Tell Oakland City Council to Stop Backyard Slaughter
Action Alert from


In Defense of Animals (IDA)
October 2014


Please help IDA support vegan author and activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau to stop backyard slaughter in Oakland, California. Tell the Oakland City Council that animals are not plants. Ask them to reject the proposal on urban agriculture that classifies animals as plants by including them under "Community Gardens."

This proposal would allow people to raise "livestock" in the city without needing a Conditional Use Permit.

"If this passes, it will have negative impacts on thousands of animals for decades to come," says Goudreau. She encourages everyone in Oakland to get involved to stop the slaughter and cruelty before it begins.

Listen to Colleen Patrick Goudreau's podcast "Animals Are Not Plants."

Sign an online petition here...

Learn more about the perils of backyard slaughter and take action against similar ordinances in your area.

Send the letter below asking the Oakland City Council to reject the proposal on urban agriculture, which classifies animals as plants.

Attend the Community and Economic Development (CED) Committee Meeting where they will consider the proposed Urban Agriculture changes.

What: Community and Economic Development Committee Meeting
When: October 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1, Oakland, CA 94612

The letter below will be addressed to the following Oakland City Council Members.

Sending the letter helps to show your concern, even if you don't live in California.

Personalize and submit the form below to email your comments to:

Oakland City Council Members
District 1, Dan Kalb
District 2, Patricia Kernigh
District 3, Lynette Gibson McElhaney
District 4, Libby Schaaf
District 5, Noel Gallo
District 6, Desley Brooks
District 7, Larry Reid
(Valid street address is required - P.O. Boxes cannot be used)


Backyard Slaughter means:

  • Neglected or abandoned "livestock" will be dumped at the local shelter leading to more dogs and cats being euthanized.
  • The city has a responsibility to promote the consumption of more plant foods versus animal foods with the rise of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity.
  • Animal agriculture includes the sights, sounds, and smells of unregulated slaughter, which impacts the safety and well-being of neighbors.
  • Wildlife will be attracted to the area, increasing human-wildlife conflicts.

I urge the Oakland City Council to reject the urban agriculture proposal, which seeks to classify animals as plants under "Community Gardens." I agree with Oakland author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who asserts that animals are not plants.

Many communities are reversing animal ordinances in a new trend to raise animals for food in their backyards. Often residents do not realize the hidden costs of raising animals and sadly abuse or neglect them. One such resident said eggs from chickens living in his backyard cost him $40 per dozen. After their city reversed animal ordinances, a chicken rescue group in Minneapolis reported a sharp increase in abandoned birds.

If the City of Oakland joins this trend, I fear that local animal abuse cases and wildlife conflicts will increase, backyard farm animals will be dumped at the shelter, and more dogs and cats will be euthanized. I don't want to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of backyard slaughter in my own neighborhood, which conflicts with my personal values and emotional well-being.

For the above reasons and many more, I urge you to vote against the upcoming Urban Agriculture proposal, which seeks to classify animals as plants and sets the stage for a rise in animal abuse. Removing the phrase "and/or animal products and livestock production" from the definition of Community Gardens would resolve my concerns about the Urban Agriculture proposal. 

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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