Permaculture & The Vegan way

graham gburnett at
Sun Mar 11 13:17:09 EST 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: <permed at>
To: permaculture <permaculture at>
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2001 2:37 AM
Subject: Re: Permaculture & The Vegan way

> The main thing that I find difficult with the philosophy of many vegans
> (especially 'veganically-grown') is the absolute denial of animals in the
> system - how can there be an ecosystem without animals?

Vegan organic systems do not 'exclude animals'- worms fertilise and
cultivate the soil; bees continue to pollinate fruit trees and bushes;
hoverflies, frogs and toads control pest populations, various other animals
pass through the system and have other beneficial effects. Ideally, humanure
is also returned to the soil to retain fertility. Vegan organic systems
however would not include captive animals. A guide to vegan organic
gardening is at Plants For A Future

> other end of the feedlot extreme - one extreme breeds another.
> Excluding animals from the system is anti-nature and anti-life.>

> I can't help but wonder if there is an underlying neurotic fear of death

For me the vegan way is about celebrating life, not denying death.

> that drives unnatural philosophies -
 I held some these ideals once and
> found myself becoming a biggoted dietary aparteidist - I seriously
> questioned my vego dogmas within the context of natural systems,

These conclusions were the results of your own self examination processes-
please do not apply these assumptions and generalisations to others. I
resent your inference that my (and thousands of others') life style choices
and philosophical beliefs are driven by nuerosis.

Permaculture is a design system with a deep ethical core (Earthcare,
Peoplecare, Fairshares (or equitable and wise distribution and use of
resources)), not a belief system of itself- this is why it is so universally
applicable- Permaculture can act as a framework from which to design our
lives and activities sustainably, accountably and
in keeping with nature's patterns, whatever our personal beliefs or values,
and is as appropriate therefore to vegan or stockfree systems as it is to
those which incorporate animals. I suspect that any arguing about this will
simply result in us both getting hot and bothered.

The point of my original essay wasn't to state the
case for veganism, but to acknowledge that we have differences which can
sometimes become bitterly divisive if we arn't careful (it was written as a
response to Graeme Sheriff's survey of Permaculture in Britain which has
highlighted this), but it would probably be more fruitful to focus on what
we have in common and help each other to work towards sustainability.

Cheers for now,

Graham Burnett
35 Rayleigh Avenue
Westcliff On Sea
Land & Liberty
My artwork
Our Garden
South East Essex Organic Gardeners
Permaculture- a Beginner's Guide
South East Essex LETS
Robert Hart's Forest Garden

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