People either love rabbits or they hate them. If it’s a love thing, it’s probably because they’re so cute and innocent. If the story is hate, perhaps they ate everything in your garden this past summer. But even those who hate them often balk at eating them.

“The Easter Bunny Syndrome” is what farmer Steve Marshall calls Americans’ lack of enthusiasm for eating rabbit, which Europeans eat a lot more of. This rather efficient, healthy animal has been relegated (or is it elevated?) to the occasional spot on the menus of fancy restaurants. 

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But they’re much more than just cute and furry. Their meat is tasty, and among the most climate-friendly protein options out there, since they’re herbivores, grow to maturity quickly, and reproduce … well, like rabbits. 

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This week, I visited Marshall Farm, one of the few (if not the only) commercial rabbit producers in Minnesota, where Scott and his family just finished their first year of raising bunnies, accompanied by classic rock playing in the barn. They showed me how the bunnies were raised, and gave me a butchering demonstration.