Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DI Opinion Article

Today I found an opinion article in the Daily Iowan and thought I would post it here.

The article makes mention of Iowa City being a transient community. I agree that the student population is transient, however, I was born and raised in Iowa City and though I haven't lived here my entire life, I do intend to live here for many years to come. An argument based on the transient nature of the university student population creating an atmosphere of abandoned chickens once the academic cycle is complete sounds like a student-centered perspective.

The article also sites:

Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey — who said her grandmother owned chickens — said she was not interested in supporting such a move because supporting local business leads to a more dynamic economy, but she is interested in hearing what others have to say regarding the matter.

I appreciate the fact that our Mayor Regenia Bailey is open to hearing the opinions of the residents. Contrary to the assumption that allowing property owners to raise urban hens would negatively affect local businesses, one must consider the businesses that will be supported as a result: Orscheln Farm & Home sells the chicks, feeders & waterers, chicken feed, heat lamps, etc., other local businesses supply wood, chicken wire, and other supplies for building coops. These local businesses will certainly be well supported.

If a more dynamic economy is what we're looking for, how about local grocers choose to buy and sell eggs from local producers and skip the suppliers that factory farm their chickens in huge chicken houses where the chickens live under constant lighting to produce more eggs, sit in their own poop and never see the light of day only to ship their eggs hundreds of miles to the consumers all for the sake of saving a buck?

That's not really what this is about. People are just afraid of the unknown. It's been a long time since chickens were legally raised in Iowa City's city limits and somehow there are people who feel like their urban lifestyle will be threatened by a few hens next door. If the chickens are well kept, neighbors will have to look for them before noticing they're there. They're less of a nuisance by far than my barking dog in the backyard. But she's legal, and she doesn't even lay eggs for food ;) I should be done now. Ha!

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