Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Creek Stewart.
**Disclaimer: This post contains a graphic step-by-step depiction of the skinning, slicing, and disemboweling of a real rabbit. If you’re eating, have always had a soft spot for Thumper, or faint at the sight of dismembered rabbit guts, please skip this post. Seriously. You can watch this video of an adorable rabbit stampede instead.**
I love rabbit meat. It’s probably my favorite meat. It is among the world’s cleanest and healthiest meats. It is high in protein and low in cholesterol. Unlike most meats such as chicken, pork, and beef, rabbits are rarely (if ever) pumped with antibiotics and hormones. They are typically raised entirely on water and hay – can’t get much healthier than that. Wild rabbits are even better, foraging on fresh greens year-round. If you’re raising rabbits, two does (female) and a buck (male) can produce up to 50 rabbits a year. They are an incredibly easy, economical, and sustainable meat-producing animal to farm.
I am fortunate enough to be able to purchase whole dressed rabbits from my local butcher down the street, but I also believe, as a meat eater, I should know how and be willing to do the dirty work myself. This involves the killing, the dressing, and the butchering. I never want to take the meat I eat for granted and this process helps me to keep things in perspective and also reminds me of exactly where my food comes from. I believe this connection is important. Below is how I dress and butcher a rabbit.
The Field Dressing
When my grandfathers were my age, they went through this process every time they ate meat. The modern conveniences we enjoy today didn’t exist, nor did the commercial meat industry. Though I don’t necessarily enjoy the butchering process (and certainly not the killing part), it’s important to me. I feel connected to simpler times and, on some level, to my ancestors. It’s also a reminder that the meat I eat comes from a living, breathing animal. I never want to take that for granted.
Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,
Creek Stewart is a Senior Instructor at the Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival, Preparedness & Bushcraft. Creek’s passion is teaching, sharing, and preserving outdoor living and survival skills. Creek is also the author of the book Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. For more information, visit Willow Haven Outdoor.