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.