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Why I'm Not Vegan by Food Renegade

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 


There is a very well-written article from Food Renegade that covers why I have transitioned from veganism to conscious omnivorous practices. I've had a lot of these thoughts while creating our own garden, but hadn't put it all into a coherent form that I could vocalize. 
Here's a clip:

You see, soil is — first and foremost — alive. It is not just dirt or dust. It is teeming with thousands upon thousands of tiny creatures. Indeed, one tablespoon of soil contains millions of tiny organisms hailing from thousands of different species of animal. And that living soil feeds on death. It takes death and from it feeds the fruits and vegetables in your garden, the grasses that feed your cow, the bugs that feed your laying hens. It takes death and makes life. It is the Resurrection written into the tiniest, yet arguably most essential, detail of our daily existence.

life giving soil

Lierre Keith confronted this when, as a vegetarian, she’d started her own garden. She shares the story in her compassionate and poignant book, The Vegetarian Myth:


“Feed the soil, not the plant,” was the first commandment of organic growing. I had to feed the soil because it was alive.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium — NPK — is the Triple Goddess of gardeners, the Troika of elements that rule plant growth. What did soil and plants eat and where would I get those substances? I hadn’t learned the phrase “closed-loop system,” but that was what I was after.
Nitrogen was the big one. There are plants that fix nitrogen. Wasn’t that enough for my garden? Couldn’t it be? I begged. But I was begging a million living creatures who had organized themselves into mutual dependence millions of years ago. They had no use for my ethical anguish. No nitrogen-fixing plant could make up for all the nutrients I was taking out. The soil wanted manure. Worse, it wanted the inconceivable: blood and bones.
There were other sources of nitrogen I could have applied. Right now, fossil fuel provides the nitrogen to grow crops the world over. Synthetic fertilizer is what created the green revolution, with its 250 percent increase in crops. Besides the fact that nothing made from fossil fuels is sustainable—we can’t grow fossil fuel and it doesn’t reproduce itself—synthetic fertilizers eventually destroy the soil.
So synthetic nitrogen was out. And that left me facing animal products. Of course, the irony is that either source of nitrogen, synthetic or organic, comes from animals. Oil and gas are what’s left of the dinosaurs. So my choices—our choices, actually—were nitrogen from dead reptiles or from living ruminants.
My garden wanted to eat animals, even if I didn’t."

baby goat


She then goes on to share how she compromised, using goat manure as her source of nitrogen and justifying it to herself as a way to “not waste” all that manure that was just piled up and not going to be used otherwise. But with phosphorous and potassium, she reached a turning point. These aren’t as easy to come by. Bone meal, blood, and ash are the most sustainable, natural ways to acquire these nutrients for the soil. By then, she’d almost given up hope that her garden, the place where she was supposed to be nurturing life, would be a place of freely-given fruits & vegetables that “did no harm” and cost no life.
To read the full article: Why I'm Not a Vegan | Food Renegade
Not an easy issue to deal with. What are your thoughts?


post #2 of 6

I definitely have run into this problem a lot.  I come from a culture and religion that thrives on both respecting life and on the enjoyment of animal products.  I have had to deal with this fact for a long time, and it seems to me that the best mix is to simply be a 

conscious omnivore.  If the animal was treated with respect throughout its life and was slaughtered in a humane way, it seems to me that it is perfectly OK for humans to eat animal products.

post #3 of 6

I believe that foods in general are going to become more and more scarce.  Once people realize it in larger groups, the store shelves will start clearing out at Walmart faster than a sale at Target!  This means all of us need to start growing our own foods, and learn more about the soil, and other techniques!  I know this is off topic a tad, but our lives will go back to the simpler days of homegrown because of the current on going demise of our country's financial system!  It may shut down Aug 2nd 2011?


I say prepare.  Get great seeds, and if you live in the big city, sell and scram!  Be prepared not scared!

Most importantly, trust in the maker of all of this good soil to grow things in!


post #4 of 6

this is a stretch; I don't want to directly take a life in order to eat.  this article is indirect.

post #5 of 6


You stated that "Most importantly, trust in the maker of all of this good soil to grow things in!" Really? Is that the depth of wisdom that you have to offer?

How about YOU focus mainly on that next time trying to grow crops and come back and tell us about how well your "trust" influenced your crops.










I regards to this article, it's too bad that the author was incapable of growing crops using compost as most others are able to. Using compost is a perfectly sound way to grow crops without blood and bones if done correctly.  And in regards to Veganism and this authors feeling of hopelessness, Veganism is not about purity or making yourself feel good.

It's about the following basic premises:






1. It is wrong to cause unnecessary suffering 
2. Animals suffer during the process of producing meat for human consumption 
3. Humans don’t need to eat meat to survive 
4. When a person purchases meat, they cause more meat to be produced 
5. So, purchasing meat causes unnecessary suffering


It's too bad that the author saw this a different way and is now eating meat again.



post #6 of 6

    I actually really liked this article. There is a circle of life, compost is part efficient but there are still key elements missing.

Most vegans ,vegetarians and people who do not seliac and decide to be glutton free for non health reasons but a fad unfortunately have gaps in there diets.I have now working on cancer research.

Food for thought : properties of blue cheese and the French paradox...they seem to eat a diet in high fat but till live long healthy lives and less cardiovascular disease. Part of this is credited to consumption of mouldy cheese "blue cheese". Also anti inflammatory. The egg is perfect, it's sterile, nutritious.                  Beautiful article ,written well so true. 

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