The link I listed for our chicken petition has not been actually adding the majority of signatures. For several days in a row we were getting calls and emails of people telling us that they had signed the petition, or were trying to, but never received the required confirmation email, and thus their signatures never appeared. I tried contacting the site several times in order to get this remedied, but the only recourse of action was to start a new petition all together. Here is the link for anyone wishing to sign it: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/salemchickens
We've kept the old petition still up so any signatures already on that won't be lost and not counted, but we're encouraging people to sign the new one.
The response has truly been amazing. At our monthly get-together for Big Lick-Green Drinks, I was just truly blown away by the number of people who were interested in having a couple chickens of their own. I can not begin to express my utter amazement at how many people say something along the lines of "Oooh, we've always wanted chickens!"
In a world where there are food shortages and riots globally, a recession and ever-rising food costs locally, along with continual outbreaks of salmonella, E.coli, and mad-cow diseases, and the food recalls that goes along with them, it is just mind-boggeling that we have created a culture where we can't raise our own food and take care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities. I can raise eggs that are many, many times healthier than store-bought eggs, giving the chickens a humane and happy existense (compared to those raised in a factory or worse a cage), and not bother anybody. But, there are those who would make that illegal. Who think it is appalling and attrocious. What is truly appalling and attrocious is not having the right to be able to do it. Not having the freedom to do it - especially since it does NOT bother anyone else, at least no more than as far as personal taste goes (such as if your neighbor painted his house in green and purple polka-dots). I can not afford to buy much of what I want and know to be right in the stores thanks to this recession and the rise of food costs. So, why should we have to suffer, why should my children get anything but the best, when we can humanely and safely raise it in the back yard?
I am currently reading a most-wonderful book. It is eye-opening and makes you want to slam down your fist in anger (but in a good way). I highly recommend it. It is: "Everything I Want to Do is Illegal" by Joel Salatin. He and his family run Polyface Farms in Swoope, VA (near Staunton). http://polyfacefarms.com/ I can not wait for the chance to visit their farm, but for now I will delight in reading this book and learning from the things he has written in it. If you don't get the book, at least take a moment and check out their website, you won't be disappointed.