Ahh yes, the latest initiative from some bored gang of kooks is to lobby Calgary’s city council to allow people to raise chickens within the city.Wisely this gang of wannabe chicken farmers has used the key terms that doubtless will make the granola gang (Pincott, Farrell for example) salivate; “Vancouver does it, New York does it blah blah blah”. In the name of making Calgary more “cosmopolitan” I can see Druh and her gang of dolts rushing out there to approve people raising these little feces machines within the city.
I am pretty libertarian leaning. I am not a purist though and I do understand why we need certain restrictions within urban areas. Zoning and limitations of property use are essential when so many people live in proximity. Calgary (among most of the cities on the planet) realized that raising livestock is best left in the abundant rural land around the province.
Chickens are loud, smell terrible and can transmit disease no matter how carefully they are raised. For those stuck on the free-range thing, we have organic produce available at countless outlets throughout the city. While free-range eggs are more expensive than normally produced ones, they still are infinitely cheaper to purchase than it would be to raise them in your backyard. Feed, cleaning, building and heating a chicken facility will make the economic case made for urban chickens completely unrealistic.
Because this idea is so profoundly stupid and because so few people actually want this, I am pretty confident that city council will dedicate time to this and very likely will approve it. This council that wants to ban fire-pits that are utilized by tens of thousands, this council that wants to ban pesticides used by hundreds of thousands will scramble to approve the right for people to raise chickens within the city because a couple dozen people may want to do so.
While the usual fruitcakes like to trot out how “cosmopolitan” such initiatives will make us, they seem to neglect all those other great cities that allow such things. Mogadishu Somalia does not restrict henhouses. San Salvadore, Lima, and Shanghai do not restrict such things. Yes, emulating the undeveloped world makes us “cosmopolitan”.
Well, should I be one of the unfortunate souls who has an urban chicken farmer next door, you can rest assured that I will be opening my very own weasel farm in my yard. I will make sure these are free-range weasels who will roam somewhat unrestricted. Hey, it’s only the humane way right? Should these weasels inadvertently cross the fence and harvest the odd chicken, I am sure my neighboring organic kook will understand that it is simply nature.