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Claire Cameron Archive

Claire Cameron

A Guide to Thinking About Urban Chickens: Chapter 4 - Ethics

April 29th, 2009
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

By keeping chickens in your back yard, are you: a) A responsible person who is sourcing food locally and ensuring the eggs you eat are from happy, free range chickens? or b) An omnivore who is trapping and cultivating a food source?

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Claire Cameron

A Guide to Thinking About Urban Chickens: Chapter 3 - Chickens

April 8th, 2009
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

In this chapter we will cover chickens. When I raise the subject of chickens at a dinner party (remember, this is the point of this guide), I often get a lot of concerned questions. Chickens worry urban people. This could be a product of urban anxiety or a symptom of our disconnect with the food chain. It may be that too many of us watched The Birds at an impressionable age or perhaps it’s a question of insecurity about property values.

Whatever the case, there are many things to fret. In case you haven’t thought of them all yet, I will address the most popular things to worry about in this post. Anxieties, after all, lurk behind many engaging conversations. (more…)


Claire Cameron

A Guide to Thinking About Urban Chickens: Chapter 2 - Eggs

April 1st, 2009
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

In this guide, the egg comes first. Eggs are the reason for your interest in raising urban chickens, aren’t they? If not, I assume you are looking for a pet, in which case I’ll warn you off chickens and suggest something with fur that you can snuggle. Hamsters are worth a try.

For those of you just joining us, this is a series dedicated to thinking about raising chickens in your backyard. As I said in the introduction, this is not a practical guide, rather it’s for those of us who prefer to purvey the idea of chickens from the safety of a desk chair. Be sure to review Chapter 1 - Coops.

Now, eggs. If fresh eggs are your reason for wanting urban chickens, do they taste better? More importantly, will the eggs be enough better to warrant the trouble (for you banker-types this is, roughly speaking, like a cost/benefit analysis)? (more…)


Claire Cameron

A Guide to Thinking About Urban Chickens: Chapter 1 - Coops

March 25th, 2009
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

We will start with the basics: your chickens (’the girls’) will need a coop.

For those of you just joining us, this is a series dedicated to thinking about raising chickens in your backyard. As I said in the introduction, this is not a practical guide, rather it’s for those of us who prefer to purvey the idea of chickens from the safety of a desk chair.

Close your eyes and picture your outdoor space. When I say chicken coop, how do you think you will get one (for the real city slickers, a coop is an apartment for chickens, like a stand-alone bachelor pad in Chelsea, but with a ramp instead of stairs)? (more…)


Claire Cameron

A Guide to Thinking About Urban Chickens: Introduction

March 24th, 2009
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

When I am at a dinner party and there is a dull moment, I often bring up Big Red. She was the dominant bird in my flock. We disagreed on a number of things, but our main the issue was who was in charge. When I brought out corn each morning, Big Red would rush me. I’d drop the corn and Big Red would have a good breakfast. I got bullied by a chicken.

I’ve looked after chickens at various times in my life, most recently on retreat from the city at friend’s farm near Creemore, Ontario. That’s where I met Big Red. She and the girls were in a coop at the back of the house. I fed them, talked to them and scooped out their poo. Caring for the chickens felt good, like an extension of buying free range eggs or organic meat. Giving them a nice life made it seem like a fair deal if I took their eggs. But Big Red showed me things were different than I first thought. (more…)


Claire Cameron

TVs on My Street

January 9th, 2008
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

Yesterday, I found a TV on my street.

Perfect_tv

It’s from the 1980s. Back then, a TV was a piece of furniture, rather than art hung flat on the wall.

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Claire Cameron

Holiday Road Trips

December 8th, 2007
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

Driving_2_2

A lot of people drive to see family during the holidays. I remember our road trips. We’d barrel off in the car. We’d cheer as we got outside of the city limits, hoot when we saw the first cow in a field, fight over the can of Mountain Dew at the first rest stop.

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Claire Cameron

Vonnegut’s Secret

August 22nd, 2007
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

I wish I knew the secret to being a great writer like Kurt Vonnegut. If I had the chance, I would take Vonnegut’s alter ego, Kilgore Trout from Breakfast of Champions, on a road trip through the American Midwest. Gazing out at the endless flatlands would number Trout’s brain sufficiently for me to coax out Vonnegut’s secret.

Breakfast of Champions contains drawings of assholes that look like a hand-drawn asterisk.

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Claire Cameron

Looks Like a Boot, Feels Like a Slipper

May 28th, 2007
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

A book is published somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. Less than 1% of books sell 1000 copies or more. My first novel, The Line Painter, joined the fray on April 7th. Since then, I’ve learned a few things.

The first lesson is that truckers generally prefer to wear sneakers, or something equally comfortable, while driving. This presents a problem, however, when they get to the warehouse to deliver a load.

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