically wrong.

While it’s true that rabbits are not illegal to eat, pet rabbits are still raised to be your companion.

If you really want to eat a rabbit, you should look into meat rabbits or rabbits that are raised for consumption.

As for the health risk of eating a pet rabbit, here are the dangers of eating rabbit meat:

  • Tularemia: Otherwise known as “rabbit fever,” is a disease caused by the bite of infected insects like ticks and deerflies, which pass on the bacterium Francisella tularensis to the person handling the infected animal.
  • Parasites: Rabbit meat also hosts a variety of parasites like warbles, flukes, and intestinal worms. Most of these parasites can be killed by cooking the meat properly or to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
  • Protein poisoning: Protein poisoning or “rabbit starvation,” happens when a person exclusively eats rabbit meat for long periods of time. Our bodies need fat to function properly, but because rabbit meat contains so little of it, eating it exclusively would often lead to rabbit starvation.

Conclusion

You can eat your pet rabbit because it’s not prohibited in the United States and most parts of the world.

But, it’s unethical because these rabbits are raised to be companions to us humans.

If you really want to eat a rabbit, you can look into your local rabbitries and buy a meat rabbit.

Welcome to Bunnyhorde x
Welcome to Bunnyhorde

These rabbits are specifically bred to be eaten.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (May 5, 2022) Can You Eat a Pet Rabbit?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-you-eat-a-pet-rabbit/.
"Can You Eat a Pet Rabbit?." Bunny Horde - May 5, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-you-eat-a-pet-rabbit/

Sources

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.