Tuesday, September 15th, will go down in history as a day of joy and celebration to those of us who love rabbits, as Whole Foods Market agreed to permanently end the sale of rabbit meat in all of its stores.
We at Zooh Corner Rabbit Rescue could not be happier that Whole Foods will finally stop selling dead pets in their meat department and for this we thank them from the bottoms of our human, and bunny, hearts. But we also must look at the way Whole Foods presented the decision (from Whole Foods statement): “[. . .] the pilot [program] ultimately revealed the sales volume did not justify the continuation or expansion of the pilot to a national program.”
Oh, Whole Foods, you big sillies. We ALL know the real reason you are ending the program. Customer Demand. We customers demanded that you stop selling our pets in your meat case, you ignored us, and we quit shopping in your stores. We hit you right in your bottom line, finances. Ouch.
Over the past year, and as recently as last week, you told us that you were selling rabbit flesh because of “customer demand,” insisting time and again that your customers really wanted to eat dead baby rabbits. But that wasn’t the truth, was it? The true “customer demand” was that you not sell dead pets in the meat case – period. We rabbit people, most of us one-time happy Whole Foods customers, demanded for over a year that you stop selling our pets in your meat case. When you refused to hear us we spoke louder. We protested, sent letters, called you, filled out customer complaint cards in your stores (often tossed out by managers!), made our voices heard via social media (were banned on your Facebook pages for expressing our customer wants/demands)—and when you still refused to hear us, many thousands of us refused to shop in your Whole Foods Stores. And then there was Lisa Rockwell’s change.org petition—nearly 60,000 signatures!—from customers and others demanding that you stop selling rabbit meat.
Customer demand. It’s a thing.
But Whole Foods clearly does not value its customers as much as they say they do.
Businesses who truly care about their customers such as Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Costco and Bristol Farms, listened to us—and all of them acknowledged the faux-pas of selling dead pets in their stores and immediately discontinued the sales of rabbit flesh.
That is listening to customer demand and valuing your customers. That’s class. Take note, Whole Foods.
So while we at Zooh Corner are doing mad binkies over the Whole Foods decision to cease selling rabbit meat—a win indeed for bunnies—we encourage them to step up and announce publicly the real reason they are doing this: Because it is the true customer demand. People just don’t want to see dead pets in the meat aisle.
Finally, I would like to express my undying appreciation to all of you who helped make this a reality. From those of you who protested, made calls, wrote letters – to those who made themselves heard on social media, and those who shared all of our posts and Tweets. You changed the world!
Cat & the Zooh bunnies