Why Eat Rabbit Meat?

The nutritional value of rabbit has been tested thoroughly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rabbit meat is about 18.5 percent protein and only contains 7.5 percent fat and 795 calories per pound. By comparison, beef is 16.3 percent protein and chicken is about 20 percent. 

  • Rabbit meat has a lower cholesterol level than chicken, turkey, beef, pork. (Alabama A & M University 1989)

  • Rabbit has the lowest percent of fat per pound in comparison to beef, pork, poultry and lamb. (Eat Rabbit: A Global Source of Protein, Kim and Fagan).

  • Rabbit has a significantly higher percent of protein than other meats such as chicken, beef, poultry, and pork (USDA circular # 549)

  • Rabbit meat has been used and is suitable for special diets, such as those for heart disease patients, diets for the aged, low sodium diets, weight reduction diets, etc. ( Rabbit Production, Cheek Patton Templeton).

Environmental Impacts of Consuming Rabbit

Recognized as a form of sustainable agriculture, consuming rabbit meat is sensible not only for our diet but also for its impact on the environment. A quick look at the environmental footprint of the rabbit farming industry yields the following important highlights:

  • Rabbits produce six pounds of meat on the same feed and water as cattle consume to produce only one pound, resulting in a smaller overall carbon footprint.

  • Due to the nature of their diet – mainly grass or alfalfa feed – rabbits are not in competition with humans for food, unlike chickens, pigs, and beef who are reliant on grain as a dietary staple.

  • The airborne particulate matter concentrations at rabbit farms are very low compared to poultry and pig farms. This matter, in higher concentrations, can be dangerous to the respiratory health of other livestock and humans.

  • The space requirements of raising rabbits are minimal in comparison to other livestock, allowing for increased production that utilizes less overall food and energy resources.

  • Minimal antibiotics are used in the raising of rabbits and no hormones are administered.

  • The nitrogen released as a by-product of the rabbit’s waste goes directly back into the soil, creating a high quality reusable fertilizer that improves overall pasture production. Although some ammonia gas is lost during the natural composting process, the loss is minimized under ideal soil conditions.

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