After reading James McWilliam's idiotic piece on backyard slaughter, I found myself immersed in reading more about Oakland's effort to allow backyard slaughter. For those of us who are thinking in the long run, towards an economy with greater scarcity of natural resources, being able to have food independence is truly important. True food independence involves both plants and animals. The animals provide the plants with valuable fertilizer, among other things.
Unfortunately, bleeding hearts have hi-jacked the movement and turned it into some kind of plant fetishism, dedicated to growing plants that can provide only a trivial contribution to the diet of a healthy normal human. Sure, spinach is great, but it doesn't have very many calories, you cannot survive on spinach. I've written on this delusion before, in my post The Produce Delusion. Focusing on trivial plant gardening is not food independence and I wonder if the lip service in the government towards it serves to distract people from real issues. Michelle Obama is growing some tomatoes in her back yard, maybe she hopes it will help us forget the massive amounts of subsidies that go towards unhealthy food.
This image from the Oakland anti-slaughter group, was so hilarious I couldn't resist posting it. It's the perfect example of the triviality of most urban gardening. The idea that animals aren't part of any type agriculture is really quite strange. They can't just admit that they don't like the idea of animals getting killed. It's about controlling other people in order to make them comply with their personal preferences.
From the outset, the Planning Department has had its heart set on bundling animal breeding and backyard slaughter into its urban agriculture policy. Its eagerness to be in the limelight alongside bestselling locovore authors singularly obsessed with “knowing their meat” has blinded it to the mandate that Oakland set forth for creating food policy.
To provide low-income people in food deserts with the foods that they most lack access to, which are — according to luminaries such as Michelle Obama and public health advocates the world over — healthful fruits and vegetables.
Unfortuantely, as I outlined in my original Produce Delusion post, giving people access to fruits and vegetables DOES NOT have an impact on preventing obesity. It sure does seem nice though. But I hope the decision makers of Oakland realize that you shouldn't get agriculture advice from people who run animal sanctuaries.
And it's highly amusing that they are using the argument that meat is for the elite.
The people profiled are not continuing the family farm out of economic necessity. Nor are they killing animals because they lack protein in their diet. They are educated, published and politically connected, and they choose to slaughter and eat their backyard animals because of a personal preference to consume a culinary delicacy: locally raised organic meat. Food empowerment this is not.
Um, it's for the elite partially because regulations make it expensive! NYC has slaughterhouses in the city and I'll tell you it's not rich bankers who use them, it's immigrants, many of them low-income. Furthermore, many people in those communities already possess the skills to slaughter animals well. I've often thought of organizing a workshop where immigrants who grew up slaughtering animals could help teach backyard farmers about how to do it right.
Someone commenting on the McWilliams article said it had something to do with serving delicacies in fancy restaurants. Haha, you are not allowed to serve home-slaughtered animals in restaurants.
Anyone know any pro-slaughter groups? I'd love to feature them here. I admire people willing to put up with the crazy urban weirdos in their effort to achieve food independence. Me? I'm heading to the country.