The Concession Stand

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hooray For Hollywood: Clark Gable & Rabbit Tooth Decay

The high incidence of pet rabbits getting tooth decay can be traced back to Clark Gable. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true!

In 1934’s classic film - It Happened One Night, Clark Gable is depicted nonchalantly eating a carrot in a pivotal scene. Six years later, Warner Brothers would produce a cartoon featuring its new cartoon character Bugs Bunny. The cartoon had a segment that parodied Clark Gable’s carrot eating scene in It Happened One Night. Of course, Bugs Bunny was shown eating a carrot as well.

The older viewers in the audience would have recognized that this cartoon was mocking Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. The kids, however, just assumed that rabbits must like carrots. As the years went on, Warner Brothers continued to show Bugs Bunny eating carrots, cementing the idea in the minds of children and, as time went on, adults as well.

Despite the fact that rabbits in the wild do not eat carrots, pet rabbits were now getting carrot-rich diets from their owners. The assumption was that Bugs Bunny was depicted eating carrots because that was what rabbits ate; not because of a Clark Gable film. In actuality, carrots were like candy for rabbits. Feeding a rabbit a strict diet of carrots would be like feeding a child nothing but candy. This resulted in fatter pet rabbits with rampant tooth decay. A strange situation caused by a seemingly harmless scene from a long ago film.