Let them eat rabbit

From the BBC:

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has devised a “rabbit plan” to counter the economic war he says is being waged against his government by “imperialist forces”.

The president urged crisis-hit Venezuelans to breed rabbits and eat them as a source of animal protein.

I’m going to be bone idle and just copy and paste this entire post I wrote in January 2007.


According to most of the major news sources, North Korea is considering breeding giant rabbits from Germany to help feed its starving population:

A German pensioner who won a prize and worldwide fame for breeding his country’s largest rabbit — Robert, a 10.5kg (23lb) bruiser the size of a dog — has been offered an unusual opportunity to exploit his talents overseas.

Karl Szmolinsky has been given a contract by North Korea to supply giant rabbits to help to boost meat production in the reclusive Communist country, which is suffering severe food shortages.

Kim Jong Il is not the first despotic communist leader to have the idea of breeding rabbits to stave off the starvation which communism inevitably brings.  In 1932 Nikita Khrushchev found himself as deputy to Mikhail Kaganovich and effectively running Moscow.  As William Taubman explains in his book Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (page 90):

Moscow’s working class, allegedly the apple of Stalin’s eye, was going hungry in 1932, and with his legendary concern for their welfare, the great man “suggested the idea of raising rabbits for food”.  Naturally Khrushchev was all for this plan and worked zealously to carry out his instructions.  Almost every factory, plant and workshop started raising rabbits to help stock its own kitchen.

Needless to say, the idea was a flop, although I doubt Khrushchev put it to his boss quite like that.  I have also no doubt that the latest North Korean attempt is being touted in the DPRK as the brainwave of Kim Jong Il and not the 75 year old idea of his father’s mentor.

As an aside, another of Stalin’s brilliant ideas for alleviating food shortages in the Soviet Union was to introduce the Pacific giant crab to European waters, specifically the Barents Sea.  Whilst these spiky crustaceans did little to silence the rumbling of Soviet bellies, they did adapt remarkably well to Europe and they now number more than 10 million and are slowly marching their way down Norway’s coast destroying all manner of marine life in their path.  Rumours that I have relocated to Sakhalin to collaborate with their leadership in their imminent invasion of the United Kingdom are completely unfounded.


Also worthy of attention is the comment made by Pootergeek under the original post. No, not the appalling pun which would earn a lifetime ban on less charitable blogs, but this link to “rabbit starvation”:

Protein poisoning was first noted as a consequence of eating rabbit meat exclusively, hence the term, “rabbit starvation”.


14 thoughts on “Let them eat rabbit

  1. They should just stick to eating the animals from their zoos.

    I never took to Rabbit when I was in the UK, you never knew if it was a mongrel Hare of not, I much prefer my lobster and Penfolds these days.

  2. My old man loved it too, his name was Evan Thomas (Very Welsh Surname), he nearly christened me Gareth!

    I would much rather eat a Venezuelan collared peccary though.

  3. The most effective solution to food shortages, and the one eventually chosen by socialist countries, is killing large numbers of people and hence reducing demand.

  4. Supposedly the Norks tried this back in the day…

    Wait a minute…

    Note to self: read the whole post before commenting

  5. Actually Tim it looks like you missed the end to the North Korean rabbit saga:

    Instead of studying the rabbits, Kim Jong Il ate them all. Apparently this was a major faux pas and the giant rabbit breeding community blacklisted the North Koreans for ever after.

  6. When the highest authorities in a country feel they must start micromanaging what’s for dinner … things are close to rock-bottom.

  7. North Korea is considering breeding giant rabbits from Germany to help feed its starving population

    That went down very well in Australia I seem to remember reading.

  8. We need experts to control the economy in a way that is rational and in the interest of society and they say eschewing expert farmers and having everyone raise rabbits for food even though the vast majority of them know nothing about breeding and raising bunnies and they’ll lack an economy of scale but it has the advantage that any blame cast will be diffused away from the experts.

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