Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natural and Cultural History of a Misunderstood Creature

Overview

Long considered either pests or figures of cartoon fun, rabbits are in fact the most popular pets after cats and dogs in the United States. In Stories Rabbits Tell, Susan E. Davis and Margo DeMello explore the relationship between rabbits and people throughout time, from the perspectives of natural history, cultural anthropology and the current debate over animal consciousness. Stories Rabbits Tell is destined to become an indispensable guide for the increasing number of people interested in caring for and ...
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Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natural and Cultural History of a Misunderstood Creature

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Overview

Long considered either pests or figures of cartoon fun, rabbits are in fact the most popular pets after cats and dogs in the United States. In Stories Rabbits Tell, Susan E. Davis and Margo DeMello explore the relationship between rabbits and people throughout time, from the perspectives of natural history, cultural anthropology and the current debate over animal consciousness. Stories Rabbits Tell is destined to become an indispensable guide for the increasing number of people interested in caring for and finding out more about these intriguing creatures.

Author Biography:Susan E. Davis has written for the Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal and Sports Illustrated. Her previous books include Toddler Play and The Sporting Life, and she is a national educator with the House Rabbit Society.

Margo DeMello is a cultural anthropologist and was the Education Director for the House Rabbit Society. She has one of the only "warrens" (large groups of domestic, free-roaming house rabbits) in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Most people approach rabbits as if they were stuffed animals: cute, but not capable of much except, maybe, eating carrots and twitching their noses," note Davis (writer and rabbit owner) and DeMello (president of the House Rabbit Society), who present quite a different picture: rabbits (and hares) are complex, social creatures intertwined with human culture. To date, no book has so closely examined the behavior and place of the rabbit-as pet, prey, pest and mythic figure-in history. As the only animal Westerners use as both pet and meat, the rabbit reflects some of our most unsettling cultural contradictions. Part literary companion, with analyses of rabbits in art and literature from poet William Cowper to Beatrix Potter, and part clear-eyed review of facts on rabbit "industry" and rabbit biology, this volume imparts insight into the genesis of pet keeping, the fur industry and the permutations of rabbits in folklore. With colorful anecdotes (including one about introducing Jack, a rabbit grieving for his mate, to new friends), this absorbing book opens the door on the realm of all things lagomorph. The prevalence of rabbits in folklore (as fools, mischief makers and sexualized witches) reveals just how much baggage this small creature has carried, up through the age of the Playboy Bunny. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590560440
  • Publisher: Lantern Books NY
  • Publication date: 7/5/2003
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,000,895
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    I have had house rabbits for many years and have run a rabbit re

    I have had house rabbits for many years and have run a rabbit rescue for the last 7 and I adore this book and recommend it to everyone!! It is a wonderful book on the true wonderful nature of the rabbit and it's history. Love it and recommend it highly!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2004

    Lots and LOTS of Discrepancies!

    Thought I had bought a good reference book, but am totally dismayed with the discrepancies and downright misinformation on the rabbit industries. Passing off an unrelated personal web site and public chats as the PRMA web site and chats is inexcusable and irresponsible reporting and that's just for starters. Way too much misinformation contained in this book to be able to give more than a one star rating. Does not give a true picture of the rabbit industries. Quoting from old 1920's books is a poor excuse for describing the industries of today. For shame! I definitely will not be recommending this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2003

    EXCELLENT tell all on Rabbits.

    This past August I was asked by a friend if I wanted a rabbit, well, this was a first for me, not knowing too much about these darling animals, I said YES, and I have not regretted bringing mini Lop Rodger into my home, anyways, this book, Stories Rabbits Tell, has to be the most complete authority on rabbits anyone would want to own in their library. Very well researched and presented, you could not ask for a better read. Both the authors Susan and Margo are very knowledgable on their subjects and the book is well presented and a very good read through and through. I highly recommend it Les

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2004

    Full of misinfromation

    As a rabbit lover, someone who has worked with rabbits every day for the last 24 years of my life, I am disheartened by the author¿s unsupported ascertations about rabbit behavior and the commercial industry portrayed in this book. To believe that we can relate animal behaviors directly to human behaviors seems to stretch the fabric of reality. Rabbits bite and scratch the rabbit breeders because the rabbit knows its fate is a short miserable life? Do we really know that rabbits would be happier confined to a house where their natural behaviors cannot be expressed? I was also shocked to find my name in the acknowledgments for this book since there is little in the book that I would have agreed with. The portrayal of the rabbit industry in the United States is less than accurate. The authors gleaned information by lurking on internet list servers and chat groups and by deceiving the individuals they interviewed (I was one of them so I know first hand). They also use a very limited number of sources to generalize the entire industry. A number of their facts are wrong. I thought a reporter would have checked the facts. What is a ¿kill¿ tank? I believe they meant chill tank and the rabbits would have to have been eviscerated before going into the tank. But why let things like facts get in the way of emotive arguments. Also, in the wild, rabbits will naturally wean their young at 4 weeks due to the fact they have already mated and have another litter on the way. Why is it unnatural to do so then in a farming operation? I have raised rabbits for over 24 years and have yet to find caging rabbits leads to spine deformation. The misinformation goes on and on. I cannot recommend this book as a source of information on rabbits. It is an emotional attack on the commercial rabbit industry based on unsupported ascertations on the authors' part. The way the authors obtained the information was less than honest and many of the sources they cite are not a good representation of the individuals in the rabbit industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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