Tag Archives: backyard chickens

Food poisoning lawyer Bill Marler raises his own chickens, and shares the eggs with his neighbour . . . and why not?

From his unique vantage point as a prosecutor of food poisoning cases, Bill Marler has a greater than normal awareness of deficiencies in the American industrial food system. So it’s really no big surprise that he chooses to raise a few chickens so he can get his eggs direct from his own hens, rather than going through the industrial food system.

But even the few hens he has produce more than his own family can use. So he shares them with his neighbour. This is such ground level common sense stuff that people didn’t used to have to think twice about it. In fact it’s a commentary on how far we’ve come collectively, away from our roots, that such arrangements are now considered noteworthy.

Sadly though, the regulatory mindset seems stuck in the fantasies of the late 20th century, in which it was thought that the green revolution of factory farming would feed the world and we could all happily vege out in front of our televisions after coming home from a day at the office. Folks who live in more urban or less pemissive municipalities than Bill Marler would be getting themselves into a load of trouble doing what he’s doing. Continue reading

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Backyard chickens — pets or livestock?

This is an excerpt from a recent post by Charlotte on The Ethicurean blog:

Backyard chickens don't have to be treated as pets.

“….I must admit, there’s a part of me that feels a little queasy about having become part of a trend. I’m not really a trend person. I’d always wanted chickens, but mostly for the same economic-anxiety issues like the ones described in this article. I had a pretty strong hunch that my corporate job was coming to an end, and I figured with a big veggie garden and a bunch of hens, at least I wouldn’t starve to death. But I have to say, I was sort of wigged out by trend articles like this one about artist Hope Sandrow and this other one about the children’s book author, Jann Brett, in which the chickens are described as something between pets and circus freaks.

People! These are chickens! Don’t you know they will shit on everything? And you let them in your house? On your shoulder? In your car? Yuck. Continue reading

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