Rabbits’ ecological benefits should be noted

Rabbits should be allowed in Sidney for their environmental benefits

Re: UVic’s rabbit problem won’t happen here (Letters, July 11)

It seems that the case of Rocky the Rabbit versus Sidney has caused some violent reactions. Noel Gagnon is correct about the UVic “problem” that gave rabbits a bad rap and he says pass a bylaw that allows rabbits “and if Helen Watt so desires, possibly include a spay/neuter requirement.” This latter requirement would be an unjust solution since it discriminates against those who like rabbits instead of cats – and besides, who wants to be neutered?

One of the reasons I believe rabbits should be permitted is to introduce the idea of backyard ecological herbivory. Our Rocky provides an essential source of clean, odourless, dry, organic pellets that feed our abundant fruit and vegetable garden. I pointed out to council that all intelligent cultures in the world are based by necessity on a relationship with an herbivore. In fact it is said that the Incan empire was built on llama dung, which recycled carbon sustainably.

Most importantly, I would argue, the case of Rocky the Rabbit highlights a very critical decision that council must make regarding food sustainability and our future. With the example of Japan fresh in our minds and growing awareness that some 90 per cent of our produce is imported, it would be irresponsible of our leaders not to consider strong measures toward emergency preparedness and food sustainability, as we sit in view of Mount Baker.

The humble rabbit and backyard herbivory are a step in the right direction, if we really do hope to get back to the garden.

James K. Finley