Vegan Scene

the produce we buy vs. the produce we want
July 23, 2010, 3:48 pm
Filed under: ethos/philosophy, gardening | Tags: , , , , ,

My husband and I do not produce all of our own food, not yet anyway. We are currently growing kale, potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, lettuce, and some herbs and flowers. There’s an apple tree, a bunch of blackberry bushes, a rhubarb plant, and some strawberry plants in our plot, too.

We do our grocery shopping at a number of main chain stores here in England. The majority of our food comes from Tesco or Sainsbury’s. We might purchase food from a local, organic farm. Sometimes we will buy a bulk order of dried goods (like nuts, grains, and dried fruits) from an independent “vegetarian” wholesaler. But none of these outlets are actually good enough. Most food production currently utilizes¬† the products or by-products of the animal industry.

The organic vegetable, seemingly the most innocent of foods, is often grown with chicken pellets (ie dried and processed chicken manure) or cow and horse poop. Your typical organic vegetable range at any local farm or big chain supermarket will most likely be grown with a by-product of the slave trade. This does not have to be the case, but until vegan organic methods are well known and widely used, veganism- abstaining totally from animal exploitation- will be a mere thought and never a reality.

Tragically, we have no need for growing vegetables with the poop of imprisoned animals. We can grow crops without manure. Humans have done this for thousands of years. Yes, vegan organic growing methods exist, and they are perfectly viable and sustainable.

I am intent on moving toward ethical sustainability. I know that if we take the time to learn about the fundamental tasks that constitute vegan organic gardening (such as crop rotation, composting, growing and incorporating green manure, and the preparing of plant based garden teas), we will begin to learn a great deal about true independence.

In that vein, I recommend that all vegan individuals acquaint themselves with vegan gardening. It is the very basis of the argument that we sure as hell can exist without exploiting animals. One book that opens up the informational floodgates is called Growing Green, and is written by Ian Tolhurst and Jenny Hall. These people are some of the first to put pen to the paper about purposefully growing with out animal inputs, and they are both large commercial producers using totally vegan production methods.

There’s going to be a lot more on this topic; from the myth that your local organic farmer is the cream of the ethical crop, to the ins and outs of making sure you can supply yourself with ethically produced, nutritious foods– we have a lot to talk about and learn together.