Whole Foods, the grocery chain of choice for countless vegetarians and vegans, has recently decided to start carrying rabbit meat for the first time in their Northern California stores, along with stores in a few other markets.
After House Rabbit Society, an international rabbit advocacy group, called for a boycott of Whole Foods, the company responded, saying that rabbit meat has been eaten for a long time, is lean, and their customers want it.
Of course, many animals may fit that definition, but it's hard to imagine that Whole Foods would begin selling other animals' bodies simply because people have eaten them for a long time, they were lean and because people want to eat them.
The company also noted, however, that there are no federal standards for humane treatment of rabbits, which is certainly correct. Rabbits are typically raised in cramped and filthy conditions for the nine to ten weeks that they will live until they are slaughtered, but, because they are considered "poultry" by the USDA, are then slaughtered without the benefit of stunning first, since they, like chickens and other birds, do not deserve that basic mercy, as they are exempt from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.