Animal Rights Activists Face Off Against WeHo Deputies as They Protest Whole Foods Rabbit Meat

Mon, Aug 18, 2014   By Staff    68 Comments

Animal rights activists faced off against Sheriff’s deputies as they staged a demonstration on Sunday in front of the Whole Foods grocery store in West Hollywood to protest the grocer’s decision to sell meat from domestic rabbits.

Whole FoodsThe demonstration was one of more than 40 around the country. About 20 activists rallied in the parking lot outside the Whole Foods store at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Fairfax. They carried signs and chanted “Whole Foods has blood on its hands!” Demonstrators also collected signatures from shoppers.

The demonstration was an effort to raise the issue before Whole Foods actually makes rabbit meat available at its Los Angeles stores.

“Whole Foods calls rabbits ‘fryers’ and that tells you everything you need to know,” said Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast director of Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), who has been active in West Hollywood animal rights issues.

“Rabbits are not ‘fryers’,” she said. “They are beloved companion animals. Whole Foods is going to face a sustained boycott and protest campaign if they think they can get away with the sale of butchered companion animals in our city. We are the folks who successfully stopped LA pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits from cruel commercial breeding factories. How can we allow Whole Foods to sell them dead?

“We want the names and USDA license numbers of every single dead rabbit supplier so we can examine their facilities and inspection reports. We plan to enact legislation to make the sale of butchered companion animals illegal in our city. The sale of dead rabbits is simply barbaric and Whole Foods is not in step with LA’s progressive stance regarding animal protection.”

The West Hollywood participants said the manager of Whole Foods demanded they move away from the front of the store and to a corner of its parking lot. She said they also were confronted by an unfriendly group of Sheriff’s Department deputies. Davis said a Sheriff’s Department sergeant, whose name she did not obtain, told her that she and others couldn’t demonstrate in the parking lot in front of Whole Foods because it is private property.

“They came up and bullied us,” she said. “They had no idea of the law and what we were and weren’t allowed to do.”

Davis said she told the deputies about a 2007 California Supreme Court decision that allows assembly on private property for the purpose of boycotting a store but that none of the deputies was aware of it.

Davis also said the sergeant continually asked her why she opposed Whole Foods selling rabbit meat and what was wrong with that. She said she replied that she didn’t have to answer his question to exercise her right to  demonstrate.

A video of Davis’ conversation with the deputies was posted on one of the protestor’s Facebook page.

The West Hollywood part of the “National Day of Action and Awareness to Protest the Sale of Rabbit Meat at Whole Foods Market” was organized by CAPS and the Bunny World Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit rescue organization and rabbit advocacy group.

In a press release, the protestors said that 2.5 million households now live with pet rabbits. They also said that a phone survey conducted of 39 Northern California Whole Foods stores revealed that only one of the store managers interviewed were aware that they were selling meat from domestic rabbit breeds. Most believed the meat came from either wild rabbits or from New Zealand.

Whole Foods has responded to consumer complaints with a letter claiming “sensitivity to the issue,” while touting the “highest standards” for large scale rabbit meat production and slaughter with “the goal of creating standards for other companies to follow.”

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West Hollywood Magazine

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  1. allaxiaMon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    seriously? i lean towards vegetarian but protesting rabbit meat? go check out the meat section and hold up pickets signs for every other animals’ carcass that’s for sale, otherwise quick clogging up the friggin’ parking lot.

  2. Jimmy PalmieriTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:31 am

    I love all animals, but why havent they protested for every other animal that is sold there as meat? Sometimes i think they just don’t think. Why aren’t they chanting chickens are friends not nuggets?

  3. Flores St.Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Some people really have too much time on their hands and not enough intelligence to organize around a real problem.

  4. TallulahTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Adding one more species to the meat case resulting in millions of more lives lost JUST so foodies can eat something exotic for a temporary taste sensation should be an issue for ANYONE with a compassionate heart. Thank you or being a voice for bunnies who are already exploited in every other realm.

  5. Hope and Pepper's MomTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 10:40 am

    So if Whole Foods starts selliing cat and dog meat, that’s okay too? Rabbits are pets, not food. Those who are passionate about rabbits deserve to be heard.

