Facing a crisis mixed with food shortages and an authoritarian power grab, Venezuela's government is urging its citizens to breed and feast on bunnies.
President Nicolas Maduro’s government is launching the “Rabbit Plan,” with hopes that Venezuelans can look past those cute rabbit noses and serve them on the dinner table.
“There is a cultural problem because we have been taught that rabbits are cute pets,” Urban Agriculture Minister Freddy Bernal said during a televised meeting with Maduro. “A rabbit is not a pet; it’s two and a half kilos (5.5 pounds) of meat that is high in protein, with no cholesterol.”
Rabbit consumption is common in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States. The animals are more efficient than pigs and cattle in converting protein into edible meat, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
But raising rabbits in significant quantities in contemporary Venezuela would be difficult.
The country’s constant shortages, resulting from stringent price and currency controls, would probably leave the would-be rabbit industry struggling to find materials ranging from feed to metal and wire for breeding cages.