2011 is the Year of Rabbit, and I was born during a previous Year of the Rabbit. It’s said that during one’s year of birth (so for me, Rabbit years) one would either enjoy great fortune or great misfortune’the two extremes. I know what I’d prefer. But what about the destiny of rabbits themselves? A dinner table? Being a companion animal? The fur being used for “fashion” in clothing? China, where the lunar New Year and spring festival celebrations continue, raises the most rabbits in the world: the annual throughput exceeds 800 million. By those purveying it, rabbit meat is said to be easily digested and highly nutritious. It’s especially recommended for women, said to contribute to smooth and beautiful skin, and to help control weight since it’s low in fat. Rabbit fur, too, is being marketed increasingly as warmer than wool and very soft. Therefore, it’s been deemed the “new lover of women.” It’s quoted that a down-filled coat made of rabbit fur can cost hundreds of thousands of yuan. Chinese businessmen are eyeing expanded marketing rabbit meat for Chinese consumers, and opportunities presented by the fur business. Alas, the Year of Rabbit does not seem too exciting, or too full of great fortune, for Chinese rabbits.
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