  6. IHITue, Aug 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

    ALL animals need a voice. Bravo to them for standing up for yet another “hipster meat” being added to the WholeFoods meat cases! The greenwashing language “humanely raised” “cage free” “grass fed” “free range” is such a load of b.s. We all know is just more $$ to line the pockets of the publicly traded Wholefoods, which is now basically just a healthier version of walmart 🙁 I say BRAVO to those that attended the nationwide protest! AND I hear they have over 13K signatures on their petition! Clearly not everyone wants another meat added to the Wholefoods greedy meats department!

  7. Marcie FrishbergTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 10:50 am

    rabbits are the 3rd most popular companion “pet” behind cats and dogs. If they started selling cat and dog meat , do you think people would be upset, outraged? People who have rabbits as pets don’t want to see their companions sold as meat. There are enough animals being killed on a daily basis. We don’t need to add more.

  8. DianaTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Good for them – fighting to prevent America’s third most popular pet from becoming yet another meat product. We don’t need to add another animal flesh item anywhere – adding bunny meat is completely unnecessary and would just contribute to more needless and horrific suffering.

  9. SauceyTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:09 am

    This issue is about YOUR PETS being served in the meat case. It’s about an industry leader grabbing at the “foodie” movement to make an extra buck. It’s about a giant chain bolstering a niche market, creating a demand where there wasn’t much of one before, attempting to normalize a meat gained from PET breeds (yes, the farmed rabbits ARE the same breeds kept as pets, and genetically a different species from the wild cottontails), and preventing yet another animal being factory-farmed with little regulation/safety (in the equivalent of puppy mills). Whole Foods’ “standards” are a joke, because they have sourced the meat from states with Ag-Gag laws, which means the breeders/processors have absolutely no outside verification or supervision. It’s about caving to one niche market for PET meat and opening the door to other niche markets – such as DOGS and CATS.

  10. Carole Raphaelle DavisTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thanks so much for running this! One tiny correction, we did not organize the national day of protest, we only organized the WEHO protest and joined the national protest on the same day. For those commenters who think this is trivial, I’d like to ask them to be sensitive to many WEHO residents who have rabbits as pets and who consider them part of their families. As a vegan, I advocate for peace for all species but we just want to make sure Whole Foods doesn’t add yet another dead animal to the menu. It’s also not the only thing WF does wrong. They don’t believe in universal health care and the owner is a right wing nut bag taking the money from some of the smartest, most progressive, educated people–WEHO people! WEHO peeps are the smartest in the US. Go to the farmer’s market and support local farmers!

  11. HljTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Rabbits are the 3rd most popular pet. It would be heart-breaking to see fluffy and fido in the meat case. Why does whole foods find it OK to add rabbit?

  12. Britta mengesTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Rabbits are the third most beloved companion animal next to a dog or cat. Many people would create an UPROAR if their dogs or cats would be served as a meat source at whole foods. Or even horse meat in that case. Can you imagine your child that has a pet rabbit discovering his friend is being served at whole foods-dead? Bunnies are also one of the most abused and misunderstood animal, they are already getting abused for testing etc. This society has to stop to view them as disposable. I’m proud of people standing up for animal rights.

  13. SeanTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Many people seem to think if you are calling for one species’ right not to be sold as meat, you should be calling for ALL animals not to be sold as meat. I agree with the sentiment that all animals should be allowed to live a full life and not be killed for consumption. But that line of reasoning is akin to yelling at a cancer-advocacy group for not also raising awareness/money for an Alzheimer’s group. And to those saying people “have too much time on their hands” or aren’t “organiz(ing) around a real problem,” I would ask what causes you have personally devoted your time and money to before mocking a group for standing up for their convictions.

  14. JJTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Protest whatever you want, that’s America. But when law enforcement tells you to move…you move. If they are misinformed…take it up through a court of law. The deputies are doing their job. Stop looking at them as the bad guys. It makes their already difficult job that much harder to do…they have more important calls to fill they day (like life & death).

  15. Linda ManningTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

    As the foster mom to two amazing little rabbits, the thought of someone eating them makes me sick. And yes, I’ve been vegetarian since 1992, so please don’t play the “why aren’t you protesting about other animals being eaten?” card. We do. You’re just not paying attention. Flores St. – not intelligent enough to organize around a real problem? Sorry! We neglected to consult you to find out what the real problems in the world are, oh purveyor of all intelligence. It’s unfortunate your intelligence is not accompanied by compassion. The suffering of animals means nothing to you? Seriously??? Sad. Just sad.

