There were a lot of weekends spent in front of Whole Foods back in 2014, at various locations and across the country, carrying signs and educating consumers about the heart-wrenching decision made by the trendsetting grocery conglomerate to sell the meat of rabbits. Many customers were shocked to discover this was true (and there seemed to be just as many who didn't care), but all were more than a little surprised to see such a movement against it. There were patches of small groups rising up in new cities every week, from one person to 30 or more, all joined together with one main focus - to try and persuade Whole Foods to reverse their decision.
A petition was started and tens of thousands of people signed it, rabbit advocacy websites and Facebook pages popped up, rabbit rescue groups came together and news stories began circulating. I tried hard not to call it a fight - I didn't want to think of it that way - but it was a fight. It was a fight to save the bunnies who were being killed for their meat before they were 12 weeks old. It was sickening (as is the entire meat industry if consumers would be willing to see it for what it really truly is) and it was GOING TO STOP.
The win came in September of 2015, a little more than a year into the "fight." Whole Foods simply couldn't sell enough rabbit meat to make their endeavor cost effective. Thank you, God! I still remember one (possibly life-changing) occasion like it was yesterday: It was a Sunday and I was protesting by myself in front of the Santa Cruz Whole Foods when a man walked past me and suddenly looked back over his shoulder and said "David and Goliath." He was, of course, referring to my standing there alone with a sign announcing my mission to force a globally popular grocery store chain into doing something. I felt a weird mixture of humility and pride when this stranger used that phrase to describe me.
That pretty much sums it all up though, doesn't it? Therein lies the reason for the tears and the momentary speechlessness my friend and I were experiencing two years after the fact. Whole Foods did reverse their decision. Millions of bunnies' lives would be spared.
This writing, that I have no idea who will read because most readers never comment, goes out to the "bunny warriors" who fought to make their voices heard and bring justice for the voiceless. I truly love you - all of you. The photo gallery that follows is a tribute to your hard work - some photos are mine and some are public photos found via Facebook from around the state and country.
Lisa, thanks for a great day and I'm so glad we're friends because we bonded over bunnies!