Blog about the Food/Animal/Chinese Zodiac Discussion

In discussing the Rabbit further, I would like to dive into a few different aspects discussed in class, including a rabbit’s relation to food, the pandemic, and the tiger that got tested for COVID-19, and how this communicates our relation to animals. 

In my previous blog, I mentioned that I find myself having many similarities to the rabbit. However, I recently noticed that this includes my diet as well. I had been speaking to a close friend about what I typically eat on a regular day, to which she replied “rabbit food.” I found this very comical, as my mind immediately jumped to this course. Upon further research though, I found that her expression had been surprisingly accurate. Similar to my own daily goals, “fresh food is important to the rabbit’s diet, with leafy greens constituting about 75% of the fresh food.” What I found even more interesting though, was how important a diet can be to an earth rabbit’s health more than any other element. It is said that earth rabbits should not only have a dietary structure in their life, but should also have strong eating habits that are not overfilled with cholesterol or fat. Overall, it is interesting that there is so much overlap between a literal rabbit’s diet and what is best for an Earth rabbit, and that I had already been following this overlap without even knowing it.

Something else very interesting that I discovered was that the rabbit population had actually experienced their own coronavirus outbreak. Between 2006 and 2009, it was found that rabbits had been diagnosed with SARS, and were exhibiting symptoms similar to what we see in humans today. However, what was most compelling about another study that discussed the rabbit’s coronavirus, was that it might be suggested that humans were responsible for passing the virus onto the rabbits. It stated that it was possible that this particular form of coronavirus within humans was not very detrimental to our health, but was, unfortunately, extremely fatal for rabbits. As a result, one cannot help but wonder what this might say about humans’ relation to animals. What responsibility would humans feel if this knowledge was more widely known? Would the reaction even be large? However, regardless of how humans would feel upon learning this, there has actually been one recent event that has communicated a rather positive relationship with animals during the quarantine.

We discussed in class that a tiger in a Bronx zoo had tested positive for coronavirus. Naturally, we, as well as the world, questioned how such testing could have taken place when so many people are finding themselves without the ability to test for the virus. However, upon researching this occurrence, I found an article by Wired where writer Kate Knibbs introduces a new perspective. Knibbs asserts that our reasoning for testing an animal for coronavirus is directly related to both humans and animals. Not only will testing animals allow us to learn more about the virus itself and offer more information on how we can help humans, but it also allows us to understand how animals are affected by this virus, and how we can also stop the transmission to them as well.

Whether or not this a lesson learned from the transmission to the rabbits, I find it refreshing to see that humans are considering more than just our population, and understanding that this world does not belong to only us, nor does it belong to us at all. We belong to the Earth, and therefore must treat all of its inhabitants with respect.

 

Nadia, the young tiger that was tested at the Bronx zoo.

 

A rabbit's diet visual. 

Bibliography

Knibbs, Kate. “The Real Reason Veterinarians Gave a Tiger a Covid-19 Test.” Wired, Wired, 12 

Apr. 2020, 7:00am, www.wired.com/story/tiger-coronavirus-bronx-zoo/.

Lau, Susanna KP, et al. "Isolation and characterization of a novel Betacoronavirus subgroup A 

coronavirus, rabbit coronavirus HKU14, from domestic rabbits." Journal of virology 

86.10 (2012): 5481-5496.

Small, J D et al. “Rabbit cardiomyopathy associated with a virus antigenically related to human 

coronavirus strain 229E.” The American journal of pathologyvol. 95,3 (1979): 709-29.

“Suggested Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet.” House Rabbit Society, Hurricane Electric 

Internet Services, rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/.

“Which Type of 'Rabbit' Are You?” Five Elements of Rabbit: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth

www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/zodiac/rabbit/five-elements.htm.

 

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