  16. CateTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:41 am

    The right to conduct a peaceful protest is fundamental to our way of life, so good for them. Also, the raising and slaughter of domestic rabbits at a large scale is known to be horrific due to lack of regulation.

  17. kevindrooneyTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:44 am

    As a kid we had pet rabbits. They were wonderful little creatures, very full of affection. The idea of breeding them for slaughter so they can be sold for stew at Whole Food makes me doubt there is anything “whole” about the chain at all. I’ll shop elsewhere for my vegan diet.

  18. Carole Raphaelle DavisTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:50 am

    @JJ: That’s right, law enforcement has more important things to do than bullying people who are exercising a constitutional right. No, you don’t move just because a police officer tells you to move. They are human and can be wrong. Sometimes, VERY wrong. In this case, they didn’t even understand the law. How did we achieve LGBT rights? Read up on Stonewall please. No, we don’t “move” when police tell us to move. We march forward towards social justice.

  19. Harry wanTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

    West hollywood is anti-fur, let’s make it anti-rabbit meat!!

  20. ZoeArezTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I support this…will more people react when they sell cat and dog just to make $$££€€. These are domestic rabbits 🙁

  21. JUrzTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    In 1978 when WF started the sale of cows–many were too young, children or not born who are protesting now not to have the sale of their beloved pets be industrialized and become the “chicken” of the future. It all starts somewhere and kudos to those people that are stopping yet another species on the butcher block. What next?! Cat? Dog?

  22. DenaTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I am not a vegetarian, but I am disgusted by Whole Foods Choice to sell rabbit meat. I have shared my home with rabbits for 27 years. They are family, not food. I mean, I used to buy many of the organic vegetables I feed my rabbits at Whole Foods! Not any more. I will not shop at Whole Foods again. Rabbits are the third most popular companion mammal in America after cats and dogs. That is what makes rabbits different from other meat sold at grocery stores. Would they ever consider selling dog meat? No way. Whole Foods actually stopped selling lobsters because they deemed it inhumane. This is a HUGE step backward and they will pay. They say they made the decision to sell rabbit because of customer requests, but they will soon realize they are losing more customers than they are gaining.

  23. JJTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    @ Carole..they were not bullying these protesters..please, enough. That word is tossed around so easily today, it disgraceful. These officers were called to private property and must respond to the complaint. All they asked of the protesters was that they do not block the doorway into the business (bullying…hardly…you’re an adult..put your big girl pants on). When an officer tells you to move…you move..period. Their job is to maintain the peace. They have the authority to act and if you find that they’re actions are unlawful, then file a lawsuit. For the moment in time they are in control of the peace. You have a cause you passionate about…great. Protest. But don’t violate my right to peace and quite – screaming at the top of your lungs while I’m trying to enjoy my lunch. Your rights do not supersede my rights. Stand there and hold as sign. Be respectful and following the officers instructions. (God, I sure hope if you have kids that you brought them up to respect the law).

  24. BMTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    JJ I hope you continue to enjoy your lunch while thousands of rabbits are getting slaughtered so whole foods can offer rabbit meat.If you feel like your peace and quite time was disturbed maybe you should have filed a law suit regarding that issue. The statement “when an officer tells you to move you move ” is ridiculous, are you jumping off a bridge when an officer tells you to move off the bridge. I agree they have more important things to do, like life and death so no reason to waste their time at a peaceful protest.

  25. Cherry BigginsTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    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.

  26. Flores St.Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Linda Manning, I can tell you what the real problems are. Did you protest when John Winkler was slaughtered in his own building by the police, or did that just not concern you because you didn’t consider him cute and fluffy? Did you protest when a man was slaughtered crossing the street by the 24 Hr Fitness on SM Blvd, or did that not concern you because you’ve never kept a man as a pet? These are local, West Hollywood, fatal incidents that could happen to anyone in our community.

    I have alot of compassion, and strive to eat humanely produced meat whenever possible — even if I have to pay extra. If you are protesting the treatment of animals before and during the slaughtering process, I’m with you. I think factory farms in this country are criminal and disgusting, and if people knew more about them and saw the videos and pictures, they would never eat factory farmed meat again.

    But if you are being a busybody because you have a relationship with a species, you need to get a life. And to those that are bringing up dogs and cats, that is a false analogy because the request for rabbit is due to customer demand. There is no customer demand for dogs and cats. Additionally, dogs and cats have been domesticated for millenia. Rabbits are routinely eaten in Europe and in many ethnic communities in the US, especially at Easter — why do you think we have an Easter Bunny? So, now we have to stop eating rabbit because lonely people decided they were cute? It’s not a hipster thing — it’s a grandmother thing.

