Urban farmers are raising and slaughtering their own livestock, and a shadowy organization called Neighbors Opposed to Backyard Slaughter is up in arms about it. Writing at Mother Jones, Keira Butler gets the scoop on what’s sure to be the biggest civil war in the Bobo universe since the great “tomatoes in winter: is it OK as long as they’re local?” debate of ’09.

This bunch of NOBS has taken the time to put together a flyer and a website in opposition to urban farming — a tiny subset of farming that looks even more harmless when you consider the awful state of animal welfare in industrial agriculture. Sure, we may be talking about a minuscule number of animals that are being hand-raised in humane living situations, while the vast majority of our meat comes from deplorable conditions … but on the other hand, the NOBS members’ kids might have to think about a chicken getting killed! MAN THE TREBUCHETS.

At Grist we love us some vegetarianism, but it’s clear that the noslaughter.org site was put together by folks who aren’t objecting to where these animals were raised so much as to the fact that they were raised at all. Articles on the site from VegNews go on about “unnecesary suffering” and the like — dog whistles for folks who are morally opposed to eating meat in the first place.

Which is fine! I get it, there’s a moral case to be made for vegetarianism. But if the goal is reducing the quantity of suffering in the universe, this is clearly a case in which, even by the movement’s own goals, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

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