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Episode 603: The Way of the Rabbit ft. Mark Hawthorne

By Jasmin and Mariann — July 31, 2021

Our Hen House is thrilled to welcome author and longtime animal activist Mark Hawthorne back on the podcast for an engaging conversation all about rabbits. Mark is here to talk about his latest book, The Way of the Rabbit, which explores the world of rabbits and hares and their unexpectedly large influence on human culture. Obviously this book was a work of the heart — this is a man who truly loves rabbits — but Mark also hopes for this book to have an impact on those who, perhaps unthinkingly, contribute to one of the many ways that rabbits are exploited, whether as food, in experiments, as sometimes poorly treated companions, etc., etc., as well as on those who too often consider them mere “pests” when seen in the garden. Mark also tells us why he fosters rabbits and the joys of having these beautiful animals hopping around his home.

Mark Hawthorne is the author of four books on animals, animal rights, and social justice including The Way of the Rabbit, Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, A Vegan Ethic: Embracing a Life of Compassion Toward All, and Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering. Through his writing, Mark aims to empower people across the globe to get active in the fight to make the world a better place for animals. He stopped eating meat after an encounter with one of India’s many cows in 1992 and became and ethical vegan a decade later. Mark’s writing is also featured in Vegan’s Daily Companion, journals, and several anthologies written on behalf of animals.

“I have always been fascinated by what rabbits represent, such as magic and abundance and creativity and rebirth.” – Mark Hawthorne


  • Why Mark decided to write this affectionate and warm-hearted history and how it’s a departure from his usual books on animal exploitation and activism
  • Why rabbits are nature’s most surprising species
  • How rabbits became such an integral part of human culture and still play play such a significant role in mythology, literature, and art today
  • Why and how the rabbit came to be associated with Easter
  • Mark’s favorite rabbit stories, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Watership Down, and the poetry of William Cowper
  • Why Mark feels it’s essential to have fictionalized, anthropomorphized depictions of animals to help us see them in a different way

Connect with Mark Hawthorne:

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This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at


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Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.

The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.

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