Litter boxes in order for our urban chickens?

I am writing this letter to commend Eva Jensen’s letter, which asks the people of Red Deer to make it illegal for citizens to raise chickens. Jensen is absolutely correct, but in fact, does not take her argument nearly far enough.

I am writing this letter to commend Eva Jensen’s letter, which asks the people of Red Deer to make it illegal for citizens to raise chickens. Jensen is absolutely correct, but in fact, does not take her argument nearly far enough.

First of all, I’m so relieved that she made it clear that we are talking about “real chickens.” One of the first tricks the back-to-the-land hippies use is to tell everyone that things they do are just pretend, only to pull the old “bait and switch” later on. When Hitler said he was embarking on a make-believe invasion of Poland, we went along with it, and look what happened. So let’s just reiterate this one more time: these are real chickens. Not rubber chickens, not some kind of parakeet bred to look like chickens, but the obviously wild and unruly, Gallus domesticus.

She goes on to remind us of one fact that the hippies tend to forget. Chickens poop. And that poop has to go somewhere. She suggests that it could end up in the landfills, where it would desecrate all the other garbage by soiling it with fecal matter.

She also correctly points out that cat excrement is much less offensive to society because it, of course, ends up in the litter box. This got me thinking: why do we allow so much fecal matter to go to other places, other than litter boxes? I, for one, am tired of feeling guilty about defecating in my toilet, knowing that it will go right into the river for those poor suckers in Drumheller to deal with. As Jensen points out, we can’t send our feces to the dump (I tried, and those commissionaire guys were not very understanding). Therefore, the only real solution is litter boxes. For everyone. What we need is a new bylaw that requires every feces-producing creature to defecate into a litter box, so that all our waste is properly taken care of, and will never, under any circumstances, end up in the environment.

Jensen is so ahead of her time in this area that some readers might feel that this is not a realistic waste solution. This citizen can only implore you to think about it.

Another big lapse in logic on the part of the artists/communist agitators/pot dealers cum chicken farmers is their failure to recognize the inevitable slippery slope that allowing backyard chickens implies. First chickens, then goats, sheep, and cows.

And once we get into backyard bovines, it is only a matter of time before someone says, “It is my right to have a fully-grown African elephant in my backyard.” Imagine the bedlam. You’d need an Olympic-sized swimming pool and half the Sahara Desert if you wanted to fabricate an adequate litter box.

And the pinko chicken freaks would probably support that, because the kids could learn how to care for pachyderms and the animal would provide much-needed ivory for the family. Before you know it, all kinds of peacenik weirdos would quit their jobs and try to survive by raising their own food and selling black market piano keys. The economy would collapse.

That brings me to Jensen’s next point: that the eating of backyard chicken eggs is sedition, in that it undercuts our own Canadian agricultural sector.

She is absolutely right. What city, in its right mind, would allow mere citizens to decide what to eat? Eating is an exact science, better left to the professionals, who have literally produced and delivered millions of eggs to happily oblivious consumers for decades. The godless chicken-petters will tell you that the eggs of non-organic, non-free-range chickens are not as healthy as backyard eggs, and that the chickens in those factory farms lead miserable lives. Not likely. People love to live in cities. That’s why our cities are all growing. Chickens are no doubt the same. Just because a few Thoreau fans wish they had their own pond in the middle of nowhere, that doesn’t mean chickens like being abandoned to the elements to fend for themselves.

If we let people grow their own food, they might start building their own cars, or even worse, bicycles. It wouldn’t be long before the city was inundated with backyard cotton fields, all set to undermine North America’s textile industry. Let’s remember that all of this under-the-table economic activity is only siphoning money out of the legitimate economy, graciously controlled by able and responsible companies.

As we all know (except such fringe groups as “the medical community”), the swine flu (as it was known before pig-loving liberals convinced to media to call it “H1N1”) and the avian bird flu are not only created and spread by pigs and chickens, but are lying dormant in every animal, on the off chance that some beatnik atheist is stupid enough to cuddle it. It stands to reason, then, that we should stay away from those animals as much as possible.

Of course, Jensen neglected to take the argument to its logical conclusion and discuss the equal danger that the progenitors of the other kinds of influenza pose. Therefore, any humans degenerate enough to harbor the flu virus should be interred, possibly somewhere in B.C.’s interior, where they can keep their disease to themselves. Much like keeping animals on high-density farms where they aren’t contaminated by things like fresh air, grass, bugs and sunlight, we could do a lot to prevent much of our own “human” diseases by following suit and keeping infected humans in large blocks of cozy rooms, without distracting their immune systems with things like exercise or cleanliness.

Jensen closes with a remark that was, though brilliant, far too subtle and likely went unnoticed, so it bears repeating: raising backyard chickens will “[turn] our beautiful Red Deer into a Third World shantytown.”

She is absolutely right, and let me explain why. First of all, people in the Third World let chickens run around all the time. All people who have watched movies that take place in Mexico know this. What people don’t realize is that most parts of Africa, Asia and South America were vibrant and sprawling suburban paradises until the explorers infected them with the idea that anyone can just “raise chickens.” Before they knew it, their sanitation infrastructure had been completely clogged with chicken feces and surplus eggs, their treated water was all being used to slake their backyard elephants, and the tax system, unable to withstand the losses incurred when people stopped buying food produced in factories, collapsed, rendering schools and hospitals underfunded and understaffed. Jensen, obviously an expert in both agriculture and world history, is right to warn us before we let these Green Party lunatics destroy our society.

Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. Hey, leave those hippies alone. They aren’t hurting anybody. And besides, couldn’t they use the chicken waste as compost to enrich their own backyard soil so that they can grow their own backyard vegetables? Well, if you still think that is a good idea, you haven’t been reading very carefully.

Let’s get back to the main point. Backyard chickens are a bad idea because they poop. I think we can all agree on that. I also think it would be pretty difficult to deny that backyard chickens are the first step on the road to extreme poverty. However, at this time, we must discuss the next steps, after we stop the pot-smokers and Wicca priestesses from destroying Red Deer with chickens (note: Red Deer used to be called just “Deer” until those liberals moved in).

We must ensure that all waste be dealt with via litter boxes, so that no waste from any creature — not people, dogs, cats, canaries, parrots, budgies, iguanas, or tropical fish — can sully our precious landfills or be “composted” (another idea that fringe groups like “scientists” are trying foist on us).

My fellow citizens of Red Deer, I submit to you that when it comes to all manner of excrement, from horses to bulls, the only way forward is straight into the litter box.

Steve Neufeld is a North Vancouver resident who formerly lived in Red Deer.

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