Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

Gong Xi Fa Cai! It’s The Year of the Rabbit – but what does this really mean for Rabbits in China and Asia?

From Pei Su,
January 2023

Not only is the zodiac sign bad luck for the people born in that year but it is also, tragically, often bad luck for the zodiac animal itself. While the Chinese New Year celebrations are gaining more attention globally, the zodiac animals are often exploited, eaten, used for fur or bought as a pet with no knowledge how to care for the animal – meaning the zodiac animal is most definitely not in luck.

caged Rabbits

Being Chinese, the Chinese (lunar) New Year, also called ‘Spring Festival’, is one of the most important festivals for us, that is rich in culture and fascinating customs. There is always a buzz in the air as people get ready at the markets, spring clean and decorate their homes as family and friends gather for meals and to send best wishes. Of course, this time of year is a real highlight for children or unmarried youth as they receive red envelopes containing money from parents and elder relatives. All these traditions evoke many fond memories for me personally.

This year, the first day of the Chinese New Year is on 22nd January. The first day is always cause for huge festivities across China and many Asia countries like Singapore, Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia as well as other countries worldwide. Internationally, Chinatowns become alive with the traditional Lion Dance and Chinese restaurants offer Chinese New Year celebratory menus.

As the Chinese New Year is heralded, so is the symbolic animal of the new year. This year it is the Year of the Rabbit which is a ‘symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity’ in Chinese culture and 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. People born in a Year of the Rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.

The 12 animals chosen for the Chinese zodiac are based on a Chinese legend known as the Great Race which was hosted by a Chinese Emperor. He declared that all the animals would race against one another and the fastest 12 were announced as the winners, each having a year named after it.


  • Rabbits as fur
  • Rabbits as meat
  • Rabbits as pets



Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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