Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Not so Wild Burlington

What: I've wanted rabbits since I knew what a rabbit was and I've been knitting for about 7 years. Recently my sister mentioned angora rabbits and I thought how amazing it would be to have my own source of wool. I did some research and started obsessively checking craigslist for listings. I wound up finding a pair of females from a great family in Essex Junction. The little sweethearts are a mix between French and English breeds. We're still not sure what to make of them other than that they're impossibly adorable.

Peanut (left) and Sister (right) eating snow off the floor

Where: My porch!

Other notes: One of the most interesting facts I learned about angora rabbits was that in World War II, Nazis started the "Angora Project" to raise rabbits for their wool. The wool, about 6-7x warmer than sheep wool, was used to line the jackets of Luftwaffe pilots. A wool bound book, Angora, was found at the farmhouse of Heinrich Himmler, among other possessions of his stashed away towards the end of the war. The book was a hand-crafted photo album carefully inscribed with notes on the rabbits.

Himmler, a reichsfuhrer - highest ranking member of the SS - said in a recorded speech about Nazi's angora project: "We shall never be rough or heartless, when it is not necessary; that is clear. We Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals, will assume a decent attitude towards these human animals; but it is a crime against our blood to worry about them." Prisoners, who were housed in conditions overwhelmingly undersized and in everywhere debasing, cared for the rabbits, who were kept in comparative luxury and used as a showpiece for visiting dignitaries. Prisoners were punished severely (even killed) for mishandling the rabbits. It's an unbearably sad story, and hard to reconcile the aggressive callousness for human life with the overlapping tender fondness and hyperbolic appreciation for these animals.


  1. Looks like a nice bunch, great fur, can you do show and tell in class?

    1. We'll have class at my house in a few weeks so you can meet them!