However, one neighbor, whose yard adjoins my friend’s yard, was not happy. Instead of talking directly with my friend, the neighbor went to the city with complaints. My friend immediately gave up the roosters but the city determined that all of the other pets and the pets’ accommodations (chicken coop) meet the city’s code.
My summary doesn’t begin to touch on the drama my friend has faced in her little community. But the other details are irrelevant to this blog post.
The bottom line is that my friend isn’t doing anything wrong. This community — which is located close to a major city — has laws that welcome urban homesteading. However, my friend is upset by the situation with the neighbor as well as by comments she has read on articles about the issue.
But my friend loves her animals and she has had other people point out that what she’s doing is important. One person called her “an important pioneer in urban agriculture.”
What do you guys think of the role of people who help to change the norms?
In the meantime, how do we walk the fine line? How do we be good neighbors and yet live the lives we long for? What do we do when our sustainable lives crash into our neighbors' modern suburban or urban lifestyles?
And do we ask permission — ask neighbors what they think about chickens before we bring them home — or ask forgiveness with a few fresh eggs as appeasement gifts?