I wasn't really sure where to put this, (and this may turn into more of a rant) but I came across a post on a Facebook page (run by Breeders, full of Breeders) stating that everyone should have their rabbit spayed or neutered, and how we'll all overpopulating the shelters with our rabbits. That rabbits are healthier overall being fixed. It was even stated that becaue of us, there are rabbits that are dying in shelters, that the rabbits we sell are taking up homes that could go to shelter rabbits, that our rabbits won't ever be truly healthy, and that there are enough rabbits in the world to last a lifetime.
Let's get one thing straight here, if no one bred rabbits, there would be no rabbits. Certain breeds would disappear first, then the rest. For a while all we'd have is a bunch of mixed breeds from the backyard breeders who don't care and really don't know what they're doing. And then eventually, there would be none. It's the same with cattle. If people stopped eating beef, the farmers would stop breeding. Then those breeds would disappear, forever. Breeding is preserving. Breeding is bettering. (Is that a word?) Any ethnical breeder (be that rabbits, cows, chickens, dogs, etc) picks the breed they like. Or one they may find challenging. You find the best specimens you can afford or find and you work with it. Most animals have a breed standard. And that is what you work towards. You will never start out with the best, but you work towards it. And you always use healthy, well cared for animals. And they are treated wonderfully. If they are not, then you aren't bettering anything. You're just making this worse.
My rabbits aren't top notch. I've got a long way to go. And I'm still learning. It's always going to be a work in progress. But the breed I chose, I love. I don't do it for anyone else. I do it for me. Yes, I sell to pet homes, I also sell to other Breeders, I sell to people who want to be Breeders. I sell to 4H. A lot of Breeders don't sell pets. And this post accusing us is why. If a rabbit isn't good enough to breed or show, it's gets terminally culled. Is the animals life wasted? No. These rabbits are eaten or fed to their dogs, or taken to zoos for food for those animals.
I'd also like to point out that you would be hard pressed to find a purebred tattooed rabbit in a shelter anywhere. It's not us that are the problem. It's the backyard breeders. The ones who breed who knows what together just to make a dollar or to have "cute babies". I guarantee you, breeders aren't making money. We're usually in the red. All money I make from selling my rabbits goes right back into them. It goes to food, new cages, new water bottles and dishes, new trays, grooming supplies, better stock. Does it drive me nuts to see "baby bunnies for sale" for $10? Yup. It also drives me nuts to see people looking to breed their "X" dog to a "X, Y, or Z" dog. They just looking for money. They're not doing it to better any breed. It's people like that, that makes ethical breeders look bad. Because that's mainly what people see.
Why does it matter what breed a rabbit is? If you don't care, then it doesn't. But if someone is looking for a certain breed, then it does matter. You can go to a shelter looking for a dog, but you've probably got something in mind, right? Lab? Husky? Shitzu? Small, large, short haired, long haired, good swimmer, high energy, lap dog? Everything is indicative of a breed that's in it. Rabbits are no different. If there were enough rabbits in the world to last a lifetime, how old do these rabbits have to live? 60 years? 100?
I also must point out that I have a return policy. If for some reason you can no longer care for the rabbit I sold you, I will take it back. I will take care of it. I will find it a new home. I did this to ensure mine wouldn't end up in shelters. And some people like to "set them free". You can't "set the free", they're not wild hare, they're domesticated rabbits. And I'm always there. Any issues, questions, my buyers can always contact me. Always.
And let's talk for a quick minute about spaying and neutering. If you want to, go for it. But I like people to understand there are risks. Anesthesia is very hard on rabbits. Please be sure that your vet is rabbit savvy before getting them to attempt the procedure.
I also raise chickens. I don't understand why some people won't eat eggs because they think it's unethical. An egg is not a chick. You're not killing anything. No one is screaming at you because you ovulate once a month. No different. And hens are not forced to lay eggs. They will do it with or without you. If you do it because you believe the hens are not treated humanely at the Big farms that supply the grocery store, buy your eggs from your neighbors. Or the farm up the road. Or your coworker.
And just so we're clear, I'm not against shelters or rescues. In fact, I'm all for them. I think people should be able to make their own decisions. Do want you want to do. You need to what fits you. Don't let people bully you for wanting an animal from a breeder. Sometimes a shelter just doesn't have what you're looking for. I got my dog from a rescue. My barn cat is from the SPCA. And they're all fixed so I don't have to do it myself. If I was just looking for a pet rabbit, I may go to a shelter too. But they don't usually have rabbits here, at least not in recent memory. But I love my Nethies. And my Mini Rex. And my Flemish Giant.
If we don't breed animals, eventually there will be none. You can't save them by extinction. It just doesn't work like that. Please don't let the backyards Breeders out there ruin what you think of all Breeders.