09 March 2011

Where's the logic in that?

This post was supposed to be full of chipper advice about the wonders of Freecycle.  On Freecycle, I found shingles for my chicken coop roof, paint for the walls, and wire for the enclosure.  My hens have finished their molting (mostly) and we've been getting three eggs daily.  The whole family loves the chickens, and we've had so much fun watching them and just enjoying them.

However.  This past Monday I went before the City Council to plead for my hens...and was turned down.  Because last year, the citizens of this city informed the City Council that chickens in the city were Not Acceptable - apparently, they are noisy, smelly, and the eggs (!) attract rats - and so the new zoning regulation that would have permitted them was defeated.

And despite the fact that MY chickens are quiet, clean, don't smell, and don't attract rats, there are No Exceptions.  Not here.

Chicago will allow you to keep an unlimited number of chickens in the city (as long as they are for pets or eggs, not slaughter).  Toledo, Ohio allows chicken owners to get a variance from the City Health Inspector, an exception to the prohibition against "farm animals" in the city.  But not here.  Apparently, these people know better.

The next time these people are walking behind their dogs with little baggies of poop (or wishing that their neighbors would), I hope they think about the fact that chickens don't poop in other people's yards.

The next time a dog barks madly at three a.m. right next door, I hope they think about the fact that hens never make a noise louder than a t.v. or a noisy a.c. unit, and that only during the day.

The next time they shake their heads about the filthy yard full of cats and dogs (or one dog, or whatever) down the street, I hope it crosses their mind that it is FILTH that attracts rats, not chickens.  I find the assumption that I would allow my chickens to be filthy really quite insulting.  (And, by the way, I don't leave the eggs in the coop.  We bring them in the house and eat them ourselves, silly people.)

But, there is no reasoning with Concerned Citizens.  So, having cried in front of the City Council ("Clearly this is a very emotional issue for you." they said.  As though no rational person would be frustrated or upset at having to give up their pets because other people are being ridiculous.), as well as the Mayor, I'm re-homing my chickens.  And to everyone who will sleep better at night as a result, I wish a dog next door who barks at three a.m.

5 comments:

  1. Yeah, democracy is great.....until you're in the minority.

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  2. Which is precisely why our Founding Fathers DIDN'T want to create a Democracy (where the power of the many tramples the rights of the few), but rather a Republic, where everyone has the same rights, which cannot be taken away even if the majority disagrees with you. Which is why pornography is protected under Freedom of Speech, and why I defend that, even though I abhor pornography.

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  3. Also I'd like to point out that the chickens have been re-homed. I don't disregard the rules just because I don't like them. I just felt a need to point out how utterly ridiculous my fellow citizens were being...and this is my soapbox. :-)

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  4. Yes, it is your soapbox, but you choose to express your opinion publicly. Not everyone is necessarily going to agree with you. Zoning regulations are usually a classic case of compromises that satisfy no one. One person's idea of ridiculous may be another person's idea of protecting their property values.

    Not sure having chickens qualifies as a unalienable right. ;-)

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  5. I never said it did. Like I said before, the chickens are now gone. I was simply expressing my dissatisfaction with the reasons I was given for why they were unacceptable.

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