raised. There are also many different sizes and characteristics available to a pet owner owing to a long history of breeding. Rabbits are friendly to each other and are often compatible with other pets. Rabbits are herbivores and their diet is relatively simple. Compared to other small animals, rabbits are robust creatures with strong hind legs (they can run fast) and powerful teeth. Rabbits should never be picked up by the “scruff” on the back of their neck, since "their skeletons are light compared to their bodies, and susceptible to trauma from falling, twisting, and kicking". 
The disadvantages of keeping rabbits as pets is that they may chew many things in the house. Male rabbits may mark their territory with a strong-smelling urine. Rabbits can bite under certain circumstances and they can also scratch. They can injure someone with their hind legs and rear claws if they jump out of someone's arms quickly. They have to be picked up and handled properly. They may leave feces around the house. Many rabbits may not be that friendly or interested in human beings. Male rabbits can be aggressive and territorial. Rabbits may not want to be touched. They will also make a high pitched scream when they are hurt or scared.
See also: Cuniculture
Rabbits have been kept as livestock since ancient times for their meat, wool, and fur. In modern times, rabbits are also utilized in scientific research as
laboratory animals .
Meat-breed rabbits were a supplementary food source during the Great Depression
Breeds such as the New Zealand and Californian are frequently utilized for meat in commercial rabbitries. These breeds have efficient metabolisms and grow quickly; they are ready for slaughter by approximately 14 to 16 weeks of age.
Rabbit fryers are rabbits that are between 70 and 90 days of age, and weighing between 3 and 5 lb (1 to 2 kg) live weight. Rabbit roasters are rabbits from 90 days to 6 months of age weighing between 5 and 8 lb (2 to 3.5 kg) live weight. Rabbit stewers are rabbits from 6 months on weighing over 8 lb.
Any type of rabbit can be slaughtered for meat, but those exhibiting the "commercial" body type are most commonly raised for meat purposes. Dark fryers (any other color but albino whites) are sometimes lower in price than albino fryers because of the slightly darker tinge of the fryer (purely pink carcasses are preferred by consumers) and because the dark hairs are easier to see than if there are residual white hairs on the carcass. There is no difference in skinability.
Rabbits such as the Angora, American Fuzzy Lop , and
Jersey Wooly produce wool . However, since the American Fuzzy Lop and Jersey Wooly are both dwarf breeds, only the much larger Angora breeds such as the English Angora, Satin Angora, Giant Angora, and French Angoras are used for commercial wool production. Their long fur is sheared, combed , or
plucked (gently pulling loose hairs from the body during molting ) and then spun into yarn used to make a variety of products. Angora sweaters can be purchased in many clothing stores and is generally mixed with other types of wool. Rabbit wool, called Angora, is 2.5 times warmer than sheep's wool. 
Peaux de Lapin
by Edme Bouchardon (1737)
Rabbit breeds that were developed for their fur qualities include the Rex with its plush texture, the
Satin with its lustrous color, and the Chinchilla for its exotic pattern. White rabbit fur may be dyed in an array of colors that aren't produced naturally. Rabbits in the fur industry are fed a diet focused for robust coat production and pelts are harvested after the rabbit reaches prime condition, which takes longer than in the meat industry. Rabbit fur is used in local and commercial textile industries throughout the world. China imports much of its rabbit fur from Scandinavia (80%) and some from North America (5%), according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report CH7607. [ citation needed ]
Rabbits have been and continue to be used in
laboratory work such as production of antibodies for
vaccines and research of human male reproductive system toxicology . In 1972, around 450,000 rabbits were used for experiments in the United States, decreasing to around 240 000 in 2006.  The Environmental Health Perspective, published by the
National Institute of Health , states, "The rabbit [is] an extremely valuable model for studying the effects of
chemicals or other stimuli on the male reproductive system."  According to the Humane Society of the United States, rabbits are also used extensively in the study of bronchial asthma , stroke prevention
treatments , cystic fibrosis , diabetes, and cancer .
The New Zealand White is one of the most commonly used breeds for research and testing.
Pasture-raised rabbits in a moveable enclosure at Polyface Farm
Animal rights activists generally oppose animal experimentation for all purposes.