“One Human Family” is Key West’s motto. Key Westers take pride in their LGBTQ, racial, and cultural diversity. Whoever you are, you’re celebrated here, the quirkier and the boring. “We’re one human family.”
Recently an amended version has become popular. “We are one animal family.”
The roosters and chickens that roam the island, walking through the restaurants and grounds, ignoring the pedestrian crosswalks on the street are protected by law. Choke a rooster or a chicken here in Key West and you’re in big trouble!
The open air restaurants welcome the roosters and chickens and the penny-less cats and dogs as naturally as they do the cruise ship shoppers with their American Express cards. The spirit of Ernest Hemingway (Papa) is alive all these years later.
Every creature is protected here. After the cruise ships take the 3,000 shoppers out to sea in the late afternoon, the island belongs to all the Key Westers, human and otherwise.
We are one animal family.
– Gordon C. Stewart writing from Key West, FL after visiting the Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, FL, Feb. 17, 2015.