  27. JJTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    @ BM YOUR cause and passion are not MY cause and passion. Respect those that do not hold the same beliefs as you do (and I don’t even eat rabbit). I respect your right to protest. You should respect my right to not want to have you yelling in my ear. Your lack of respect for the law is shameful as is your lack of respect for those who hold a different opinion then yours. You sound like you care more about the rabbits than you do about your fellow man. Perhaps you should start with respecting other humans before taking up bunny rights. Your extremist tactics push people away more than drawn them into your cause.

  28. TimTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    It’s a huge hypocrisy for Whole Foods to expand their meatcase to include domestic rabbits. Firstly, Whole Foods is supposedly a strong supporter of cruelty free products. Most products tested on animals are tested on the New Zealand rabbit. I think most agree that the testing on animals in today’s circuit is a bad scene. But, the New Zealand rabbit, a domestic, affectionate breed of rabbit that can live upwards 10+ years, the rabbit Whole Foods supposedly fights for in their support of the cruelty free products which line their shelves, is the exact same domestic rabbit that is being killed for human consumption at 10 weeks old, and on the Whole Foods bankroll. Frankly, it is an absurd sell-out on the side of Whole Foods to serve up already exploited, domestic rabbits in a meatcase that should be consolidated, not expanded. HUGE step backward, not a step forward. Not to mention, yes, Rabbits in the US, DOMESTIC Rabbits, are the 3rd most common pet, after dog and cat. Although this shouldn’t be happening at all, since it is, there shouldn’t be such an opposition to those bringing light to the new reality that is Whole Foods – it is a plain demerit and mistake on the part of Whole Foods, and it needs to stop. End of story. In the meanwhile, I, particularly, am gainfully employed and shopped at their stores A LOT. I no longer spend money there. Every purchase is a vote. I’ll support other places that a) arent’ flip-floppers and b) understand why a domestic rabbit hops in the home, not wait in fear while watching their siblings’ horrid death masked as humane by some bull-crap PR machine outsourced by W(t)F Market.

  29. Lynn RussellTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Whoa! Why not have a WEHO Animal Rights Commission or Advisory Board? Who is going to lobby for dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters, parrots, parakeets and gold fish, the captive domestic pets we are all so kind and loving to? We can then add cows, goats, sheep with their little lambs and all kinds of fish. Moving on, for the folks that have way too much time on their hands, we could also have a Fruit & Vegetable Commission lobbying for skinned carrots and peeled peaches. Until we are able to legislate common sense there is no telling what our utopia will look like when we are reduced to eating our shoes. Oh ouch! that was once a cow.

  30. Linda SueTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Whole Foods – does not allow animal testing for any of their personal Whole Body Products, ever, but at the same time feels it is honorable to sell dead domestic rabbits as meat, animals that are pets to millions of people. In my opinion this will not only encourage a demand for more breeding of rabbits but also create more abuse and suffering behind closed doors in an already disgraceful industry without regulation on cruelty and slaughter.

    Whole Foods, can you please advise?

    Have you physically inspected each said breeder/family farm or Amish farm the rabbits are purchased from that end up at the Whole Foods Market and are they USDA inspected?

    Whole Foods Rabbit Supplier:
    DeBruin Brothers Rabbits
    from Iowa Rabbit LLC

    “Iowa Rabbit LLC works very closely with a collection of
    Amish farms and other small family farms that produce
    California and New Zealand White Rabbits by following specific guide-
    lines that create a wonderful natural flavor”.

    According to DeBruin Bro’s they purchase from small family farms/back yard breeders and Amish Farms. Amish farms are not known for their ethics and compassion.

    This is the reality of back yard rabbit breeding, please do not support Unethical companies.

  31. TBZTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    “What about the cows, pigs and chickens?” Yes indeed, what about them? Whole Foods invited their meat farmers to participate in the Level 1-5 program via the Global Animal Partnership. The *majority* of farms are not even bothering to comply with the Level 1 requirement, which is “Give the animal space to MOVE ITS LIMBS.”

