It's no secret that rabbit meat is rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for our health. It is even better in many ways than pork, beef and other types of meat. Rabbit meat, by the way, is considered dietary meat, since it contains a minimum amount of cholesterol. But nevertheless, historians have confirmed the fact that in Ancient Russia it was strictly forbidden to kill a rabbit for food.
It's all about religious considerations. Rabbit and hare meat was considered unclean. Until the 1650s, Russians had no right to eat rabbit meat. And only after the divine service in Russia was unified according to the Greek canon, the church allowed to eat rabbit and hare. However, an interesting fact: modern Old Believers who live in the territory of not only Russia, but also Poland, Lithuania and other countries, still strictly adhere to the ban on rabbit meat.
The reason for the ban was that the old church canons equated rabbit and hare meat with the meat of cats and dogs. In addition, the prohibition on this meat is also present in the Old Testament. In the 11th chapter of the book of Leviticus there is a line where it is written that you cannot eat "a hare, because he chews gum, but his hooves are not split, he is unclean for you." According to this logic, it was also forbidden to eat the meat of a camel, a pig, and other animals.
Why the prohibition applies specifically to "undivided ruminants" is not exactly explained in the Bible. Many people think that these kinds of food bans are a kind of test of faith. By the way, rabbit meat is also banned from Jews. They, like the Old Believers, consider the hare rabbit to be dirty animals.