Whole Foods’ Decision to Sell Rabbit Meat Met with Backlash


Whole Foods Market made the decision to begin selling rabbit meat at select stores across the nation. The news upset many, prompting them to protest the grocery chain in defense of their furry woodland friends. Among them were several rabbit advocacy groups including The House Rabbit Society. The society urged Whole Foods guests to tell as many people as they can about the rabbit meat, an animal that’s considered more a pet than meal.

HuffPo reports that a Whole Foods spokesman reached out to them acknowledging that Whole Foods is “sensitive to the companion animal issue” and that the company’s decision to carry the meat was a result of frequent customer requests to do so. Whole Foods stated in a release that the rabbits they sell must meet the requirement of having “continuous access to drinking water, feed, roughage and knowing blocks.”

Whole Foods Market is currently only selling rabbit meat at select locations in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, north Atlantic, Northeast, South and Pacific Northwest and Southern California.

By Peter Pham

Pete's favorite foods include pizza, tacos and pretty much any kind of breakfast. He'll usually snap a photo or two while his food cools down.

22 replies on “Whole Foods’ Decision to Sell Rabbit Meat Met with Backlash”

Raising rabbits for food would be significantly better for the environment than raising cattle. This can also pave the way for people to have access to cheap meat that isn’t factory farmed and stuffed full of antibiotics. (Heck, they are even easy enough to raise yourself with minimal resources)

I hope Whole Foods isn’t swayed much by the griping–we as a society cannot keep going down the path that we have been regarding our ravenous desire for cheap meat.

I’m not so sure about buying stuff from Whole Foods anymore anyway. They’ve had an awful lot of recalls, several in July alone, and now they’re recalling ground beef.

Yes I know recalls happen and no store is 100% protected from food-borne illness. But WF has been having some trouble as of late and I’ve been avoiding them.

As for selling rabbit meat, I don’t totally agree with that, but what’s the difference between selling meat from a rabbit or meat from a cow, chicken or pig? Is it because cows, chickens and pigs aren’t as cute and fluffy as rabbits? I get it, to some, eating rabbit is ‘taboo’, but so is eating cow, according to the Hindus. And in the UK, rabbit is as frequently eaten as chicken is here in the states.

It just depends on what culture you grow up in.

Guinea pig is eaten in some South American countries and has started appearing on the menus of Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Colombian restaurants in the US. No protests yet.

Yep, guinea pig, armadillo, all kinds of creatures are eaten in different parts of the world. Some people eat dogs and cats.

And what about lamb? WF sells lamb, as well as regular grocery stores. And lambs are cute as a button. Is that their main beef? (no pun intended), that rabbits are cute, helpless little animals? Well so are sheep. I think the problem is they can’t get past the big, batty eyes, the floppy ears and the wiggly noses.

I personally don’t like game animals. In fact I don’t really eat a whole lot of red meat or meat that comes from anything other than a fish or a chicken, of which I eat the most of. I see nothing wrong with the rabbit, though. But I get it. It’s not the ‘norm’, it’s not something we’re traditionally used to seeing in the grocery stores. Many people do not adapt well to change.

I don’t understand what’s the problem with rabbit meat. Rabbits have been raised for there meat since medieval times and hunted long before that. I’ll happily give rabbit meat a try but my local Whole foods doesn’t carry it.

Where I live it’s typical to eat reindeer meat and every now and then I heard tourists get upset that we eat santa’s little helpers here!

I hope the rabbit meat stays, it’s usually good quality meat that is as close as it can to actual game meat that humans are evolved to eat.

Sorry but now it’s not okay to eat rabbits because they’re cute? Fundamentally the question is if one wants to eat meat, and if so how much does one care for that animal’s well being? It’s all the same whether it’s a cow, pig, rabbit or unicorn.

No one is telling you what you can or can not eat. 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 big deal, Ive had Rabbit at my grandmas years ago fired and it was plenty tasty! I have seen it in stores for sale and it never bothered me at all either. Get over it people!

Rabbits are nutritious, delicious, sustainable and make a great small family farm source of protein. I am so grateful that rabbit is becoming mainstream again! I gave up chicken due to all of the contamination issues from producers over the last few years, I now only consume rabbit, grass fed beef and pastured hogs that I raise. Rabbit is a very easy farm critter for families and city dwellers as well, yes they are cute and for the most part friendly (they can shred you like a razorblade too) I raise all of my meats, like pets, and thank them graciously for what they will provide for our table, not to mention to our health. Kudos Whole Foods!!

Whole Foods “sensitive’? NOT. First off, lied about their 365 “organic” brand and now we know comes from CHINA and had us pay more. Second now selling rabbits? can just imagine what that looks like.

issue: Whole Foods doesn’t know people have pet rabbits, the SAME breed they are selling as if labs were being sold people would be upset. Yeah Whole Foods not very smart and there are about 6 million pet rabbit owners in this country, in the UK they are the number 3 pets and in other countries. just got an email from someone in AU saying they heard about reputation of WF. I used to go twice a month and regret it. too expensive can get my goodies locally and in a farmer’s market where is nice and fresh. bye whole foods

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