Levi Cole, a farmer and instructor for the Portland Meat Collective, said the rabbits were taken from his property Saturday, the day before a planned class on raising, slaughtering and food preparation of rabbits, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Monday.
Cole said the thieves left nine nursing baby rabbits behind and the young rabbits died Sunday when he was unable to find a foster animal. He said he believes the incident was a politically motivated theft.
Camas Davis, owner of the Portland Meat Collective, said the theft was a first for the group.
"We get an occasional comment on the Web site, some people who are angry at our existence," she told the newspaper.
"Something like that is not about a dialogue at all; it's the opposite," she said. "I don't want involvement with the Portland Meat Collective to mean your animals are in danger of being stolen."
Cole said police were investigating the theft.