The majority of today’s society grows up without any livestock experience, so it can be difficult for them to understand why we breed rabbits. With social media being so prevalent and the ability for misinformation to spread so quickly, it is increasingly important to accurately educate. We must acknowledge what the public thinks about raising animals, why they have that opinion, and be able to effectively communicate why we choose to breed rabbits.
Why Do You Breed Rabbits?
Before we can help others understand why we breed rabbits we need to have a thorough understanding ourselves. Breeding purposes can vary greatly, but they usually have the same base principles.
Education and Hobby
Breeding rabbits allows us to learn about animal behavior, genetics, reproductive biology, and more on a hands-on level. Additionally, raising any type of animal comes with the greatest of joys and the biggest heartbreaks. These lessons carry on with us through life and teach us how to handle a variety of situations.
Rabbitries are often started as hobbies and quickly engage us as we start to see success in our herd. For many, their rabbitry will stay a hobby. It’s a little piece of the world in which their dedication can directly be seen in the end results.
Even if its not the main reason, education and hobby are typically included when you ask yourself, “Why do I breed rabbits?”.
Showing and Bettering Breeds
If you breed rabbits for show, you always have a goal image you’re working towards. You need to be able to decipher every little detail of a rabbit’s composition and decide what needs to be improved. Then you can choose the perfect rabbit to pair it with, to create more desirable kits.
Producing better rabbits, and ideally bettering the rabbit breed, is intertwined with most rabbitries. We have a goal we want to achieve in our rabbitry; to do that, we need to evaluate our current rabbits.
Loads of education is needed to deeply assess our animals and make the correct decisions to produce better offspring.
Meat Production and Hides
You can breed rabbits in just about any setting, whether that’s a few breeders on your porch or hundreds in a large barn. This means you can actively produce meat that was raised responsibly and cared for from the time it was born, right in your backyard.
Meat is oftentimes the factor that drives people to start raising rabbits. Rabbit meat is very lean and high in protein, which makes it a healthy option. When you breed rabbits for meat you tend to have a surplus of hides (or pelts). You can use the hides as compost or you can tan them and make crafts or clothing.
Rabbits can make exceptional pets if they are raised correctly. In some areas, the market for pet rabbits is booming. Some people who breed rabbits for show or meat will sell the less desirable animals as pets. Of course, this only works if the rabbits are socialized well.
Why the Public Thinks We Breed Rabbits
Some choose to ignore what the public thinks. This is sometimes needed when others are not willing to listen and try to understand why we breed rabbits. But, there are also a lot of misconceptions when it comes to raising rabbits. Therefore, it is important we take into consideration what the public thinks, so we can effectively communicate.
Most people do not have an issue with breeding rabbits. They understand that meat comes from animals and that some animals make good pets. Although they may have some questions, they are generally accepting about raising rabbits.
The Loud Few
Some are completely against breeding animals for any reason. These people tend to be loud and not lend a listening ear. They can rarely be convinced about the truth and won’t ask questions because they think they already understand our motives. These people are typically difficult to communicate with and oftentimes won’t even allow it.
Those Without an Opinion
People who have yet to form an opinion on breeding rabbits usually have the most questions. We must be able to truthfully answer these questions with confidence. Typically, these people have very little experience with raising animals for any purpose other than pets. They may be understanding and they may be disgusted. It is very important that we can communicate with these people while listening and understanding their point of view.
Why We Should Care What the Public Thinks
In a world so drastically affected by social media, we should care about our view in the public eye. Being connected to our food system has kept humans alive for ages and it seems more and more people are losing this connection.
Information Spreads Quickly
With thousands of viewers at the tips of all of our fingers, via social media, it is easy for misinformation to spread rapidly. This means we need to be aware of how we present ourselves online. No matter the reason you raise rabbits, there can be concern from the public about how the animals live. Having an online presence allows us to inform others about why we breed rabbits.
Education and Connection to Our Food System
Many people now believe their food comes from the grocery store because that’s all they have ever known. Those who raise rabbits for meat have the opportunity to connect the dots for the public and show them just how much we care about our animals throughout the entire process.
The Best Ways to Help Others Understand Why We Breed Rabbits
When we are trying to help someone understand why we breed rabbits we need to take into consideration their past experiences. Some have no idea about raising animals and they will have lots of questions. It is important we can make a connection with them and effectively communicate our reasonings.
Make Sure Your Information is Accurate
The most important part when trying to convey information to someone is making sure you are accurate in what you are trying to teach. This typically isn’t difficult because they will want to know about your specific operation. But, it is also helpful to be versed in the other reasons people breed rabbits in case these questions arise.
It is impossible to constructively communicate with someone if you can not listen and try to understand their original stance. Everyone comes from a different walk of life and these experiences ultimately help form our opinions. Some will firmly be against breeding animals of any sort. You won’t always be able to help others understand your reasonings, but it doesn’t hurt to try. You’ll find many more are accepting of why we breed rabbits because we care for them so well.
When we can acknowledge what the public’s stance is on breeding animals, why they think that way, and constructively communicate the reasons we breed rabbits, we can make a difference in the rabbit world. Even if you don’t raise rabbits for meat, this is typically what the public questions. Being connected to our food sources has always been important and we should actively be working to continue this connection. Having valuable conversations with those uneducated about rabbits and breeding rabbits helps strengthen this relationship.