I have to admit that it's never been something that's crossed my mind, but if you've ever harboured a particular desire to fashion yourself a coat from the skins of dead rabbits then you're in luck- Penguin has reissued its 1941 book 'Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps' which, among other things, provides advice on how to embark on such an enterprise.
The no-nonsense guide was first published during the war to provide information on how to get by without breaking the bank. Apparently if you want to breed rabbits for eating but don't have much food knocking about the place to keep them on, dinner scraps will do the job as "there is no known waste from human edible food which is harmful in moderation." However, anyone looking to take this advice literally should bear in mind that the book was written before the advent of turkey twizzlers. Nonetheless, we are advised that the poor craters can be fed tea leaves, coffee remnants, bones, kipper skins and other fish waste, fat, and cheese rinds.
The book also shows how to raise chickens, and with all the subtlety of Brian Blessed turning up in a tutu to audition for a role in 'Swan Lake', it opines that "although left to the last, the unpleasant task of killing hens and chicks must be grasped."
Once you've dispatched the animals and had a thoroughly tasty dinner, there's still more fun to be had- the book also provides guidance on how to skin rabbit carcasses and fashion yourself the aformentioned snazzy coat once you've amassed around 40 pelts. Charming.
So there you have it. If the credit crunch is starting to take its toll, fear not- grab yourself a copy of this little volume and you can eat and dress like a king for next to nothing. The neighbours might think you're a bit odd though.