When Vancouver City councillors voted to ammend city bylaws on chickens in the city, it was a small step forward to reconnecting citizens to their food, raising awareness about food security issues and encouraging the humane treatment of animals that are an important source for our food.
I am fascinated by the presence of agricultural activity and food production in cities. On one hand, it seems that many North American urbanites are embracing this move towards getting in touch with their food supply in a very hands on way. On the other hand, there are always those who oppose such things as beekeeping, community gardens and backyard chickens as inappropriate activities for an urban environment. Historically, much city building has been about taming or banishing ‘nature’ from the urban landscape. I am interested in the way in which concepts of modernity clash with perceptions of nature. Even in an incredibly green place like Vancouver, there has been a great deal of opposition to growing and raising food in the city.