One Community feels that modeling ethical and humane animal stewardship is essential and for The Highest Good of All in today’s world of diverse needs. We anticipate many cultures and communities globally and for the predictable future will either need or choose to use animals as food and/or raise them for their other byproducts. With this in mind, we see an opportunity for One Community to demonstrate Highest Good methods of doing this. Our team which consists of vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores, has elected that the omnivores will be raising rabbits for food and pelts and using their manure for fertilizer. We approach this process with respect, gratitude, and love for these creatures and will be expanding this page with our open source collaborative efforts and experience once on the property.
Rabbits were chosen as a food source for a diversity of reasons. They are significantly easier to maintain and feed than cows and pigs and they produce a very high meat to feed ratio. Their pelts can be made into clothing and other items and their droppings can be used for fertilizer. They breed every 90 days with a gestation period of 30 days, and give birth to litters averaging 4-6 kits per litter. Litters can be as small as 2 and as large as 12.
The most common breeds of meat rabbits are New Zealand (Reds and Whites) and Californian. Well-defined breed rabbits, with a history of maturation rates, feed conversion, and other desirable traits range in price from $35-50 each. A rabbitry starting with 2 bucks and 4-6 does of 2 different breeds (16 x $50=$800), could in two years time theoretically become a colony of thousands if we choose to develop the infrastructure to support such numbers.
Young rabbits can be harvested as “fryers” at anywhere from 6-7 weeks up to 10-12 weeks. At this time, according to the US Department of Agriculture, “Young rabbits are marketed live as fryers between 8 and 12 weeks of age and around 4 to 5.5 pounds of live weight. Feed conversion for fryers is about 1 pound of meat from 4 pounds of feed” compared to 7 pounds of feed for 1 pound of beef. After 12 weeks they will increase in size, although more slowly, until 7-8 months, when they are full grown. Average dressed weight for a full-grown meat-breed rabbit is 3-5 lbs, depending on the breed.
Raising and harvesting rabbits ethically is essential. This will be handled exclusively by the people choosing to eat rabbits so that respect is paid to the preferences of non-participation for vegans and vegetarians. The raising and harvesting of the animals will also be handled with respect and gratitude. For the harvesting of rabbits there is something called a “rabbit wringer” that performs this in an instantaneous way that does not stress the animal. For reference, here is a video of how this works including complete dressing of a rabbit: Click Here for the YouTube Video
Once on the property, One Community will be open source project-launch blueprinting the complete process of taking care of rabbits from purchasing to harvesting and every detail in-between. We will be doing this so that people with zero prior knowledge will be able to raise rabbits and integrate them into their own individual lives or as part of the One Community complete open source self-sufficient teacher/demonstration community, village, or city model. The resources we will be providing include:
Q: How does the raising of animals fit into your Highest Good of All and Earth Stewardship Philosophy?
Our Highest Good of All Philosophy is non-dogmatic and supportive of diverse viewpoints (and diets). We recognize humanity will most likely and for the foreseeable future continue using animal products and we believe it is in the Highest Good to demonstrate the most ethical methods. In areas like this where some ideologies may prefer a 100% vegan or vegetarian organization, we do our best to communicate what can be expected on the property so people can choose whether or not that fits with their own desires.
Q: How is your raising of rabbits in the Highest Good of rabbits?
We feel that humanity’s dietary needs and desires will stay diverse for the foreseeable future. Because of this, we see that demonstrating a process of reconnecting people to their food, the process of raising and caring for animals, and sharing and spreading ethical and humane animal husbandry that treats the animals and the entire process with respect, love, and gratitude is beneficial to animals being raised for food around the world.
Q: I’m vegan/vegetarian, will I have to participate in harvesting or eating animals? Will animal parts be cooked with my food?
No, you will not have to participate in any part of animal husbandry that you don’t want to if you are not using animal products. Additionally, all vegetarian food will be prepared separate from animal foods and all animal food waste products will be placed in a separate receptacle and handled by omnivores.
Q: Who will be processing the animals into food and other byproducts?
Omnivore pioneers will be responsible for handling this. We believe that part of ethical animal husbandry starts with education and awareness, and that it is the Highest Good of all life on the planet for humans to be educated and aware of the process the animals go through to become food and other byproducts. Our values model is also one that includes the aspect of not asking someone else to do for you what you yourself are not willing to do. With all that in mind, we have elected to have ALL members that will be consuming animal products participate in the entire process of the animals’ lives, from birth to table. Yes, that means that if you plan on eating meat at One Community, you would be expected to assist in processing that type of animal from beginning to end, including ending an animal’s life, at least one time. (For children, the parents will help determine the age and level of participation of processing.)
Q: What if I do not ever want to participate in processing animals or animal products?
Only those who have elected to participate in eating or using a specific animal product will be asked to participate in processing of that animal or its byproducts. Vegan community members will not be asked to partake in ANY part of the animal life cycles. This also means that if no one wants to process a particular animal (or any animals), we will then agree on a different sustainable source of food for our community.
Q: Will you be using hormones and/or antibiotics for any of the animals?
No, as a practice and a policy we will not put anything on or in our food (plants or animals) that we would not want to eat.
Q: What if I really want to be a part of One Community but I don’t agree with raising animals for food?
Our Pioneer Member, Jessica, is vegan and here is her personal statement: “As a vegan, I personally chose to remain a pioneer member even after the food choices were updated to include chickens and rabbits. For me, the larger global vision and benefits of One Community outweigh the food choices of some individuals. Additionally, I believe that being a vegan at One Community will be an opportunity to educate and demonstrate to pioneers and our visitors how to eat a plant-based diet properly and sustainably. This potentially could lead to plant-based dietary choices growing exponentially worldwide. I believe if I chose not to be a part of One Community, there would be less plant-based food knowledge to share with the team and the world. Because we respect diversity at One Community, I know that I will not be asked to participate in ANY part of the animal to food process personally, and that the animals will have a very comfortable life because of the high level of love and attention they will receive from the other pioneers.”
If our model does not suit you, you may want to instead consider joining us as a Satellite Member (click here for the Invitation Form), consultant or partner (click here for the Consultant’s/Partner’s Page), and/or just follow our progress. We expect other communities will follow with different views on these issues and we will happily be promoting the success of those that are part of the open source and free-sharing network of teacher/demonstration communities, villages, and cities that we are helping to create. Here are the best ways to follow our progress:
Also, the objective of One Community is to build living blueprints open source so everyone can then use them for duplication in whatever diverse way suits their needs and desires. If you feel like you’d like to see a different version of One Community, we invite you to embrace the task of working with us and using everything we’ve already created to form another iteration of this idea, with a new set of rules/policies/guidelines. That way you can attract the people who share your values and thus like your rule sets, which provide another for The Highest Good of All option with a potentially totally different approach.