Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Weird World of Urban Animal Farming

By Dale Eisinger
8 hours ago

It’s a typical-looking building under an elevated subway line in northeast Brooklyn, New York. A brown tacky gleam of years of pain accumulation covers the three-story apartment. But a closer look at the covered first-floor windows reveals the glow of constantly running heat lamps and fluorescent lights, regulating temperatures within.

Inside, the smells overwhelm: the loam reek of hundreds of crickets in captivity, a collected stink of animal feces clinging to the sweetness of wood shavings, the general dust of a space so cramped with ephemera it makes it difficult to clean. Aquariums crowd the kitchen, burbling with the blue glow of water filters and underwater lights. Just feet away, in a well-organized but congested bedroom, crates and terrariums and other enclosures stack from floor to ceiling. The apartment’s occupant, a veritable Temple Grandin of inner-city animal breeding, opens the different enclosures with pride, showing off his menagerie.

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