    Yet, this inhumane “Level 0” meat is for sale today in the Whole Foods meat case under the big posters of pigs in sunny meadows. Is it any wonder that people who live with, care for and bond deeply to domestic rabbits are fighting to keep them away from the Whole Foods “humane mass production” system?

    The time to speak up is now. Much easier to prevent wide-scale high-volume cruelty than to “invite” farmers to stop it after it’s business as usual. Even Whole Foods can’t get the cow, pig and chicken farmers to do that.

    THAT is why, for now, we are focusing on one species and asking Whole Foods — not you! not anyone but Whole Foods! — to do the right thing, end this pilot program, and make a step TOWARD the goal of Reduce the Abuse.

  32. Lynn RussellTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    @ Linda Sue: “Amish are not known for their ethics and compassion”? Where did you get this piece of information? Oh, The Daily News, paragon of legitimate news. Are you now going to picket the Amish farms and disturb their peaceful, dignified lives? I can see a bunny riot coming soon.

  33. Lynn RussellTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    @Linda Sue: Just read the Daily News Article and as I suspected, you made an overly broad and gross generalization, just passing on the poisonous information without any definitive research. Reckless, unfounded behavior. As I said, one cannot legislate common sense.

  34. Lisbet BrookTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Total sell-out greed on Whole Foods part. Not one single person can convince me that they need to eat rabbits. On that note, they don’t need to eat cows, pigs, chickens or fish either. Maybe WF is thinking since there have been so many instances of disease-carrying associations to these other animals that they will sneak in some bunnies. Maybe rabbits don’t have all those sicknesses to give them a bad name. To whomever of you think there is humane slaughter going on, think again unless you personally are the knowledgeable individual doing the deed. It doesn’t exist. Get real – it’s the inconvenient truth if ever there was one.

  35. Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYsTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Great. Just what we need: someone else making that parking lot even more of a nightmare.

    Stop trying to force your militant veganism and vegetarianism down our throats. Just because you scream loudly doesn’t make you right.

    Now let the rest of us shop in peace. And when ARE they going to do something about that parking lot? Now THERE is the real issue.

  36. LillianTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you for fighting for rabbits.
    For this who are stating it’s all or nothing please keep in mind that this protest was done by rabbit rescue organization whose focus is the rabbits. If you feel that he other animals need to be taken from the shelves then I encourage you to contact a overall animal rescue organization and start a protest with them. Also please keep in mind that it does take time for change to take effect. Thank you.

  37. Linda M.Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Flores St. – The two people you mentioned who were “slaughtered” were done so legally? Maybe like the “humane meat” you ingest? No, I didn’t protest their slaughter. Did you? It’s a big world with many problems. You can’t focus on all of them and hold down a job and all the other things that keep us busy in life. My focus is nonhuman animals, not just the “kept” kind, not just the “cute and fluffy” kind. All of them. Sorry if I don’t past muster in your world. I’ll just have to learn to live with that.

  38. Gabriela FracoTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Completely Agree!!!!!!!!! Whole Foods support Animal Cruelty Free!!! and they sale as MEAT domestic Bunnies!!!!

  39. Diane SonnenbergTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    This protest is about trying to give voice for the poor little bunny’s. Will Whole Foods have a heart? These are companions and pets. Smart adorable creatures we love to cuddle. Please stop this now before the bunny’s become nothing more then bones to be tossed in the garbage. I hope Whole Foods will change direction and show what a great grocery they can be to us all. Till then I hope this store loses it’s business.. Thank you again bunny world for being there for the bunny’s.

  40. Leeloominai EraisuthielTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I have no desire to see rabbit meat sold in stores no matter how humanely they’re raised. I have no problem with the world eating whatever they want to eat, but these are domesticated companion animals and deserve the same rights as cats or dogs. What’s next on the menu? Gerbils? Parrots? I’ve heard they’re delish!

  41. Elizabeth CostelloTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    No animal should be food . Period. Plain and simple. Better for you, the planet and the animal. We need demos, we need the world to wake up. Whole Food should be advancing not going backwards….

  42. MaryskaTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    @Lynn Russell in reference to your @Lynn Sue comment: When was the last time you resided near Amish country? I’ll just reiterate the truth: The Amish are NOT known for their ethics and compassion… in regards to animal welfare… and it should be a given that ethics and compassion encompasses ALL God’s creation, not just living, sentient beings in human form. Where do you think many puppy mills are located? (I suppose I should answer this for you)… That’s right– Amish Country!!!! How’s THAT for ethics and compassion?!? God weeps.

