Contrary to popular belief rabbits don't eat carrots all the time. In fact, it could be bad for them and isn't their ideal food source.
What do rabbits eat?
Rabbits don't naturally eat root vegetables in the wild. According to the RSPCA, Their diet consists mainly of fresh, clean drinking water and good quality hay and grass. A rabbit's digestive system needs hay or grass to function properly so a healthy supply is extremely important.
Think of carrots the same way you would think of candy for yourself. Carrots are high in sugar and should only be fed in small amounts as occasional treats. Too many carrots could result in obesity, tooth decay.
Origin of the myth
So, where did this idea come from? We have got bugs bunny to thank for that.
While many think bugs habit of munching on carrots was inspired by the behavior of actual rabbits, he actually got it from Hollywood actor Clark Gable.
In an interview, Warner Brothers animation director Bob Clampett said that Bugs' love for carrots was inspired by a scene in the 1934 film, "It Happened One Night". In the movie, Clark Gable's character eats a carrot while explaining how to hitchhike like a pro.
It Happened One Night (1934)- Hitchhiking scene
When Bugs Bunny made his debut in 1940 he showed similar behavior to Clark. At the time the satire was quite obvious. But, as time went by everyone remembered bugs bunny but forgot Clark Gable.
Bugs bunny's debut (A Wild Hare - 1940)
Today, most children have never heard of Clark Gable and hence connect the carrot eating to an actual rabbit's behavior. That is how the myth that rabbits only eat carrots came about.