Responding to a recent post, a subscriber said she had applied to her homeowner's
association for a couple of backyard chickens and it was denied because chickens
are not a "generally recognized house or yard pet."
Well, forgive me, but if you don't recognize it, who is blind? Plenty of people have
chickens as pets. Just because someone doesn't know about chickens as pets does
not mean chickens can't be as viable a pet as a dog, iguana, or cat.
I think the real prejudice here is toward farming. An animal associated with a farm
is inherently unable to be a pet. And I suppose it's true that seldom do you
eat a pet, although they eat dogs in China. At our farm, we eat rabbits. I wonder if
this same HOA would allow rabbits. Now there's a conundrum.
For that matter, by what common sense must HOA people only be allowed animals
that are recognized as pets? Goodness, a chicken makes less noise and her manure is much less toxic than dog or cat manure. It takes 11 chickens to produce the manure of one average-sized dog. And chicken manure is almost yummy enough to eat. I've certainly eaten my share--inadvertently.
This segregated thinking is quite elitist when you think about it. The HOA only wants animals that have no utilitarian value. The only people who live here are the ones who can afford nonfunctional animals. The whole prejudice smacks of snootiness and none-of-those-kinds-of-people-hereness.
You know what's really telling? I'll bet numerous people in that HOA are members of environmental organizations. The foundation of ecology is integrated systems. And yes, that means frogs in ponds, birds in trees, and butterflies on flowers. Few things could be more illustrative of ecosystem vibrancy than chickens in an HOA.
What's illegal where you live?