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A rabbit rescue is forced to return 17 rabbits liberated from a Portland butchery school

Overnight on January 8, 2012 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 appears to be a growing trend among upper-middle class neuvo-bohemian "progressives" of the Michael Pollan school, who wish to cultivate an image of being "sustainable" in the most amoral, forced, and pretentious way possible. This continues the trend of abhorrent, showy fashions originating in anarchist-based subcultures, which then percolate 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

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