  43. Rudolf MartinTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    When it comes to eating popular companion animals, do we draw the line only behind the top 2 species or do we include the 3rd most popular species? In a community that pioneers animal rights this is a legitimate issue. I respect the protesters and their cause and would love to see rabbits included in a list of companion animals not to be sold as food in our community.

    It’s easy to mock other people’s passionate beliefs and opinions. But at the very least they have a right to protest and state their case (and seem to know the law better than most).

    Ironically most commenters using the “too much free time” taunt are themselves spending more time every day bickering with each other on random comment threads than these protesters did for a cause they are actually passionate about.

  44. Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYsTue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    People have been eating rabbit for centuries. I’m sorry it doesn’t mesh with your extreme dietary preferences. But the rest of the world shouldn’t have to conform to your personal beliefs.

    People aren’t eating the “bunnies” you keep as pets. They’re eating either wild animals or rabbits raised for human consumption. What’s next? Ban the entire meat and seafood counters at Whole Foods? People keep all of those animals as pets, too…

  45. Lynn RussellWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 12:01 am

    @Maryska & Rudolph Martin: Repeating another’s statement about the Amish seems unwarranted and reckless. Because Lynn Sue has read about one case you have cast a wide net of assumption castigating the Amish as unethical and lacking compassion. Having no idea what my relationship with any Amish folks is or may have been is also weak. I do quite frankly know a fair amount from the environs in and around Lancaster, Pennsylvania and do not share your point of view.

    It’s easy to see from the video that the chosen methods illuminating your cause are more inflammatory than educational. One of your demonstrators in Weho acknowledged that the particular Whole Foods on Fairfax “did not sell rabbit meat but that they MIGHT”. Her companion stepped right up to the line with the sheriff several times itching for a confrontation to further sensationalize the issue. She didn’t get so lucky with the sheriff’s deputies. They were cool and simply asked to be informed about the name of the group/cause, respecting the right to demonstrate.

    Although I share a lifetime respect for and participation in the ethical treatment of animals far and wide, be it the challenging conservation efforts in Africa, domestic animals, thoroughbred horse enterprises or sharks in the ocean, it is more disturbing to see the aggressive strategy your group has demonstrated than to have much respect for your passion. The warm and fuzzy bunny dialogue seems a veneer to the visible toxicity.

  46. Tamara BedicWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Kudos to compassionate, brave people speaking up for bunnies.

    John Mackey: care to explain why you’re VEGAN?! Meat and dairy not good enough for you, but fine for everyone else, ‘eh,? Your butcher section and dairy section fuels that lavish lifestye… Now, to keep the dollars flowing, you want to be the first top-5 supermarket chain to slaughter bunnies. Make dead rabbit available widely, not just to foodies and in specialty restaurant– but nationwide.

    What a sick, twisted hypocrite you’ve become.

  47. Emily VertulloWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 6:38 am

    This is not about saving rabbits because they are “cute and fluffy”! This is about not allowing a nationwide grocery chain to sell our beloved pets as meat and the fact that they are not honest and upfront about how they are going about it. I grew up with dogs and cats and am horrified by the idea of eating them. I have a better, deeper relationship with my rabbits than I ever did with my dogs and cats and I KNOW they (rabbits) have the ability to form emotional bonds with one another, humans, and even other animal species. Third most popular COMPANION animal in the US. We are asking that rabbits be protected the same way dogs and cats are. And It might interest many to know that there are only SIX states that have a law saying it is illegal to slaughter dogs and cats for food. But no one does it because of the “companion animal” status that protects them. I think we need to look I to protecting all our pets legally. And about Whole Foods claim that they have “humane standards” for raising and slaughtering these DOMESTIC rabbits. Stunning is not a truly effective way for rendering a rabbit unconscious. And how can you say that your “humane standards” will be met if you work with farms that are in states with Ag Gag laws? Will there be a Whole Foods inspector there EVERY day to insure that the rabbits are being treated humanely? My guess is No.

  48. Linda SueWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 7:17 am

    @ Lynn Russell, if you are capable of doing a web search, there are plenty more news stories to read. Sadly humans are the worse predator on earth where greed and selfishness rules.

