Robert Slattery is a writer living in Western North Carolina. He enjoys music and all sorts of other things.
Animal Rights – The popularity of the local food movement has a victim. Well, a number of victims. Animal sanctuaries are reporting an increase in requests from people giving up their farm animals, people who tried to be backyard farmers and failed or simply lost interest.
One such sanctuary is the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in Woodstock, NY. Programs coordinator Elana Kirshenbaum, explained that the organization “get[s] calls all the time from people who don’t want their animals or can’t afford them. We get emails about roosters found in the city or goats being neglected or pigs that are going to be killed if we don’t take them.” The city she’s referring to is New York City. Seriously, livestock in New York City.
This puts an extreme strain on farm animal shelters, which are few and far between nationwide. Oftentimes these are seriously underfunded as well. Traditional animal shelters provide little help, as farm animals require specific needs, different than those of dogs and cats.
Kirshenbaum encourages people to think about the responsibilities they’re taking on before choosing to attempt backyard farming: “People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals. Here, we take our chickens to the vet, and when they’re sick, we give them antibiotics. People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal.”
Put simply, if you have your doubts, buy your eggs at the store.
Donate to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary here.
Read more at Mother Nature Network.