Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pelican Press Editorial on Chickens: An Open-minded Response

One unfortunate aspect of the current debate regarding urban chickens in Sarasota is the tendency (probably for people on both sides) to adopt a position first, and then cast about for arguments supporting that position second. One thing that gets lost in such a process is a clear definition of precisely what people are taking a position on.

Too often the position is based simply on the idea of chickens. While some are neutral, many people like or don't like chickens to start with and base their position on that initial reaction rather than taking the time to consider 1) what is actually being proposed and 2) whether their personal likes or dislikes should govern their neighbors behavior -- a somewhat appealing fantasy until the situation is reversed and your neighbor gets to govern your behavior.

The Pelican Press published an editorial  Dont' say no to chickens just yet that adopts an open-minded stance, neither gung-ho chicken advocacy nor no-way prejudice. They note many of the urban areas that already allow chickens and endorse 5 provisions already in the draft ordinance language.

They support chicken workshops to help ensure neophytes have some idea what they are getting into. (Such IFAS Extension Office workshops already exist here in Sarasota. Learn how to sign up here.)

And they advocate a sunset provision, an idea this blog will respond to separately.

All in all, the Pelican should be congratulated for approaching the subject with an open, but critical mind.
The editorial ends as follows:

 "It would be reassuring to believe our commissioners won't ignore the positive aspects and bow to the will of those who fear change.

There is a persuasive case to be made for the nutritional value of home-grown eggs.

Is there anyone who remembers what one actually tastes like?

Has it really been that long?"

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