Last September, New Yorker staffwriter (and former Phoenix staffer) Susan Orlean laid out the case for keeping fresh poultry in the backyard: it's cheap, it's safe, it's fun, and it's environmentally sound. You would think that would be enough for the city fathers of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Apparently not. A Cambridge co-op that keeps ducks and hens as pets is concerned that the People's Republic may be preparing to ban their feathered friends: three ducks named Potassium, Ferdinand, and Penelope (that's them in the photo, above), and two chickens named Henrietta and Frances. The co-op's eight residents, who describe themselves as "working professionals, teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, and students," are circulating an online petition to declare that:
We, residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts, believe it should be within
the right of the residents of 218/220 Putnam Avenue as well as other
backyard chicken or fowl keepers in Cambridge to responsibly keep a
reasonable number of hens on their residential property.
They've also grabbed a nifty URL and launched savetheducks.org, which debunks many of their neighbors' concerns, as collected under such lascivious headings such as "OUR BIRDS ARE CLEAN" (complete with links to each fowl's health certificate) and "THERE ARE NO RATS."
If Cambridge residents remain unconvinced by empirical arguments, the Cambridge Eight have wisely uploaded a bunch of videos to YouTube showing their ducks in an advanced state of AWWWWWWWWW:
(Perhaps wisely, they don't link from the site to this NSFW video shot of the ducks in flagrante.)
[Link-tip o' the hat to Universal Hub]