permaculture and vegan diet

rick valley bamboogrove at
Tue Mar 13 14:52:20 EST 2001

While at times I get the devil in me and start saying things to push buttons,
I think it is good to look at some of the things thattake the phenomena from
the abstract "cycles" and "systems" to the concrete. Like how, if you graze a
grainfield once in the winter, the grain will yield more at harvest. Or how
chickens have gut fauna/flora that enables them to digest chitin (we don't)
or how in a seasonally dry climate soil flora can survive inside ruminants.
Or how many cultures around the world relish insects as part of the diet. And
can anyone show me an example of a land-based functional vegan culture? I
won't count it if 
1) the culture is actually a "class" within a culture- (the general rule I
see is that wealthier segments of a population that can import or "skim off"
crucial foods may take on a vegetarian diet perhaps as a distinguishing or
identifying cultural trait, as traditional Lakota "put on the dog" or
Chicanos reach for the picante.) Examples of this would be found in Japan or
India, or Marin 
2) if it is a matter of poverty, like the tortilla and beans diet of Indian
Guatemala. When given the choice, the people diversify the diet rapidly. (and
will also eat freshwater snails, grasshoppers, whatever, as they can, in
"normal" times.
Whatever works for you, fine; I gotta say, I've had a lot of judgement and
anger directed at me by people who told me, for instance, that I had no right
to use the word "sustainable" while they snarfed peanut butter, oranges, rice
and bananas in coastal British Columbia. Closest I've come to cannibalism
have been at such times.
I've also been impressed by how much worthless printed paper has been
expended on the subject; college anthropology readings on the Masai
emphasizing their milk-and-blood diet, for instance; I was guided to a stand
of dryland Vigna roots by a few Masai who eagerly dug them up and we feasted
on the juicy, sweet white carrot-sized roots they dug from the red soil with
the sharp butts of their spears. Beat jicama (yam bean) for flavor and
texture anytime.
Shouldn't be too hard for someone who is meat eating but feels incapable of
doing the deed to re-program themself to take responsibility. Could be
important personnal growth work!
People eat everything; my personnal regret is that I can't get over my
cultural bias against bugs. Check out the book "Man Eating Bugs" Nice photos.
Down with Orthophagy!

Rick Valley Northern Groves 
PO Box 1236, Philomath, OR 97370 
Mobile-(541)602-1315, hm.& msg. (541)456-4364  Bamboo catalog $3 or at 
"Useful Bamboos and other plants‹ Permaculture education‹ Ecological design &
consultation centering on water,landform and horticultural systems"

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