Saturday, May 15, 2010

When the Chickens Come Home to Roost


Who wants to join us on Sunday for the annual Backyard Chicken Coop Bicycling Tour? The tour starts at 1pm, at 448 Lincoln Avenue. The tour is 4 1/2 miles. It covers 35 gardens, which are said to house 165 hens.

This should be a fun, easy ride. Alameda is flat as flat can be. There's a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on the entire island. If you haven't been on your bike in ages, this might be a fun excuse to pull it out of storage.

* * * * * *

And while we're on the subject of Backyard Chickens, I strongly urge my blog readers to click over to my sister's blog, Brooklyn Feed. Martha keeps a small flock of hens in Brooklyn, and is passionate about animal welfare and educating people about where their food comes from. She and her chickens have been been on national television, and are frequent classroom visitors in New York City. She loves her hens.

Earlier this week, she was invited to be part of a panel discussion at Lincoln Center. The discussion followed the screening of Fowl Play, which is an intense and disturbing documentary about industrial egg farming. Martha was invited to be part of a discussion, presenting alternatives to factory farming.

Sounds, great, right?

It was a fiasco. My chicken-hugging, animal-loving sister was accused of complicity with the worst animal abusers in agro-business. Martha does a great job telling the story over at Brooklyn Feed. Do take a moment to read her article.


Kristen said...

oof, I read her green screens post and was so unsurprised by how obnoxious political vegans tend to be. They're just like those damn anti-choicers and the prayer-in-school-ers. "Meddle in other people's private lives and take away everyone else's rights so I can feel good about myself"-ers. "Regardless of your values, I will only rest when everyone believes and behaves the way I do"-ers. I grew up in the south surrounded by one flavour of self-righteous nutjob. It's a shame there really is no way of getting away from them--only their motives change.

But I've realized there's a less accusing name that is equally applicable to this branch of humanity: simpletons. Their cognitive processes are such that there is no room for shades of grey in behaviour, and there is no ability to conceptualize that other people's versions of "right" may utterly contradict theirs but be just as right given their circumstances. It is this developmental handicap above all others, I would argue, that has caused and continued the most wars, murders, and feuds in human history--the inability to fathom that nothing is absolute.

Sorry, that was a bit verbose. It's just been on my mind. I hope this finds you well. Have fun on your coop-cycle!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I hope you'll post pics! We lived in Alameda for 10 years, and never saw chickens then, so I'm very curious! I love that it's a bicycle tour too.

Tonya/Scraphappy said...

We are getting chicks next month. We have been researching laying hens for the past 6 mo and are building our coop now. The boys are so excited to get chickens- as am I. We had to convince my husband but now he is on board as well. Its frightening what corporate farming, and corporate selling, has done to our world, our economy, our health, our families. All anyone has to do is read any of numerous books out there on corporate farming to realize the ugly evils of combining profit with food. My little chicken farm of 4 laying hens won't save the world from war and hunger, but it will teach my children about animal husbandr and sustainablity. That's a good start.


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