General Question

Cartman's avatar

Is it OK to burn rabbits for heat?

Asked by Cartman (3039 points ) October 14th, 2009

I saw this (I tried to post a GTrans but it wouldn’t stick) article in one of the two major Swedish newspapers.

The rabbit population, within the city of Stockholm, is being controlled (i.e. shot) annually. Usually, I presume, the shot rabbits would be cremated but now they are cremated in a boiler station, generating heat for the frozen Swedes. Assuming, for the sake of this argument, that they were shot anyway and not removed by alternative means. Does that make a difference? The rabbits are dead anyway. Isn’t it a waste to throw them away? Is it better that they, as it where, put something back into society that helped feed them (and then shot them of course)? Is it wrong?

Somehow it feels wrong and right at the same time. Your thoughts?

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45 Answers

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

rabbits are tasty, but there are only so many recipes for rabbit meat. I once heard of a guy that heated his house with a basement full of rabbits, since rabbits get rid of excess heat thru their ears. The smell had to be disgusting.

Rather than let them go to waste, burn em for heat. They’re dead, it isn’t like anyone is torturing them. We could burn all sorts of dead critters for heat.

markyy's avatar

Think of it as a personal cremation versus a mass incineration, yes it’s still creepy but at least their death means anything. Here is a translated page that does stick.

Zen's avatar

First, make coats and stew. Then burn the remains.

jrpowell's avatar

I have one of those hats with ear flaps that is lined with rabbit fur. The thing is amazing, ugly as hell, but amazing. I hope they are using the fur for something. And if anyone knows where to get a rabbit fur blanket send me a private comment.

whatthefluther's avatar

I would not support raising rabbits solely to burn them as fuel. Utilizing rabbits that have been killed to stave off an overpopulation problem? Why the hell not? They are going to go up in smoke anyhow. I say capture those btus. Hell, I’m to be cremated. If I can make some one just a bit warmer and cozier while I’m being turned to ash, what a delight to be of service in death (I had been in the organ donor program, but due to my disease, my organs are no longer considered attractive so I can no longer be of service in that, a more preferred, manner). See ya….Gary/wtf

Zen's avatar

@whatthefluther Your organ is attractive to me.;-)

whatthefluther's avatar

Zen….Then you must visit. Please be prepared to tune my organ upon your arrival and perhaps hum a tune or two as you play it. See ya….Gary/wtf

DarkScribe's avatar

Nah – I tried it – they are very hard to light. They keep hopping around.

sandystrachan's avatar

They should be cooked use the fat to make fire , its win win if done that way .Or even more win win , use the fur to make clothes

rabbitheart's avatar

…Slowly backs away from this thread.

O's avatar

They only reason they seem to be hunted is because they create a big problem. Last year they shot 6000 hares in Stockholm. Earlier they just drove them to the dump, but since dumping cadavers there is against EU-law, they had to figure out something else. So… they burn’em.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think this is better than letting them go to waste providing, as @whatthefluther said, they aren’t being raised JUST to be killed and burnt. Seeing as they are going to be killed anyway due to the population it seems like the RIGHT thing to do. It goes back to when early man used to kill animals and put the whole of the animal to use, food, clothing etc I know we are not killing animals nowadays in order to survive as early man did but at least we are not killing just for the sake of it.

autumn43's avatar

Holy carp.

filmfann's avatar

Fortunately, we still have the daily bunny

ru2bz46's avatar

Is @autumn43 trying to start a fish cult?

markyy's avatar

@filmfann Finally the internet is complete. We can stop making new websites, because well.. all has been said now.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I do believe if you kill an animal you should use all you can from it. I suppose burning them for heat is using all of the animal. It seems like a reasonable idea. What I would worry about is the country becoming dependent on rabbit fuel and therefor once the rabbit population is under control they continue to use them to the point of endangering them. I’m not sure that this is possible(as I know little about the rabbit population in Sweden) but it is something to consider.

There is also the idea of using the rabbit meat.

Having said all that I don’t know how I feel about them controlling rabbit populations by shooting them in mass amounts and using them for fuel. Seems kinda unnecessary and cruel.

tinyfaery's avatar

Is shooting the rabbits the only alternative? The burning is not an issue for me, afterall, they are already dead. The shooting is the problem.

ru2bz46's avatar

I have a problem with killing animals just to get them out of the way. I believe the meat and furs should be used in the most efficient way that is practical. Just as mass-farmed chickens are processed, rabbits can be processed en masse to use the meat.

Rabbit sausage, jerky, etc. could be used as protein rations for the poor, or even sold as “specialty” suasage. There’s no reason to waste the protein, especially since it is wild meat, free from hormones and other crap that we get from the standard meat industry.

Having nothing better to do with the bunny corpses, I think using them as a fuel source is just fine, but there are many more uses for dead bunnies than that, and more efficient fuel sources as well.

O's avatar

@ru2bz46 Yeah, but these bunnies are not farmed. They are wild. Apparently they are everywhere, and a big problem.

Zen's avatar

My life was meaningless, until I discovered @filmfann‘s daily bunny. Thank you.

ru2bz46's avatar

@O Yes, they are wild, which is why I said “There‚Äôs no reason to waste the protein, especially since it is wild meat, free from hormones and other crap that we get from the standard meat industry.”

Kill ‘em all, then bring them to a centralized processing plant. It’s done all the time with wild game when people don’t want to or cannot process their own game.

