A Hare-Raising Story
What does it mean when you tell somebody you won National Rabbit Queen or King? This film by Amy Do sheds the light on a delightful organization that few people have heard of.
In 1910 a group of men formulated a society for the promotion of rabbits. The earlier records offer evidence that in the beginning men were the ones conducting the business, but that is no longer the case. There are a lot more women and children involved these days. The current membership is about 30,000 of which 18,000 are adults. The average person can’t understand why people would dedicate so much time and money to rear rabbits and a lot of breeders get laughed at.
Among the programs offered by the American Rabbit Breeders Association there’s a royalty contest that now has large amounts of young people competing. There are four different age groups and the competition includes five parts: an essay application that is very similar to a college level essay, breed identification, judging, a written test of 200 questions, and an oral test. The possible total of points that can be obtained is 1,000 points. The person with the most points wins the crown. It’s a prestigious pageant that commands a lot of respect in the rabbit circles. The competition is very tough and the organization is especially proud of the fact that so many teens and children take it seriously. It’s very obvious that royalty has little to do with the rabbits that you take to the show, instead it’s all about the specialized knowledge that you have of rabbits.
Sadly, however, the media has done little to nothing to promote any of these activities. In fact, rabbits continue to be portrayed only in the light of the cute Easter bunny. They completely overlook the fact that rabbits have the competitiveness of show just like dogs, cats, or horses do.
Rabbit Fever is an exciting film that follows six teenage competitors as they work hard to win the top title at the National American Rabbit Convention. This is an event that draws more than 20,000 rabbits at a time, making it the largest mass of rabbits in the world. While adult members at the convention compete for the title of Best in Show, the younger enthusiasts pursue the coveted title of Rabbit King or Queen. Whether it’s for knitting angora sweaters, cuddling with them, or eating their meat, rabbit lovers come in many different shaped and forms.