  49. Flores St.Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Linda M, it does seem that John Winkler was slaughtered legally, since there was no action against the police officers who slaughtered him, and they were back out on the street in about two weeks. Did you know that? Seems like you didn’t, and that’s very sad. The reason why I focused on two very local issues was to highlight the self-indulgent activism that focuses more on what might happen at a grocery store to animals who are routinely eaten in Europe as well as this country versus actual crimes that happened in your neighborhood to human beings. Your neighborhood where you sleep just a mile or so away from where the crime happened, not a war half a world away. In your neighborhood, isn’t excessive use of police force a bigger issue? And in fact, Linda, I did talk to one of the public safety commissioners to express my views on the shooting. So, no, it doesn’t pass muster with me when any of us can be shot with no action against the officer, but you focus your admittedly limited time on rabbits. And don’t worry Linda, the LGBT movement is very guilty of this as well when they focus on some old ignorant bigot in Louisiana instead of on less sensational but more fatal issues.

    There are alot of comments that reference “our beloved pets” or “they don’t want to see their brothers and sisters eaten.” Do you fail to grasp practical reality? The day that anyone comes to your house to slaughter your specific pet, I’ll be with you to support your rights. You love your animals and that is great, but unless they are watching the slaughter or you take them to WF to see the meat, they don’t know what is going on. Guess what — your rabbits don’t care that other rabbits are being eaten.

  50. Lynn RussellWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 9:15 am

    @Linda Sue: Unfortunately, I seem to be incapable of performing a web search so could you kindly send a list of the top 50 articles you think might better inform my thinking?

  51. Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYsWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 11:50 am

    @Flores Street: stop expecting them to respond with rational thought. “Animal Rights” activists can sometimes be the worst kind of fanatic: they won’t change their mind and they won’t change the subject.

    You are absolutely on point that their activism is self-indulgent. And I, for one, find it ridiculous that this website has spent more time and energy talking about apartment buildings and cross walks and privileged white protest than on the events at Flores.

  52. Gayle RobisonWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    The rabbit rights advocates seem to be blissfully unaware that humans have been killing and eating rabbits, both wild and more recently domestic, for tens or more likely hundreds of thousands of years. And here in the US we still do have the right to eat the legal protein of our choice.

    Veganism has reached the point of being a fanatical religion. We need to stop this nonsense in its tracks before these people take away our right to consume any animal products whatsoever. That IS their goal.

    I rarely eat meat, and at least 95% of my meals are vegan, but I deeply resent these people trying to tell me or anyone else what to eat.

  53. Lynn RussellWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Agreed. Although I find them less than credible, they are annoyingly disruptive and dangerous on several levels. If one views the two videos it would appear as though their main spokesperson Carole Raphaelle Davis insinuated an endorsement of their goals and behavior by John D’Amico, current mayor of Weho. While his endorsement would not be surprising, perhaps this should be laid at the feet of Mr. d’Amico as a decision and policy maker. Ms. Davis goal’s seem to be exposure of any kind and at any cost.

  54. Rudolf MartinWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    We already have an arbitrary social contract by which we agree that eating our Top 2 companion animals is somehow barbaric. Can we extend this contract to the 3rd most popular companion animal? Sounds like a reasonable suggestion to me. Hardly a radical one.

    Of course abundant hypocrisy exists. Cows and pigs are extremely intelligent and gentle, sentient creatures as well. Nobody is suggesting introducing hypocrisy and arbitrariness into our society. It’s already there and will remain.

    The argument that people all over the world/ the country/ in europe /all throughout history eat rabbits is hardly a justification. I could make a case against gay rights or for drug addiction with that line of argument. It’s silly.

    The 2 questions should be: A) Should we as a community continue to exempt some companion animal species from being food? B) If so, do we exempt only the Top 1 or 2 or maybe the Top 3 or 5?

    Personally I’d be happy to extend the circle by a few species. Then again I would also ban veal and foie gras if I was king.

    @Lynn Russell: you must have me confused, I said nothing about the amish.

  55. ProvokedWed, Aug 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    The idea of killing and eating any sentient being is unacceptable if we wish to call ourselves a “civilized” culture. It’s not necessary and “meat” is never procured “humanely”. No one wishes to die — There are far to many compassionate options to ever attempt to justify eating rabbits or any other creature.

