Bitches be CRAAAAZY

Our female dog spazzing out with the sprinkler

No, I’m not going to talk about my nutso dog.

Instead I’m going to share my experience at the Oakland Urban Ag meeting last night. I’m not going to be nice for once and I’m definitely going to call shit out, so consider yourself warned. And for the record, I’m now allowing anonymous comments, though they are moderated so if you’re going to be shitty, I’ll read them, I may post them, I may even respond to them, but I won’t make any guarantees.

Let the crazy begin.

Surprisingly it wasn’t that bad, but the parts that were bad were REALLY bad. OK, more like REALLY entertaining with a strong dose of offensive.

The more well-known animal rights activists that we knew would be there were easy to spot because they all sat in the front row together. They were all dressed very nicely, even professionally. The main group didn’t shout anyone down and seemed rather engaging – though I personally didn’t chat with them, Kitty did have a conversation with one of them that appeared to be very civil.

On the periphery, however, things were quite different. One woman, I didn’t catch her name, was probably one of the most offensive people I’ve ever had the unfortunate circumstance to stand next to. First, she brought this poor rabbit with her. The room was packed and noisy and stressful for even me. I can’t imagine bringing an animal with me, let along a rabbit that is wired to be predated by everything. She clearly brought that poor animal to use for her own personal agenda. Flat out it shouldn’t have been there.

The rabbit was a small lop that had obviously been handled quite a bit. It was supposedly from a recent “meat” rabbit seizure in Oakland. I use the quotes because I’m not convinced it was raised for meat due to the circumstances surrounding the seizure, the breed of rabbit and also by what this woman had to say. It was so over the top and offensive that it’s hard to take her word on anything.

She had two arguments.

She said to put the words “Golden Retriever” in front of any statement we make about eating any type of animal. First off, I’m not particularly fond of Golden Retrievers and all I could think of was “that would make me vomit up a hairball that would put my cats to shame.” That said, I don’t have any issue with people eating a Golden Retriever or any other breed of dog as long as it’s humanely raised and slaughtered. I personally wouldn’t eat a dog, or a horse, or a cat, or a… because it wasn’t part of the culture I grew up in, but if someone was raised with that, knock yourself the fuck out. As long as it’s humane of course. 

Her other argument? Apparently Glen Close in Fatal Attraction boiled a pet rabbit alive. I haven’t seen the movie so forgive me. Well, this woman then goes on to say that those of us that raise rabbits for meat also boil bunnies alive. I’m going to let you sit with that for a bit.

We.
Boil.
Bunnies.
Alive.

Is this woman for real? So because of this ridiculous and incredibly offensive statement I totally rolled my eyes which then brought on another woman to start yelling at me for rolling my eyes. Wow. Just. Wow. I did get a good laugh about it later telling other rabbit raising friends though.

It wasn’t until later though that she really made me angry. She went up to a woman she didn’t even know and told her “You need to lose weight, you eat too many rabbits.”  Then when the woman said that was offensive she said “Stop harassing me or I’m going to call the cops.” Oh, she is lucky she didn’t say that to me. I probably would have decked her. Or at least said “I’ve recently lost 20 lbs because I started eating rabbits (which is true by the way).” Yeah, that’s probably what I would have done just to see the look of horror on her face.

My favorite part though was the woman with balls big enough to stand next to my monster-of-a-man husband and say “slaughtering animals makes people violent” and then when he asked her to say that again she repeated it! Good for her! But wait…he slaughters animals. If slaughtering animals made people violent shouldn’t she be scared of him becoming violent? I’m confused.

There were of course other confrontations between animal activists and other urban farmers, but those are their stories to tell.

The city did a really good job of keeping it neutral and I applaud them for that. I hope regulations that are fair for everyone are created.

One important thing I did learn though…we need to make some damn t shirts with our logo on them!

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Discussion

  1. El Gaucho says:

    Someone smarter than me wrote a rather poignant treatise explaining how they were terrified of extremism of any variety: religious extremism, environmental extremism, or in your case – animal rights extremism. I love animals (I have three deaf rescue dogs), but completely and fully support an individuals right to raise, process, and consume their own meat in a humane manner, even if it is "cute little bunnies". I'd like to think that the crazy lady's views, offensive comments/actions, and obvious hyperbole (boiling bunnies alive) will hurt her cause more than it helps. Best of luck to you in your plight to raise your own rabbits for cunsumption.

  2. Maureen says:

    ….eek! I applaud your restraint; I'm gonna have to get me some of that. Also, put us down for a couple of those t-shirts:)

  3. EvrenSeven says:

    She really needs to be at the hearings when the city council discusses any urban farming restrictions, so they can see what the other sides' arguments are. Your arguments need to be this:

    1) people who abuse animals and improperly and inhumanely raise animals will do so with or without regulations

    2) proper regulation is really the proper enforcement of animal cruelty laws already on the books, rather than new regulations that will further burden a law enforcement and judicial system pushed to the brink of bankruptcy and barely able to prosecute violent crimes.

    3) Obama is a fascist marxist communist who was born in kenya and secretly wants to plot another attack against the twin towers.

    4) Urban Farming is the "greenest" thing one can do as it cuts down on the use of grazing land, energy in shipping food, and adds other points of efficiency to the food production system.

