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R

rabbit – rabbits are intensively farmed in cages for both their fur, meat and for supplying research laboratories. *Angora rabbits have their coats shorn for their wool which can be a painful process. Rabbit fur is not a by-product of the rabbit meat industry as fur producers demand the thicker pelt of an older animal. Rabbits bred for meat are typically slaughtered at 10 to 12 weeks. 
rennet – enzyme extracted from calves’ stomachs after they have been slaughtered, used in cheese-making. Non-animal rennets made from microbial or fungal enzymes are available to make vegetarian cheeses. 
religious slaughter – slaughter of animals according to the Muslim (for halal meat) and Jewish (for kosher meat) religions. For both religions animals may be fully conscious as they are bled to death as no pre-stunning was traditionally allowed. However, 90% of animals killed for halal meat are now pre-stunned – partly due to a long-running campaign by *Viva!. Sadly, most animals killed for kosher meat are still conscious when knifed. Since only certain parts of the animal are selected for consumption, other parts may end up in the non-religiously slaughtered food chain. There is no legal requirement that meat produced under religious slaughter conditions be labelled as such. 
roe - eggs obtained from slaughtered female fish. See also *caviar. 
royal jelly – a substance secreted by worker bees and fed to future queen bees (for which extravagant health claims are made). Used as a nutritional food supplement and in cosmetics.