Are fruits and vegetables necessarily vegan?
Global food production – including fruits and vegetables – is often associated with the various harmful effects of animal husbandry, including the suffering of animals, that a growing number of consumers (not only vegan consumers) really want to avoid.
Unfortunately, food production has largely defaulted to farming models that depend on animal exploitation, creating a sense that local sustainable food necessarily involves farming cows, chickens, goats and other (domesticated) animals. Likewise, even organic production – including organic fruit and vegetable production – is widely dependent on animal fertilizers, most of which are “by-products” of animal (factory) farming.
Growing food veganically
Therefore, growing food with veganic methods, regenerating and conserving ecosystems is the new organic and today’s form of peaceful activism. Veganic food production will also take the next steps necessary for a sustainable and fair food system that is beneficial for the health of all people, the planet and all beings that inhabit it.
Growing foods with veganic methods means:
- Only plant-based fertilizers are used;
- No animals, parts of animals or so-called “by-products” are used, i.e. no discards from slaughterhouses or fishing, no bone, blood or fish meal, no feathers;
- Free of manure from animals reared for human or pet consumption;
- No artificial and poisonous synthetic chemicals;
- Exclusion of patented seeds that promote monopolistic practices, organisms genetically altered or crossed with genes of other organisms that would not exchange in nature;
- It also includes replacing the use of animals used for their traction force for plowing and loading activities in the field, and instead using food system designs that can be operated with minimal intervention of human muscle strength.
Defending our food systems from corporate monopoly and creating alternatives that are sustainable, just and independent of animal exploitation.https://seedthecommons.org
Permaculture is a rigorous and systematic set of tools, ecological principles and methodologies, underpinned by ethics, which help us to design and create this culture of permanence. A culture that allows us to design how we cater for all our needs and the needs of the planet and all its creatures, without exploiting or depriving other humans or creatures of their needs.
The ultimate goal is to create systems that create abundance for all humans, creatures and mother earth, without exploitation of humans, animals or earth’s non-renewable resources.
With permaculture insight we can design our inner tranquillity, it can be applied to creating integrated and supportive communities, building or retrofitting houses to be more energy efficient, creating ethical businesses and livelihoods, as well as creating rich abundant low maintenance food growing spaces.
Different from a regular permaculture design, vegan permaculture does not include animal husbandry. However, this does not mean it is an animal-free system – quite the contrary: wild, non-domesticated animals like worms, birds, frogs, bees or butterflies are welcome, but never tied into the system or exploited. Vegan permaculture focuses on creating habitat without animal husbandry.
Vegan permaculture design ranges from large scale forest gardens in the community to many urban community food growing gardens, private farms and back gardens as well as designing collaborative businesses and urban water retention systems.
Sources: Permaculture course descriptions by Rakesh Bhambri (Rootsman Rak)
There are many articles and sources to support vegan permaculture farming and show its productivity and more so, the fulfillment that comes with eating consciously and without exploiting animals and having to deal with the unavoidable consequences of keeping domesticated animals, i.e. what to do with them when they get old or sick?
Below you find sources we recommend, including a selection of publications about vegan permaculture, farms that produce veganically plus their reasoning to do so, as well as veganic networks.
How can we contribute to a sustainable and just food system?
What can we as activists and farmers do to build better food systems without contributing to animal exploitation? How can we put veganic farming on the table and promote vegan agroecology as the basis of our food system?
Reclaiming and defending space for gardening and small-scale farming is vital to creating just and sustainable food systems. Creating vegan permaculture and food forest systems globally is essential to feeding a growing population with nutritious food without causing any harm.
While veganic permaculture is more than just organic farming without animal input, The Noble Peace Tribe believes that food production is an important part. Food that nourishes us the best (nutritionally for the body and emotionally for the soul) should come from local production, mostly fruits, nuts, seeds and greens that can grow with minimal maintenance in a forest garden as part of a vegan permaculture landscape – designed to sustain a viable community with a common vision that lives in peace and in harmony with nature and all its beings.
If you are interested in food sovereignty, agroecology, animal liberation, or any related topic, please comment below and share your thoughts!
Comparison of Farming in Production of Food Per Acre
Measuring vegan-organic agriculture vs. animal-based agriculture (pdf)
The Productivity of Vegan-Organic Farming
Measuring small-scale vegan-organic farming against large-scale conventional and organic practices (pdf)
The Vegan Book of Permaculture (by Graham Burnett)
Vegan permaculture design principles & the power of community.
Veganic farms (producing vegan-organic)
TOLHURST ORGANIC (UK)
Why no animal manure?
Most consumers assume that organic production relies on animal manures to support fertility. Certainly any organic farm that has livestock will naturally use any manures available to support fertility, but the organic standards clearly state that primary fertility must come from the use of fertility building crops and that manures are only to be used as an adjunct to well designed rotations using grass or other fertility building crops. Most farmers growing vegetable crops do not have livestock, so they need to develop fertility systems that are sustainable and not dependent on bought in fertility. The organic standards presently allow growers to import manures from non organic farms, although this will become restricted in the future. The use of non organic manures poses several problems:
- Bringing manure in from another farm is depriving that farm of its own fertility.
- Non organic manures may contain unacceptably high levels of antibiotics or other chemical residues.
- The transport of manures is expensive in terms or energy and adds traffic and pollution to the local environment.
- Non organic manures are often a by-product of livestock systems that depend on imported feedstuffs, some of which may have traveled halfway around the world.