  56. Felicia D.CrispThu, Aug 21, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Whole Foods is opening a doorway for more cruelty on the scale of China’s dog market. Rabbits are living beings with feelings, capable of love and suffering. There are more than enough animals being tortured, genetically engineered, pumped full of hormones, skinned alive, force fed and even molested on factory farms. The video evidence is there for anyone brave enough to see what happens before the dinner plate .Do we really need more of the same for yet another species of animal? I’m not a vegan and don’t need to be to know rabbits, as do all living creatures, deserve some respect and consideration.

  57. California GirlyThu, Aug 21, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Thanks to these animal activists who expose the cruelty to animals in order to make a difference. Those that don’t agree and think it’s okay to treat animals as if they were exclusively made for our consumption without any regard to the suffering they go through are blind to this injustice. I hope they can open their minds and hearts to realize that causing pain and suffering to ANY animal is never acceptable.

  58. Brian Hamilton (@iBrianHamilton)Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Why aren’t all these people protesting the slaughter of chickens? Oh, because rabbits are “bunnies” and they’re cute and cuddly.

  59. Janelle DixonSun, Aug 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Rabbits are food. Petco sells rabbit m,eat and nobody cares about them. Those activists deserve to be escorted off the property. They are nuts!

  60. miskaffonSun, Aug 24, 2014 at 10:28 am

    There are NO creditable numbers “proving” the claim that rabbits are the “third most popular pet species”. The Animal Rights Activists have been asked again, and again, and again to prove this with numbers from any source other than ranks of their own claims. Yet they have *NOT* done so! There are a great number of us who challenge ARA radicals to prove that the majority of the country sees rabbits as pets and pets only.

  61. SlowMoneyFarmSun, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Rabbits are not the 3rd most popular pet. Not even close. And the 2.5 million is FAR above what veterinarians say for statistics. That said, rabbit is a lean meat that has been meat long before folks made them pets. And this doesn’t sound like the “peaceful protest” handing out leaflets that was promised. I suppose honesty isn’t a big thing.

  62. Diane SonnenbergSun, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I sure hope there are more animal activists around then people like you…

  63. Jessica MSun, Aug 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I’m glad customers weren’t subjected to their hysteria… And while I don’t plan on buying rabbit (I raise my own) I support people being able to buy humanely and locally raised meat. I also eat quite a few vegetarian meals, but I love a good rabbit stew or clam chowder or steak… I would prefer to be able to purchase locally where ever possible and I like the idea of animals being raised in a stress free healthy environment.

  64. Stephen HurtyMon, Aug 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Silly over entitled narcissist’s never eaten anything unless it came from an overpriced market. They don’t eat meat but they love to eat fake meat lol . probably more people have pet plants than animals but they don’t mind eating tomatoes. They are just trying to show everyone they are somehow enlightened but only proving there stupidity.

  65. Diane SonnenbergMon, Aug 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Someone is showing their stupidity. Why would you even call names at people that are trying to stop the suffering of innocent little creatures??

  66. Anger manTue, Aug 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Animal abusers, shut your traps

  67. Lisa Roma GraysonFri, Aug 29, 2014 at 6:10 am

    I am not an animal rights activist but I have a PET bunny in my household so yes I am teed off too like many others, who have had or have a PET rabbit in their homes. thank you and
    someone shared this vid this morning so I agree

  68. rabbit ownerMon, Sep 01, 2014 at 2:31 am

    If you go by numbers, fish are actually more common pets than rabbits. So are hamsters. The only way you count rabbits as the third most popular pet is if you count the “hated” show, 4H, meat farmers and breeders who have a hundred or so head, as pet owners. And call one if them a pet owner and see how that goes down. So where are the boycotts for fish? Where are the pork boycotts for all the people with pot bellied pigs as pets? (And there are a LOT of pig owners, and pigs are much smarter than rabbits, hell they are smarter than dogs. They are the fourth smartest species on earth. And they are delicious.) Rats and incredible pets. Where are the rat owners protesting the killing of rats? I raise rabbits. I have pet rabbits that I love. Im not at all opposed to the eating of rabbit. Its a lean, healthy meat. Itseasy to raise and produces a large amount of meat for a small, urban homesteader. The ARAs are preaching insanity. Probably 80% or so of rabbits in the US are not “house rabbits”. They are not concidered pets. They are considered livestock. But besides that, rabbit has been sold in many pet stores all over the country as part of dog foods and dog treats, why isnt that being protested if they are so adamant? This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, an attempt to solicit more attention and donations and for lobying purposes.

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Glen Lerner - Attorney
Art AIDS America