I'm pleased to report that I'm blogging for Island Press, my publisher, in advance of the September release of my book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us. In my latest blog post, I look at a Washington, DC family's struggle against overbearing and overreaching regulations that have imperiled their ability to raise a trio of egg-laying hens in their yard.
Why did the District declare Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Minnie Mouse, India, and Red, pullum non grata? It turns out that Washington, DC rules prohibit keeping a chicken coop within fifty feet of any residence.
Many cities around the country—including Seattle, Salt Lake City, and New York City—have embraced backyard chickens and urban agriculture in yards of all shapes and sizes. They recognize that a well-maintained chicken coop in a yard... benefits a home and community and poses no more health risks than does keeping a dog or cat.
In the end, rules that prevent people from embracing more sustainable food practices aren’t keeping us safe or making us better off. Rather, they’re what’s biting the hands that feed us.
Discussion of awful rules like these lie at the heart of my book, which you can now pre-order through Amazon or Politics & Prose, the leading independent bookstore in Washington, DC--and one that's located just a short walk from the coop Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and her fellow hens call home.