For all future Ukrainian learners, a rabbit isn't the same as a hare, so don't get confused.
hare = заєць
rabbit = кролик
difference seen here: http://www.littlemunchkinsrabbitry.com/uploads/1/8/0/3/18037727/_2513483.jpg
Is this a common word in Ukrainian? I don't think I would ever use hare in everyday English unless referring specifically to something like the story "The tortoise and the hare" or maybe in a biological discussion if I wanted to be really accurate. Otherwise, I would just use "rabbit" incorrectly even when referring to a hare.
It is very common, in fact, perhaps more common than rabbit. Зайці are the wild animals that live in fields and glens. Кролики are almost exclusively kept for food. Mixing them up is a mistake Ukrainians would not make.
Rabbit meat isn't readily accessible in all the stores, but quite common. My grandparents used to raise rabbits for meat (just for our family use)
"fairly common" as in "not unheard of" or "the majority of people eat it at least a couple of times a year". It just sounds so disturbing. Keeping a rabbit as a pet while eating another rabbit for dinner...
I would say the majority of people eat it at least a couple of times a year.
And I don't see how it's any more disturbing than eating pork, beef, chicken, or any other animal. It's actually quite lean and flavorful.
ali.kinsella, I think eating any kind of meat is disturbing. But I think eating animals of the same species as your pet is extra disturbing. It's like why is your pet rabbit any different from the rabbit on your plate?