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18 Rabbits Liberated from Hipster Meat School in Portland
by Animal Liberation Frontline (peter [at]
Monday Jan 16th, 2012 12:23 PM
18 rabbits rescued from meat school in overnight raid are found and returned

From Animal Liberation Frontline

In a strange development, a rabbit rescue is forced to return 17 rabbits liberated from a Portland butchery school.

Overnight on January 8th, news broke on the "Portland Meat Collective" website that somewhere between 18 and 23 rabbits had disappeared from the backyard of one of their "instructors" the day before they were to be killed as part of a "how to" self-butchery class. Nearly a week passed without any further news or claim of responsibility.

Then, in a tragic development Friday, January 13th, news came that the rabbits had been located and returned to the school to be killed.

The story so far...

At 4am on January 8th, the same night rabbits vanished from the meat school, 17 rabbits were dropped off anonymously at the doorstep of a rabbit rescue called "Rabbit Advocates".

The rescue had no knowledge that the rabbits may had been liberated from the Portland Meat Collective. Over the next few days, every rabbit was found a home.

What happened next is not clear, but somewhere along the way, one of the parties involved (either Rabbit Advocates, the PDX Meat Collective, or one of the guardians of the rehomed rabbits) made the connection between the missing meat-school rabbits, and the rabbits dropped off at Rabbit Advocates.

News that the rescued rabbits had been given to Rabbit Advocates reached the butchery school. Lawyers got involved, and the negotiation process with Rabbit Advocates began, to have all 17 rabbits returned to the Portland Meat Collective to be killed in their  self-butchery meat classes.

On Saturday, January 13th, at noon, members of the Portland Meat Collective went to the office of the lawyer for Rabbit Advocates to pick up the 17 rabbits and return them to the school. According to the Portland Meat Collective website, others also showed up at the lawyers office: including a police detective assigned to the case, a reporter from the channel 2 news, and 8 people who took in the rabbits to protest the rabbits' return.

Butchers respond

The Portland Meat Collective made this statement (to fully appreciate how sick and schizophrenic this is, keep in mind as you read - they operate a school that will kill these rabbits in classes to train people how to kill animals for food):

We appreciate that the Rabbit Advocates were willing to return the animals to their rightful owner. We also appreciate that the Rabbit Advocates members, so far as we can tell, very much took care of the rabbits while they were gone from Levi’s property.... We also appreciate their concern for the rabbits, and want to assure them that while their owners raise them for different purposes than Rabbit Advocate foster homes do, they always have been and will be very well cared for.

The good news

The only good news to come from this development is that one of the rabbits has not been returned to the school. The person the rabbit was re-homed to is, so far, refusing to return the rabbit.

In either a public-relations move, or just something akin to a serial killer taunting and humiliating a kidnapped victim before death, the Portland Meat Collective has named the rabbit "Roger".

The person who is currently in custody of the rabbit has a lawyer, and is in discussions with the PDX Meat Collective.

Hipster-ism gone mad: the self-butchery meat trend

Backyard self-butchering is a growing trend among neuvo-bohemian "progressives" of the Michael Pollan school, who wish to cultivate an image of being "sustainable" in the most amoral and pretentious way possible. This is one of several species-oppressive fashions that come to mind which originated in anarchist-based subcultures, before percolating up to mainline liberals and the leisure class.

The school says they have moved the reclaimed rabbits to "an undisclosed location".

The hope for a re-liberation

While there has been no claim of responsibility made by the ALF or anyone else, there is a precedent for the Animal Liberation Front locating and re-liberating animals that have been returned to their abusers after rescues.

In 1985, rabbits liberated from the City of Hope were found by police and placed temporarily in an animal shelter while they awaited return to the lab. The ALF broke in shortly after and re-liberated the rabbits.

And in 2001, after a mink farmer boasted he had recaptured most of the mink released from his farm, the Animal Liberation Front returned to they farm they had raided 5 nights prior, and re-liberated every recaptured mink. The farm shut down.

We can only hope rescuers locate the new location of the rabbits, and deliver them to freedom for the second time.

- Peter Young

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by MFine
Monday Jan 16th, 2012 3:41 PM
Rabbit Advocates should have required payment from the Portland Meat Collective for the cost of caring for and placing the rabbits, which probably would have been more than the rabbits were financially worth to the Collective. This has been successful in other rescue cases.
by Dan
Monday Jan 16th, 2012 11:24 PM
Why does this article contend that slaughtering rabbits in your backyard for personal consumption is somehow cruel? Does the author really think buying meat from a grocer that comes from an industrialized slaughter house is somehow better? At least the rabbits will get personal attention to ensure minimal suffering; this is not the case in industrial slaughter houses, where several animals are slaughter a minute by highly automated machines, often skinning them alive before they are allowed a few moments to die, all for the sake of earning a few extra pennies for the corporate overlords. My sentiment is the opposite of the one expressed in this article: People who don't have the balls to slaughter their own animals should not be eating meat. The idea that if you kill something yourself it is somehow disgusting and amoral to eat is a pathetic notion rampant in American society where people don't want to see what they are going to eat, they just want highly processed McDonalds-like food so they don't have to think about the consequences of what they are consuming...
by Mike Novack
Tuesday Jan 17th, 2012 4:35 AM
It would be hardly likely could get away with charging for care of the rabbits in THIS case. That can possibly work in a case where there is better plausible deniability that "we didn't know they were stolen".

Remember, the standard of proof is different in civil cases than in criminal cases. It might be hard to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that they knew a batch of 18 appearing all at once COULDN'T be somebody's abandoned pet rabbits but in front of a jury where it's majority vote and the standard of proof is reasonability? They'd be at least found negligent, filing to use appropriate dilligence in determining the situation.

ONE stolen rabbit, yes, being able to claim "we're an innocent party, had no way to know was stolen property so entitled to compensation" might fly. They probably get one or two at a time dropped off all the time. You need to remember the rules here. Suppose you BUY what turns out to be stolen property. If determined stolen the owner gets it back and you don't have a claim against the owner for compensation (the loss of the purchase price) but just against whomever you bought the stolen property from.

Please --- those working "underground" need to use care when involving others who have not agreed to risk jail and the loss of their property for the cause. Some of the criticism I am seeing on this matter is totally unreasonable. People working "above ground" have important roles to play too. Keep separate. They had no choice but to give back the rabbits or face proceedings for "receiving" if not "accomplices post facto".