Monday, January 7, 2013

When a Fur Coat Isn't Enough

In Japan they stage an event called "Rabbit Fashion Week."  Fortunately, it is not rabbit fur clothing for humans.  Rabbits are the stars in this event.  It includes, of course, an actual fashion show of lagomorph lovliness all dressed up for show. See one of the examples below (Photo credit Yoshikazo Tsuno)
Now a vet tech in Ohio has found her bunny dresses are very popular according to a recent article in the UK's Daily Mail. After she posted a photo on Reddit last week, "she was overwhelmed with people from all over the world asking her if she would make similar dresses for their rabbits." See example below:

What do these rabbits think of being dressed up?  I don't really want to thump on anyone's fun, but I'm not so sure about it.  Do I detect an annoyed or embarassed look on those rabbit faces above.  Domesticated rabbits have put up with all manner of behavior from humans over the centuries from completely nonsensical to unimaginable torture and cruelty.  Dressing up a bunny is certainly benign in light of their history in association with humans.  Also, I doubt it isn't overly stressful for them since "bunny dress up days" most likely happen only on special occasions. As prey animals most rabbits don't like anything resembling a grab from behind and even dominance behavior between themselves involves one rabbit over the other's back. (Most of these "clothes" fit over their backs.) On the other hand, the rabbits get a lot of attention dressed in their frocks and if the clothes aren't constricting movement, then probably no harm done.  My main issue with it is that it disregards the rabbitness of the rabbit. They are beautiful just as they are in their variety of natural fur coats.  However, there is no doubt I'd rather see people designing clothes for rabbits than making fashion accessories out of rabbits.