Title of Presentation

Session J: Debating the inclusion of animals in the Urban Farming Movement in Detroit

Sub-theme

Policy

Keywords

urban farming; food deserts; urban animal welfare

Start Date

13-10-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

13-10-2018 10:15 AM

Abstract

The Food Justice Movement is linked to and supports allied movements such as those related to the environment, land use, economic and community development, cultural integrity, and social justice. Several urban agriculture programs in Detroit have helped establish and support hundreds of urban gardens and farms; engage and train thousands of adults and youth in related activities; and conduct related outreach and networking, collectively producing several hundred tons of food last year. Many of these urban farms have begun to include animals, sparking policy and ethical debates. Those in support of the practice say that non-intensive animal farming makes land remediation happen more quickly, that the animals are part of the regeneration of soil on Detroit’s post-industrial landscape, posit that animals fertilize and aerate the soil left ravaged from Detroit’s industrial past, and have actually been found to improve petroleum polluted soils. On the other hand, those who are in opposition point to numerous problems such as botched slaughters and cruelty to the animals who are kept with no oversight into their welfare and suggest that with so much that can go awry in backyard husbandry, communities need to evaluate what, if any, problems the practice actually solves. If our cities want to solve the very real problems of food justice and food insecurity—and not create a host of additional problems—urban horticulture should be vigorously promoted and incentivised with animal farming regulated in the best interests of the community and of animal welfare.

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Oct 13th, 9:00 AM Oct 13th, 10:15 AM

Session J: Debating the inclusion of animals in the Urban Farming Movement in Detroit

The Food Justice Movement is linked to and supports allied movements such as those related to the environment, land use, economic and community development, cultural integrity, and social justice. Several urban agriculture programs in Detroit have helped establish and support hundreds of urban gardens and farms; engage and train thousands of adults and youth in related activities; and conduct related outreach and networking, collectively producing several hundred tons of food last year. Many of these urban farms have begun to include animals, sparking policy and ethical debates. Those in support of the practice say that non-intensive animal farming makes land remediation happen more quickly, that the animals are part of the regeneration of soil on Detroit’s post-industrial landscape, posit that animals fertilize and aerate the soil left ravaged from Detroit’s industrial past, and have actually been found to improve petroleum polluted soils. On the other hand, those who are in opposition point to numerous problems such as botched slaughters and cruelty to the animals who are kept with no oversight into their welfare and suggest that with so much that can go awry in backyard husbandry, communities need to evaluate what, if any, problems the practice actually solves. If our cities want to solve the very real problems of food justice and food insecurity—and not create a host of additional problems—urban horticulture should be vigorously promoted and incentivised with animal farming regulated in the best interests of the community and of animal welfare.