For practical reasons, I've succumbed to peer pressure and am doing what a lot of folks in the so-called 'urban farming' movement are doing.
I have chickens in my backyard (well, adolescent chickens to be exact). So far, the neighbors have not complained (nothing to complain about really; no nuisance no noise no stink no kidding). The neighborhood cats have not pulled any stunts. And the girls themselves are a real delight.
2 buff orpingtons, 2 black australorps, 2 rhode island reds. That's Edwina, Josefina, Mildred, Norma, Geraldine and Georgina. They all have distinct personalities and voices, tend to pair up by breed when relaxing or eating, and my compost pile has become way more manageable since bringing them home, because they live for veggie and fruit scrap treats when they're not stuffing their beaks with organic starter feed.
A lot of things led to this, but a primary reason was the desire to control where my food is coming from, and also lessen its carbon footprint. I'm already growing hordes of vegetables in the yard, and hopefully will have enough surplus to preserve some things and to donate others to local food banks. The simplicity factor is a big draw as well, because I won't have to buy eggs once the girls start to lay. The wrinkle is that I'm not supposed to have 'livestock' where I live. But in the same statement in the city code it dictates that I must have 25 feet between the animal enclosure and the property next door. Self-sufficiency is a food justice issue, to my mind. We've been trained away from being DIY'ers, to our collective detriment in the cities.
And to keep this post topical, here's a piece about the 'urban farming movement', and how it is taking on revolutionary proportions as self-sufficiency catches on.
With any luck I'll have my act together to set up a bee hive next year.