Lamin-SaballyBy Lamin Sabally in Minnesota

National Public Radio Intelligence Square Debaters fiercely battle ideas on raising chickens in US residential backyard.

If I were still living in the Gambia, Africa’s incontrovertible Smiling Coast and was told that an intense debate got underway on the National Radio airwaves about imminent possibility of allowing Americans to raise chickens in their residential backyards, I would have seriously taken this as an expensive April fool joke. Interesting though NPR’s latest Intelligence Square Debate Program had four debaters including two University Professors who fiercely battle their ideas out in a pair of two on the topic “resolve that residential chickens should be allowed to come to roost”. This motion implies that home owners whether in the cities or suburbs either have or not have the legal freedom to raise chickens domestically on their private properties without negative ramifications.

Motion supporters aggressively argued that raising chickens in residential backyards will lower heavy consumption of or dependence on processed foods and ultimately provide healthy food choice. It was also argued that this promotes civility and choice for property owners to enjoy their hard earned properties without fear of being dragged to court by their unaccommodating neighbors or better still be beleaguered by officials of their city councils through the normal invocation of city ordinances that are usually deployed in dealing legally with violations of this nature.

One of the debaters who passionately argued in the affirmative recalled how she was shocked to realize that most students on their overseas trip to Italy do not know how to cook. “I had to repeatedly tell them the names of the vegetables when we set out to cook because majority had no prior experience in cooking,” she stunningly recounted. She was optimistic that domestic cooking will be positively encouraged and loved when city dwellers are allowed to raise chickens in their backyards.

Motion opponents on the other hand raised alarming concerns over safety and noise saying domestic violence among neighbors will be on the rise as a result of countering characteristic rooster crow in the wee hours of the morning and the general noise from the chicken pens. It was also observed that the escalating domestic violence likely to be precipitated by the thorny issue will equally be an harbinger of animosity among neighbors, which is determined to be a precursor of disunity and a threat to good neighborliness.

One thing that emerged as consistent impressive part of the National Public Radio’s Intelligence Square Debate Program is that it typically includes a constellation of people of knowledge and expertise in diverse areas and specialization who exchange divergent ideas on pressing domestic issues affecting the United States. It has become a source of great idea generation bank for me, which is the more reason why I find myself lovingly attracted to this intellectually nourishing program.

Author is a PHD Candidate at Bethel University in Minnesota pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration with concentration in Higher Education.

Ends

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