Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Kooks In Charge - Seattle

A Seattle City Councilman has a big environmental idea - pet goats.

City Councilman Richard Conlin wants to give Seattleites (known in this corner as Seattleistas) the right to keep miniature goats as pets -- a proposal he bills as one small step for sustainability.

Conlin extols the virtues of pygmy goats, which can act as Earth-friendly lawnmowers and weed eaters, provide milk and cheese, and naturally fertilize yards.

Of course, you could gain the benefits of owning a goat by simply renting one.

With their four-chambered stomachs and insatiable desire to nibble on anything even resembling a plant, goats have gained credibility as land clearers among Seattle-area government agencies and private developers.

"Getting them to accept it is always the hardest part," said Craig Madsen, an Eastern Washington rancher who's part of the urban trend. His rentable herd of 270 Boer and Spanish goats has never been more in demand.

Skeptics, he's found, quickly become converts. Once the hooves hit the ground, few can question the tenacity of these ruminants to devour unwanted foliage.

"It was unbelievable," said John Iwanczuk, a project manager for Saltaire Construction in Seattle. "We've been in the business for 25 years -- we're skeptical about everything. But not only did it reach our objective, we saved a pile of money and made incredible inroads with the neighborhood."

Bringing goats into the city to do what they do best has its advantages: They're cheaper than manual laborers, chemical-free and popular with parents and children. Even the critters' droppings are in demand.

I wonder if goats have to apply for a permit to clear brush in King County?

Hmmm. I worry that our local environmentalist wackos might latch onto this idea. On the other hand, I have a couple of neighbors who are disinclined to clear noxious weeds from their property.


April E. Coggins said...

Yeah, those neutered male goats are veritable milk and cheese factories! LOL Gotta love those Huskies.

Mattwi said...

I'm wondering how long it will be before some homeless people start making the goats "go missing", they are tasty critters, goats that is, not homeless people.

Satanic Mechanic said...

I can think of two reasons why Seattle wants goats:
1. Someone saw that PBS special about some city in South America that uses goats to cut the grass and save money. I can't wait to hear about some e-coli infection from crap in the park.
2. Sex. Remember some guy around there got caught having sex with a goat. Seattle probably already recognizes marriages between man and animal.

Bruce Heimbigner said...

Last I checked (a few years back) it is legal to have goats, chickens, pigs, sheep in the Pullman city limits.

Michael said...

Bruce is right about livestock being permitted within the Pullman city limits. But, I think that bestiality was only just recently outlawed in Washington, after a man died from injuries received during sex with a horse. Apparently, somebody was running a farm animal bordello over on the left side.