The following is a letter I sent to Denver’s Washington Park Profile in response to their front-page article on keeping backyard chickens:
I’m glad your July article on backyard chickens included the downside. Given the practical issues of daily care, humane concerns, and health consequences of eating eggs, is this something the city of Denver should be encouraging?
How can we deal with climate change, let alone peak oil, water shortages, deforestation, and everything else — given that truly effective environmental action would probably stop the economy from growing and totally change everyone’s lifestyle?
Our whole economy depends on fossil fuels, and our livestock-centered agricultural system is pillaging the earth’s biosphere. Veganism is surely part of the needed approach here. Continue reading →
(Hint: It has something to do with the economic system)
James McWilliams recently (September 4) wrote an open letter to Whole Foods asking them to close their meat counters. This is noteworthy because John Mackey, their CEO, is himself a vegan, even though Whole Foods sells a lot of animal products. Continue reading →
The “passive house” concept is taking off. This is a new way of building homes that reduces the energy required for their maintenance by an amazing 90% from the standard construction. This way of constructing buildings is essential if we are to deal with such challenges as climate change and resource depletion. Continue reading →
James McWilliams recently asked whether the digitization of communications decreases empathy, and thus potentially our empathy with other humans and animals. He talks about e-mail between students and professors, “butchered” grammar in e-mail being used to substitute for the student and the professor actually having a conversation, and wonders where this is all headed. Yes, the new media enable vegans to promote their cause more effectively (Earthlings), but it also enables the bad guys to push their case with equal or greater effectiveness. Continue reading →
The ordinance on “food producing animals” (chickens, ducks, and goats) in Denver was passed last June. What follows below is the statement I submitted to the Board of Environmental Health on the proposed rules and regulations. You can read the proposed rules here (PDF). Continue reading →
In case you don’t already know, the Denver “Food Producing Animals” ordinance passed at the Denver City Council on June 20 by a vote of 7 – 3. This is actually closer than it sounds, because there are 13 members of the Denver City Council and to pass this ordinance required an absolute majority of all members, not just a majority of those present. If just one of the “for” votes had been changed, the ordinance would have failed. Continue reading →
I have just received a PDF copy of a letter the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sent to Denver City Council concerning the proposed Food Producing Animals ordinance. Read the whole thing (PDF document) here.
The letter raises a number of interesting points, some of which have not been publicly expressed so far in the discussion. Continue reading →
The main issue which both sides on the debate over the proposed Denver Food Producing Animals ordinance underestimate is the welfare issue. Simply put, how do we protect backyard chickens, ducks, and goats? Continue reading →
We joined the “iMatter” youth-led march for climate change action yesterday, shortly after it left Cuernavaca Park in Denver. There were several hundred people who marched up 15th Street to Civic Center Park. We had our “Go Vegan” signs, and weren’t quite sure where we would fit in, but finally joined the march just in front of the Greenpeace contingent, which looked like the most animal-friendly bunch. Continue reading →
Sundari Kraft is the most visible proponent of the proposed “Food Producing Animals” ordinance which would drastically reduce the limitations on backyard chickens, ducks, and goats. Earlier I reported that one of her neighbors, Roseanne Jelacic, has written to City Council objecting to the ordinance based on her own experience with Sundari as a neighbor. Now, it turns out, another of Sundari’s neighbors, Lynn Herwick, has done the same thing some days ago. Continue reading →
Figuring out how to live with a pet can be a challenging experience, just because animals are different from humans. Even in the case of dogs and cats, which are common enough in our society so that knowledge of their care is very widespread, figuring out their proper care is not trivial. But dealing with a new kind of animal, like chickens and goats, can be a major challenge. If you try to spread the acceptance and adoption of this kind of animal, a lot of people are going to get it wrong. Continue reading →