In 1943, the Fish and Wildlife Service, a branch of the Department of the Interior, published a cookbook entitled Recipes for Cooking Domestic Rabbit Meat. The introduction remarked that “the growing scarcity of meat due to war conditions and the necessity of feeding our armed forces and our Allies makes it imperative that new sources of supply be developed.” The solution, “the domestic rabbit – easy to raise – is rapidly solving the meat problem in many American homes.”
The Federal Government encouraged “home dwellers with available space” to raise rabbits “and thus aid the war program.” All one needed was a small backyard, a hutch, three does, a buck, and 90 days.
The task was to fall onto women. The cookbook instructed housewives to learn how to prepare rabbit to combat wartime meat shortages and to feed their families, “war workers and school children.”
The cookbook offered 42 different rabbit recipes ranging from Rabbit Chop Suey to Rabbit a la King to Rabbit Omelettes.
Mrs. George S. Templeton, the wife of the Director of the United States Rabbit Experiment Station in Fontana, California offered her own recipe entitled Vagabond Stew.
My favorite recipe is for Rabbit Chop Suey and was offered up by the Bureau of Home Economics.