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When Is Cruelty Not Cruelty?

March 12, 2012

There are many people and organizations who want you, the consumer, to think there is rampant cruelty around every corner in the agriculture industry. Recently there were articles making the rounds about mutilated rabbits with ears cut off as further ‘proof’ of cruelty.

Of course there are many who make claims they can’t back up, and there are some who continue to give food for the fire. However, the majority of those in agriculture value our animals, no matter what type we have.

This is one of our four does from the “ear litter” born to Holly last August. They survived their ears being mauled at 2 days old by their mother, but are forever changed. Now if some people saw this they would automatically charge cruelty.

This is another doe from the same litter. Both have severely disfigured ears. This is *not* something breeders do – we actually want ears. There are several reasons this is problematic for the rabbits and for us.

As we’ve shown in other posts, we use the ear for tattoo identification. The ears are also a valued part of the rabbit’s cooling capability, and without this she will have a harder time in hot weather. We will need to spent more time and attention keeping these four cool during hot summer days. Additionally, the ears have a network of blood supply, and cutting the ears off adults would result in massive blood loss.

The fact is, as documented in our blog here, things happen, and with any group of animals some die, some are injured, some get sick and some live to an old age.

There are also cattle that sometimes have disfigured ears sometimes from frostbite, or from a tag being pulled out. However, it’s too easy to assume the wrong thing. We’ve been open and transparent about this litter since it happened…but seeing others looking similar in the news as “cruelty” is inflammatory against all who raise rabbits. It assumes if someone has a rabbit like this that they’re abused and it’s just not true.

The big picture matters. Animal comfort matters. These are otherwise outstanding does that will hopefully have a productive breeding life ahead of them, as they can’t be shown. Their invaluable contribution will be to improving our herd. They can live with mangled ears, and we’ll accommodate their special needs.

If you see something on other farms you don’t understand, ask! It makes a difference.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    March 12, 2012 12:39 PM

    Or you could not farm animals at ALL, and eliminate all aspects of the cruelty. Just because you didn’t personally mangle their bodies doesnt mean their bodies are yours to possess.

    • March 12, 2012 2:29 PM

      Thanks for visiting. Actually animals are ours to possess. Eliminating all aspects of cruelty isn’t going to happen – it would not have stopped the doe from chewing the ears. It doesn’t stop the killing of animals, some in far more “unacceptable” ways than agriculture involves. We all have different choices and the fact is the majority of people consumer nutrient dense meats. Our rabbits are much safer and more relaxed than wild rabbits, that don’t have the luxury of stretching out for a solid sleep. We grow peppers, tomatoes and other things too – but that will not feed everyone either. Thanks again.

      • chienblanc4csi permalink
        March 12, 2012 7:52 PM

        Very nice response, Jan. You are kind.

      • March 12, 2012 9:19 PM

        Thanks! We all have different choices, but that’s what makes everyone different. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Tired of AR Crap permalink
      March 12, 2012 7:39 PM

      “Jennifer” is on to something. Let’s kill all the animals. Then no animal anywhere will have to spend an unpleasant moment as prey, agriculture or companion. Of course, we’ll all starve and our lives will be hopeless shells devoid of unconditional love. But you’re right “Jennifer” better not chance it. Aren’t we all better dead than loved and cared for? [sarcasm off]

      • March 12, 2012 9:17 PM

        Well there is that. However, when animals are removed from the farms, fields, skies and lives then it’s not much of a life. An existance perhaps, but how much less it’d be without our dogs, birds and other critters. We enjoy the cardinals in the shelterbelt behind the rabbitry as much as the others. They add nothing to the operation. The dogs and cats add little but give much. Thanks for visiting!

  2. March 13, 2012 4:36 AM

    This is another one of those areas of life that “social awareness” seems to be bleeding for choice of attention. And simply, the ignorance being taught angers me. More importantly – it only shows me how little amount of time is actually spent reading the Bible by too many of these ‘groups’ that think they’re initiating some kind of movement to save the animal kingdom from somebody’s back yard or small farm. I’m saddened by the laziness of so many that choose not to think for themselves. I’m saddened by the corrupted mess that cherry-picks negative knowledge for the sake of improper agenda. I wish people would turn their televisions off and go back to seeking truth. And I thank God for people like you – that use the intelligence of the Internet ( gift from God ) in a great way to educate truthfully – just as God intended. Otherwise – younger people of today would totally lose out on knowing there is such a thing as reality.

    • March 13, 2012 10:57 AM

      I believe we’re charged to take care of those animals we own. I don’t believe the Bible says we are to be vegetarians, but that’s a topic touched on in my Ag in the Bible series on Sundays. There are far too many cases of “cruelty” accused that later aren’t actually cruelty, but the animals removed and disposed of all the same. I think consumers need to be aware of this, and of what it’s said they support. I think there is far less ‘cruelty’ seen by the public if it’s shown unedited and explained in common sense terms. However, even with that, and showing an animal not in distress after a procedure is done is seen by some as ‘cruelty’. Thanks for visiting…hope you’ll come back!

  3. March 15, 2012 5:54 PM

    It comes with the territory. If they look for negatives and take out the person who owns one of those negatives, a lot more goes bye-bye than the negative. An act of kindness would add to societal good in almost all cases. Taking away a whole person from the fabric society and turning them into an emotional and financial mess damages, rots, and indeed corrupts society.

    From what I’ve seen humans generally are already kind to animals well above and beyond the call of duty. This makes us easy to exploit for profit and sadistic fun.

    • March 16, 2012 3:34 PM

      Thanks for stopping by! It is easy to pick a visible target, and there is no excuse for cruelty that have been in some videos. However, there are some that assume if a dog cringes he/she has been beaten, and that may or may not be the case. Some dogs are just naturally timid! Appearances don’t always tell the whole story.

  4. March 19, 2012 6:09 PM

    I hate when people make assumptions. I often get harped on for my choise of collar on Kyuss. (prong) People will call me cruel, say I’m torturing him etc. Meanwhile he’s happily standing next to me, not lunging about like their dog.

    A properly sized, fitted prong collar is much safer than people seem to think.

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