There are areas in California where hunting is illegal. There is a large population of swine in one, and non-native deer in another. Instead of opening a hunting season in those areas, the State hires “professional hunters” (read: animal slaughterers) to shoot them from helicopters and leave them for the coyotes and vultures. Hunting fees are the single largest revenue source for habitat conservation, while shooting them for the scavengers to eat costs the taxpayers $300 each.

There is always a better way than just killing them off.

O's avatar

@ru2bz46 Oh. Swine as in wild boar?

ru2bz46's avatar

@O Yes, but also feral domestic pigs. Both were imported to Monterey County long ago and many escaped. The wild pigs stayed wild, and the domestic pigs became feral. Sometimes, the two types interbred. Now, we have all three types of swine throughout the state, which are viewed as nuisance animals with no limit on hunting…except in parts of the state where wealthy anti-hunters lobbied to get hunting banned. Now, those hunting-free zones are costing the State a lot of money. Sorry for the rant.

O's avatar

@ru2bz46 No, it was very interesting.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Wild rabbits often have various diseases, especially in areas with massive population growth. This is an environmental constant that the animal activists never take into account. Overpopulation leads to starvation and disease, no matter what the critter. The meat might lack hormones, but it might also be infected with various other diseases. Rabbits are also ‘flea bags with ears’. I enjoy the occasional roasted bunny, and the ones I buy are raised solely for their meat. There is a difference between wild rabbit meat and tame rabbit meat; as wild meat is gamey and tough.

What some of you may not have considered is the logistics of preparing the carcasses of so many rabbits. You are going to have to pay someone to sort them, kill them, skin them, figure out which ones are diseased and which ones are not, prepare the meat, package it, find a place to store it, and that means freezers, and you still have to eliminate the fleas before you can use the fur for coats and such. Also, there is the entrails to consider disposing of.

Perhaps burning them as fuel is simply the most cost effective way to get rid of them.

whatthefluther's avatar

@ru2bz46….I am guilty of having a young, plump pet miniature pot belly pig, irreparably injured during one of our California earthquakes, and subsequently put down, cremated, much to the appropriate horror of @evelyns_pet_zebra. But, my then (now ex) wife, would entertain no other action (obviously she had not participated in 4H programs). The little sucker would have made for a fine and succulent luau party (and EPZ and I muse that perhaps someone at the crematory may have in fact sidetracked the little fella for just, such a purpose).
See ya….Gary/wtf

autumn43's avatar

@filmfann – Oh thank you SO much! That made me so hoppy!

Zen's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Did you say frizzers?

ru2bz46's avatar

@whatthefluther I couldn’t eat a pet either. I raise rabbits for food. I store the pelts in the frizzer until I can give them to someone to tan and use them. The entrails, I feed to my pet chickens (except the heart and liver – yum!). I cannot kill a chicken, though…not after having them as pets. I love their personalities. When one dies, I bury it in the garden. Rabbits are nasty critters; at least they’re tasty.

@evelyns_pet_zebra When game is taken in the field, rabbits included, they are field dressed. Examining the lungs and other organs give a good indication of disease. Further testing can be done at the processing center. Fleas essentially “come out in the wash” when the pelts are tanned. Entrails can be used in animal feed or composted. As for the flavor of the meat, it is probably best suited to sausage and jerky like I mentioned earlier.

Sure, there is a cost with processing them, so the process should be refined and the end product should be marketed in a way to offset the cost (even if it used to provide protein for the poor). We used to throw away all of our paper, cans, bottles, etc. until somebody found a way to cost-effectively process the “waste” and recycle it.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@ru2bz46 Love the answer on game meat. I was going to try for that myself but didn’t have enough direct knowledge.

filmfann's avatar

There is also This site , which shows movies reenacted in 30 seconds by animated bunnies.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@ru2bz46 do you work for a recycling company? Anyone who does knows it is hardly cost effective to recycle paper, but thanks to the gov’t subsidies, it can be profitable.

surah's avatar

Wild rabbits can over populate and can cause lots of damage to crops, look what happened in Australia but when a disease was introduced to control them the disease got out of hand and was horrable for it causesd a slow death ( mistermatotic ) so they culled them instead, but it is right that I hear they are also taking peoples pet rabbits and killing them to use to make energy and power then I say it is wrong and the stench must be horrable too. I Love animals and hate to see them being mis-treated.

DarkScribe's avatar

@surah a disease was introduced to control them the disease got out of hand and was horrable for it causesd a slow death ( mistermatotic ) so they culled them instead,

What they did when the rabbit population began to develop immunity to Myxomatosis was to introduce Rabbit haemorrhagic virus, not cull them. Culling rabbits is impossible. You are right though in the fact that is a horribly cruel way to kill a rabbit.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@DarkScribe a horribly cruel way to kill a rabbit would be to make them listen to Michael Bolton albums over and over again.

O's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Sure? I suspect they make up most of his fan base.

DarkScribe's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra a horribly cruel way to kill a rabbit would be to make them listen to Michael Bolton albums over and over again.

You aren’t related to a Vogon by any chance?

whatthefluther's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra….It is nice to see you have found a practical use for that Bolton album (and hopefully, the Manilow one, as well) rather than dumping showering them upon me as gifts. I had already packed the Nickelback catalogue, for you in return, but luckily (for you) it was not yet posted. something tells me to keep it packed and ready.in the event I am visited by some fool singing Mandy or the Copa-whateverthefluck
See ya…..Gary/wtf

ragingloli's avatar

Why not send them to Africa? I am sure they would like some delicious meat in addition to the abysmal food they are forced to contend with.

HungryGuy's avatar

I thnk squirrels are a more efficient heat source :-p

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, this made me laugh!

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