People concerned about lowering their carbon footprint and being kinder to Mother Earth, but who also want the loving companionship of a pet should give serious consideration to a house rabbit. So says Judith Pierce, co-chapter manager of the San Diego House Rabbit Society. Writing in the North County Times, Ms. Pierce says that bunnies are some of the greenest pets you can have.
Rabbits create a very small carbon pawprint. Like you, rabbits are herbivores. They eat only plants and grasses. They are “local” consumers, enjoying fresh hays and greens available locally. Shop at your local farmer’s market for their daily salad and enjoy a bonus: ask for the “trimmings” from carrots, beets, turnips, etc. and get them for free!
Hay can come from your local feed store (or in San Diego, from the House Rabbit Society’s community hay sales program), decreasing the “food miles” required to sustain your rabbit companion.
A rabbit’s waste is composed of broken-down hay fibers, which is clean and free from bacteria that are harmful to our environment or us. This makes them cleaner, fresher-smelling, and easier to care for than most other animal companion species.
Sure, you still have to dump a litter box, but its contents can go straight onto your compost pile, your outdoor plants (the droppings can go into your indoor plants), or into the green waste bins collected by your trash company. If you use a rabbit-friendly paper- or wood-based litter box filler, that, along with Bunny’s droppings and hay, makes wonderful compost material.
Love to garden? Plant a vegetable and edible flower garden to feed you —- and your rabbit. Use Bunny’s litter-box waste to fertilize the plants and act as mulch to protect roots and hold in moisture. You don’t even have to compost it first; rabbit waste is nutrient-rich and safe to use right from the litter box. If you belong to a garden co-op or a gardening club, your rabbit’s litter-box waste will be like “gold” —- everyone will want some!
To read the complete article, please follow this link.
Of course, rabbits are not for every home. They tend not to mix well with young children, because most rabbits do not like to be picked up and held. They may also need expensive veterinary care — provided by a rabbit-savvy vet. Nevertheless, we have found it to be true that the majority of the rabbit owners we know are vegetarian or vegan and do have a deep respect for the environment.