No 7 Guest post by Catherine Owen, April 14, 2010. (Wiki ‘locavore’ entry and the READ MORE links provided by fw).
According to an entry in Wikipedia, a ‘locavore’ is someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles (240 km). The term was coined by Jessica Prentice from the San Francisco Bay Area on the occasion of the 2005 World Environment Day. The New Oxford American Dictionary chose ‘locavore’ as its word of the year in 2007.
The plight of an egg-laying hen in a factory farm is the embodiment of suffering. They are packed into cages so tightly they cannot turn around or spread their wings. Their feet are damaged and pained by unrelenting contact with the metal bars. They are often blinded by the ammonia caused by the fumes of their own waste. Steve Green, a local activist connected to WECSA, (Windsor Essex Community Supported Agriculture), wants to change that for some lucky chickens.
He has approached Windsor City Council and asked that Windsorites be allowed to keep chickens. He has appeared before the licensing commission, which has referred it back to City Council. At this point, the city will decide if a working committee will be created.
Steve is a committed locavore. Other reasons he cites in favour of urban chickens are pesticide-free eggs, cheaper cost for consumer, green house gas emission reduction, recycling kitchen waste, creation of quality compost, the companionship provided by a great pet, and a learning tool for children to learn about where food comes from. He sees this as something that might become a necessity in the future, once we begin to pay for the true cost of food. He cites rising transportation costs as an example. He strongly believes in local control over food production, and urban chickens as a natural extension of the urban garden movement.
The licensing commission was concerned about possible drawbacks, such as noise, smell, and attracting rats. These are issues that can be addressed if the birds are cared for properly.
Urban chickens have been making great headway in the United States. Canadian cities are behind in this issue, but many cities nationwide are now having the subject come up before their city councils.
Steve is asking for your help. If you support urban chickens, please email your city councillor, and send a copy to Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please come out and show your support at city council, when the date is announced. Conscientious carnivores can make a difference.