We began to seriously question the wisdom of importing fertility back in the early nineties and started by banning the use of fish blood and bone on our farm. This organic fertilizer is used by some organic growers, but we were concerned about possible health problems and in the light of the BSE crises we were very pleased to have removed this product from our system. It is still allowed in organic production, primarily mixed with peat to provide potting composts.
We see a big future in stockfree organic systems as they use considerably less land than livestock dependent systems, have a much lower carbon footprint and lower energy requirements. We are pleased to have been at the forefront of developing this important food growing system.
FADOSEEFARM (New York State, USA)
We are Fá Dò Sěe farm, a small scale urban farm serving the communities of Albany, NY. We donate all of our food to local organizations in an effort to improve accessibility to wholesome, nourishing meals and combat food insecurity. Everyone deserves to taste the freshness and care of our vegetables, regardless of income levels. We are working on a free CSA.
Taken from: https://fadoseefarm.wordpress.com/about/
LAZY MILLENNIAL FARMS (California, USA)
In a recent report by scientists found that nearly 51% of annual manmade greenhouse emissions came from commercial livestock (source: World Watch, November/December 2009). It is predicted that by 2050 agriculture will expand by 80%, meaning the impact of foods with large carbon footprints will grow proportionally (source: Nature International Weekly Journal of Science, 2014). According to the Environmental Working Group one pound of beef produced results in 13 lb of CO2 introduced into the environment, whereas the highest listed vegetable on the list, the potato, creates 1.3 lb of CO2 (source: EWG.org, 2011). So eating one pound of potatoes is the equivalent of driving your car three miles, versus driving your car 28 miles when eating one pound of beef.
At Lazy Millennial Farms we believe it is our responsibility to not only minimize our environmental impact, but we want to help both the local and global ecosystem. By opting out and refusing to support commercial livestock, we believe we are making a major impact on our own environmental impact, as well as leading the charge into what we see as the future of American agriculture. Two farms are currently listened in the Veganic Agriculture Network’s veganic farm list, however, neither of these farms are certified veganic. Lazy Millennial Farms is certified by the major veganic certifying body: the Stockfree Organic certification.
Taken from: https://www.lazymillennialfarms.com/about/
PLANTAGE (Berlin region, Germany)
With biovegan agriculture we pay attention to a healthy nutrient cycle and rely on clover grass to add nitrogen to the soil. Through composting we will sustainably stabilize and build up the humus layer. Our vision is to promote biovegan agriculture globally to increase biodiversity and protect the climate. We want to put an end to the exploitation of farm animals and to revitalise agricultural areas socio-economically.
Taken from: https://www.plantage.farm/biovegan
- Wild Earth Farm and Sanctuary, 200 acres in the foothills of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky, USA, permaculture farm and animal sanctuary; offers Vegan Permaculture Design Courses (PDC)
- CHIVAL association in the hinterlands of Nice, France, bringing together yoga/meditation, permaculture and a small animal sanctuary; offers a Vegan PCD in August 2019
- Find other veganic (permaculture) farms at https://veganic.world/find-a-farm/
INTERNATIONAL BIOCYCLIC VEGAN NETWORK
The International Biocyclic Vegan Network is a broad network of associations, private individuals, companies and institutions involved in agriculture, processing, trade and science, as well as organisations whose mission is to promote animal rights and a vegan way of life. Through its member associations in various countries, the network advises growers on the conversion to biocyclic vegan farming and raises public awareness of the benefits of this form of cultivation. In addition, it participates in research projects on humus accumulation and sustainable soil fertility increase through the use of biocyclic humus soil on a purely plant-based basis.
In 2005, BNS Biocyclic Network Services started to implement the principles of biocyclic agriculture in Greece and in Cyprus where currently approximately 80 smallholder farms are certified according to the Biocyclic Vegan Standard. In 2016 comparable structures were established in Germany as well as in 2017 in France and 2018 in the Netherlands. In those 4 countries partner organizations were established to promote biocyclic vegan agriculture. For the future, BNS proposes itself to enable similar projects to be created in other countries worldwide.
The objective of Biocyclic Vegan International as a division of BNS Biocyclic Network Services is to establish and promote a sustainable, closed loop and vegan oriented form of organic farming by introducing the biocyclic vegan principles in all areas of agriculture and food production.
Extracted from: http://www.biocyclic-vegan.org/about-us/
Vegan Organic Network (VON) (UK)
Veganic growing is any system of cultivation that avoids artificial chemicals and sprays, livestock manures and animal remains from slaughter houses. Alternatively, fertility is maintained by vegetable compost, green manures, crop rotation, mulches, and any other method that is sustainable, ecologically viable and not dependent upon animal exploitation. This will ensure long term fertility, and wholesome food for this and future generations
Veganic Agriculture Network (USA)
The Veganic Agriculture Network is a new movement in North America to promote the production of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereals without the use of artificial substances nor the use of animal products. We promote sustainable, low-impact, plant-based farming and gardening.
Taken from “Our Mission” page: http://www.goveganic.net/article27.html
Spiralseed is an independent, ethical publishing and educational enterprise founded by Graham Burnett in 2001, publishish books about Permaculture, selling fairly traded T-shirts and run Permaculture courses.
Concerned about climate change and future generations?
Want to live compassionately without the exploitation of people, animals or the environment?
Tired of ‘the problems’ and want to be more solutions-focused?
CREATE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN YOUR WORLD WITH PERMACULTURE.
Taken from: https://spiralseed.co.uk/
Animals are not used for food or manure in our veganic, eco-organic orchards with 600 peach, pear, apple, apricot, plum, pluot, hazelnut, and walnut trees nor in our living mulch vegetable, grain, and dry bean fields.