One Community will not have our first consensus meeting to discuss pets until after we have been on the property for at least 120 days. At that point we will have more of the necessary information to make an educated decision that accounts for all variables and the opinions and input of the entire group.
Primary reasons for not allowing pets are the tight quarters we’ll be living in at first, effects of dogs and cats on the native wildlife, issue of purchasing dog and cat food (a non self-sustainable item), and potential issues with liability, pet conflict, etc. The pet issue is a huge one and has been thoroughly researched and discussed many times before coming to this decision.
With this in mind we need Community Pioneers to come without pets and an understanding that the consensus conversation about pets will not happen until we are established and have been on the property for at least 120 days. At that point we will have four months under our belt, a better understanding of our living situation, food and each other, and can talk as a group about what we want to do about pets.
The following concerns and solutions having been discussed already:
Wildlife is the biggest concern. Our desire to be as low-impact a culture as possible living in communion and cohesion with the native wildlife is huge. Aside from the small risk of wildlife harming pets, cats kill birds and pets in general tend to keep the wildlife at a distance that limits interaction to pretty much sightseeing. Walking with deer, having birds land on you, hand-feeding natures little creatures, etc. is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Liability is the second largest concern. Dogs with the right temperament are fine, but where do you draw the line? How do you screen for this? With children on the property and 30% of our population from tourism – liability is a very real issue if we have the wrong dog.
Community: A good amount of research has already been done by us on the effects of pets on communities in general and the solid majority of what we have found is that pets are a significant cause of stress on community harmony and for this reason most communities, including many who started by allowing pets, maintain a no pets policy.
Sustainability: Mess, barking and other noise, pet food, and other time and/or financial resource drains are also concerns.
The plan will be to continue without pets, unless consensus comes up with a better one. This is the most likely solution, recognizing that we’ll have rabbits, goats, sheep, chickens, and an abundance of wildlife on the property already. This of course eliminates all pet problems but could also make One Community less desirable for many people.
Another option would be to make one of the Pods a “pet pawd.” This village would be distanced from the other villages with a surrounding fence or other enclosure for safety of pets and wildlife, cleanliness, etc. This would have the additional benefits of allowing people visiting to bring their pets. Pets moving into this “Pawd” with Community Members would be treated just like sponsored members with 100% consensus required before inclusion in the community. The Straw Bale Village (Pod 2) already has a design that could support this if consensus chose to go in this direction.
A third option could be small pets only, indoor pets only, only cats, or only pets chosen and agreed upon by consensus. All of these options have been discussed. Whatever happens, consensus will decide and the plan can always be changed by consensus. For now, however, we are not allowing pets and will discuss this issue further at the 120-day mark of being on the property.
Q: What about small pets, exotic pets, etc.?
The current pet policy applies to all pets including reptiles, amphibians, rodents, etc.
Q: Is there any possibility of an exception to this policy for my pet?
No, we are not open to making exceptions to this policy.
Q: Do you think it is likely that this policy will change?
We’ve discussed this issue sufficiently to believe that the no pets policy will most likely be permanent.
Q: What if I really want to be a part of world change but I don’t agree with this policy?
We’d still love to work with you! Consider joining us as a Satellite Member (click here for the Invitation Form), consultant or partner (click here for the Consultant’s/Partner’s Page), and/or just follow our progress. We expect other communities will follow with different views on these issues and we will happily be promoting their success also if they are part of the open source and free-sharing network of teacher/demonstration communities, villages, and cities that we are helping to create. Here are the best ways to follow our progress:
Better yet, the point of One Community is to build living blueprints open source so everyone can then use them for duplication. If you feel like you’d like to see a different version of One Community, we invite you to embrace the task of working with us and using everything we’ve already created to form another iteration of this idea, with a new set of rules/policies/guidelines, and attract to this idea the people who share your values and thus like your rule sets. In so doing, providing another for The Highest Good of All option with a potentially totally different approach.