Whole Foods Market isn’t usually at the center of a firestorm for the products they carry, but the recent decision to bring rabbit meat to two stores — one in Washington, D.C., and the other in northern California — is not sitting well with animal rights protesters.
According to WTVR, protests were staged this weekend in response to the Whole Foods Market decision to sell rabbit meat in select stores, with the site noting that “Some people say eating a rabbit is like eating a pet.”
More from the report:
Protesters spoke up at the Whole Foods in Short Pump, though a spokesperson for the company said the rabbit meat won’t be sold at that location.
Only select stores nationwide will sell the meat, based on customer demand. The rabbit meat will be sold in the Mid Atlantic, northeast, North Atlantic, Midwest, and Northern California, according to rabbit.org.
In a statement, Whole Foods says sales will begin at just two test stores, in Washington D.C. and in Northern California. The company also 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 PR department of Whole Foods. Spokeswoman Katie Malloy issued this 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.”
What do you think, readers?
Should Whole Foods Market fold to the animal rights protesters and agree not to carry rabbit meat? Is eating rabbit like eating a pet?
Or do you think that as a country, we’ve come to place too much importance on the individuality of some animals?
Share your thoughts with us on what Whole Foods should do in the comments section.