Check out this story in the LA Times this morning. South LA is becoming heavily populated with a new wave of Latino immigrants, and they are bringing their farm animals with them.
The article kinda got my ire up. The reporter seems to side with the city and the anti-farm-animal neighbors, but I could just be looking for that.
I actually wrote the reporter a letter-- nice-sounding, I hope--
"Dear Ms. Garrison- Thanks very much for reporting on this interesting trend. I would point out to you, though, that it's only been the last 60 years or so in this country that people have not kept "barnyard" animals on their small properties. Many early suburban developments in this country welcomed chickens and small herds of goats- it was often a selling point by builders to let people reconnect with "country" life. And around the world, keeping a small farm menagerie near, and sometimes in, the home is the norm, and greatly desired. This has been true for as long we have kept domesticated animals.
"Keeping loved and well cared-for farm animals in the city on such a small scale is not a health risk, even when they are slaughtered in the backyard. 20 billion meat animals a year are slaughtered using the Big Ag model. At that inhumane scale, it is anything but safe or healthy, and it is terribly polluting. And certainly, animal welfare is often the last consideration on these factory farms.
"Small backyard flocks of chickens provide eggs, nitrogen for the soil and pest control for the garden, and when their time is up, a lovely Sunday meal and a week's worth of soup from the carcass. Living this way reconnects us to our food cycle- something we have become deeply disconnected from in the last three generations, to our and our childrens' peril. It is my sincere wish that this intimate and gentle method of home farming become our national model for sustainability and humane living. We have a lot to relearn."
I decided that this letter is the bones for my Toastmaster's Speech next month...