For several years in my other life, I raised rabbits. In the process of reducing the population (that is what raising livestock is for) I also learned to tan hides, because I abhor waste. If I am going to take out a rabbit, I am not going to waste anything if I can help it. A life is still a life. Our American Indian ancestors gave thanks for the life of an animal in recognition of its value, and the necessity of taking it for survival. People need to eat, and although I could become a vegetarian, I choose not to, like most other animals on this planet.
Rabbits are adorable creatures who are very, very useful livestock in a developing economy. Rabbits are low-cost to begin with, can be housed economically in a small space, and provide excellent return on investment. That means they are economical to raise, and provide a good meat ratio based on the necessary food they require. And they are also fun to raise for pets. I must admit, as soon as people found out that we had rabbits available for pets, we did not get very many for the table. This was not a hardship, since I had furs to tan.
Tanning furs is a time-consuming process, like many other handcrafts, but also like many other handcrafts, it is not particularly difficult. There are several Websites which have directions for accomplishing this feat, using several methods of varying recipes, chemicals, processes and results. I got excellent furs on the first try, so it can’t be TOO difficult.
And, as to the self-sustainability of rabbit-raising, there is little that is wasted, including rabbit dung. Rabbit pooh is excellent plant fertilizer, and will quickly enrich the soil of any garden (ornamental or food-producing). It also, unlike chicken pooh, does not contain so much ammonia that it will burn the plants. Chicken pooh will. In a HURRY. Raising chickens is another good livestock project, by the way, but that’s another blog…….