From the Free Dictionary online, fancier is defined as,
1). One who has a special enthusiasm for or an interest in something
2). One who breeds a plant or an animal for those features held to be desirable.
Rabbit fanciers are rabbit breeders and exhibitors (those who show rabbits), who hold a certain standard for their herd.
The book The Standard of Perfection, published by the ARBA (the rabbit version of AKC), includes all the standards of the current 48 different breeds of rabbits. Each rabbit has a certain standard to adhere to, a certain way they are supposed to look.
I am a rabbit fancier. I hold my rabbits up to the standard detailed in the SOP, and I hold my rabbits up to my personal standard. I make the tough decisions, hard choices, ect, for the benefit of my herd. To keep improving my rabbitry. To keep moving forward.
What is my "personal standard"? Don't all breeders breed for the same things and produce the same rabbits?
No. Not at all.
Some breeders have a certain look of a Holland Lop that they love. Maybe they like the huge heads with full, round cheeks so they breed primarily to get that trait in each litter. Or maybe they prize the small, round ear, or full, wide hindquarter. Or thick, short bone, auto posers, ect, ect....
I like the total package.
My favorite parts of a Holland Lop is everything that makes it look chubby and thick and wide - the bone, the big ol' head, short fat ears, and mass throughout the body. That's the look I'm breeding for.
Being a rabbit fancier doesn't just mean that you breed and show rabbits to get a desired trait or for a certain look, but that you enjoy rabbits just the same.