Urban Farming In Oakland

Photo by Jess Watson

Recently we were featured in an article along with Esperanza of Pluck and Feather in Edible East Bay, a quarterly publication about the foods of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Yeah, I know, we’re in Solano County but we have a similar demographic to Oakland and we support many of Oakland’s urban farmers. We even attend their community workshops.

The one bonus of not living in Oakland is that we have not become a target yet. We may become one in the future, but us Vallejoans have bigger fish to fry at the moment (high crime, high poverty, bankrupt city).

One of the people interviewed for the article was Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, a vegan chef and animal rights activist. She made a statement that I found intriguing along with being downright false. That raising your own meat animals makes people violent. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this argument. 

But that argument doesn’t make much sense to me. After all, I’m not a violent person. Neither is my husband or my stepson. Oakland has had an issue with violence that is completely unrelated to raising meat animals. Farmers and ranchers aren’t exactly known for being violent people either. Violence is much more likely caused by inequality, poverty and exploitation. 

Raising my own meat animals has made me value their lives more. I have a connection with them that you just can’t get by pulling plastic wrapped meat out of the grocery store cooler. 

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