  4. Denimflyz says:

    Boy, your animal extremists would have total heart failure if they were out here where I live in Nebraska…its beef, chicken, pork and bunnies and every type of fowl and fish you could imagine.
    We are getting an infiltration of extremists here in the state, one thing is, the state government is not putting up with anything from these groups.
    I buy humanely raised beef, and pastured chicken, since I cannot have fowl in town, but I support my farmer/rancher here the best I can.
    These next few years will be interesting to see what happens next.

  5. Holy moly. I've been checking your blog and other urban farming blogs in the Bay Area to find out what happened at that meeting, that sounds nuts! We couldn't go but I'm so glad that you and others were there. That poor bunny. And the weight comment! Too much, why can't we all be adults?

    I just entered the world of blogging and have really enjoyed yours, totally inspirational. Make the t-shirts, we're in for a couple too!

  6. Aww… bummer you took it down! You are right on the money with the insanity of their zeal. Why go after people who *opt* to eat meat and then go the furthest step possible and make sure it is done to their standards?

    Insane. Especially when these backyard livestock typically have a much much better quality of life than those that stock the grocery meat counters.

    The bunny boiler *lady*.. needs to start popping her happy pills a fist full at a time. Clearly someone who has zero involvement or knowledge about what is going on… in this reality or her own.

  7. The boiling bunnies alive thing made me have to walk away from the discussion. who the fuck boils bunnies alive? really? who? i want video. though i wouldn't watch. i'd make someone else to verify. people are freakin' nuts.

    and evrenseven, what's up with #3 of your arguments? that would make us all look just as nuts as the crazy bunny lady.

  8. Building A Better Life says:

    Holy crap I don't know how you kept out of trouble at that one. Apparently batshit crazy lady has her bunny boiling ex-boyfriends mixed up with those of us who don't actually like to see animals in pain (at least that's what I'm surmising, since usually that kind of stupidity comes with some serious emotional baggage). And the poor little lop ear; I'm sure it just wanted to go home. Please tell me at least crazy lady wasn't forcing the poor thing to smell heavily scented perfume…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm finding myself caught between two worlds here. Because I did foster care for the SF SPCA for 10 years, people are questioning whether I am an evangelical vegan (as Stefani so brilliantly put it). At the same time, when I say I believe that people Oakland residents should have the right to humanely raise and slaughter their own meat, animal lover friends have decided that I am cruel and don't love animals.

    It would be difficult to explain how much I love animals and how deeply the death of animals pains me…even as my wildlife biologist trained mind tells me that you are exactly correct – every death nourishes new life. (Except for people who are embalmed and toxic.)

    *sigh* An ongoing debate. Still, it was amazing to see so many people so passionate about urban ag and to realize how many friends and connections I've got.

    Birgitt

    (We boil bunnies alive?! Really?!)

  10. esperanza says:

    If you try that "Golden Retriever" game along with the popular game of adding "in bed" to the end of a sentence, statements start getting really uncomfortable.

    We DO need t-shirts!!

  11. Yolanda says:

    Wow. I didn't even see the bunny there! The room was packed and it sressed *me* out. Poor bunny….

    The Glenn Close boilabunny comment was surely made to incite. We need to be more civil in our conversations.

    But the weight comment? It would have been on like Donkey Kong had it been directed at me!

    We should all feel proud that we got the word out about the meeting. I don't think the City expected it to be so well attended. I would love to be a fly on the wall for the "next steps" meeting Eric and his planning staff are having as they compile suggestions and set out to work on the draft regulations.

    Put me down for a shirt too! I need to name my farm….

  12. Birgitt, I think it's "Vegangelical." :) And no, I don't think you're one of those at all. The thought never crossed my mind actually.

  13. Wow, bitches DO be crazy!! So proud of you all for showing up and bringing the dignity!

    That bunny boiling scene is still fresh in my mind, even after all these years…talk about a crazy bitch. Yeah, totally, all the damn time!

    I'm all the way in for a t shirt!

  14. Anonymous says:

    No, no, I didn't think you did think I was an extremest. I don't really come off that way. Little eccentric, perhaps. But I think I'm in good company there!

    Made your cracker recipe tonight, btw. Fabulous! Also, freezing the dough for about 10 minutes helps keep it thin when rolled out.

    "Vegangelical" ROTFL Hubby and I both about busted a gut over that one.

    The fascinating thing here is that both the far right and far left have something in common: The evangelicals want to tell you and I that we cannot have an abortion (i.e. kill a human), but feel free to kill animals. While the vegangelicals want to tell us we can't kill an animal, but that abortion is totally your own decision. And I don't think either side would see the irony in that.

  15. Part of me is really glad I wasn't at this meeting, even though I had planned on going. The high volume of people combined with high confrontation would have driven me insane. I hate big crowds and I hate confrontation (extremely non-confrontational here). Part of me wishes I was at the meeting to speak my mind about the importance of allowing people to grow their own food and food animals for health and the environment. It sounded "crazy up in there"!

  16. Kitty Sharkey says:

    For my take on this, please see my blog post at:

    http://www.havenscourthomestead.com/2011/07/warning-this-post-contains-graphic.html

    And I've been considering making some T-shirts for my homestead as well. Definately need some!

    How about if we make one that says "I (heart) urban agriculture" on the front and then has several of our websites on the back?

  17. Oh Christ on a cracker, seriously? Well, everything that needs to be said has been. I'll leave you with this thought from master wordsmith Winston Churchill:

    "A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

    and this, from a friend:

    "Don't argue with three year olds."

    Somehow they both seemed apropos.

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