permaculture and vegan diet

permed at permed at
Wed Mar 14 18:05:21 EST 2001

Food producing systems involving only earthworms and random insects for 
pest predation and pollination can only be "sustainable" in small 
isolated gardens, the rationale falls down when applied to broad scale 
land management issues and ecological contexts where the roles of mammals 
are intrinsic to ecological balance. My 'problem' with veganism is really 
on this level, especially when this diet is evangelised as being the 
saviour of the environmental problems we face, and hurts when people with 
a balanced, eco-sensitive omnivorous diet are branded as 'lesser' human 
beings. (Grahame - I'm not accusing you of this but there are a lot of 
vegan dietary facists around which becomes rather off-putting)

I respect peoples personal choices about what they choose to or not to 
eat, and cater for all kinds of dietary preferences here during courses, 
for wwoofers etc (omnivour, vegetarian, vegan, raw foodies, satvic/vedic, 
gluten free & so on). Meat is usually only served once or twice a week as 
a 'treat' for the meat-eaters and many vegetarians enjoy breaking out and 
trying some as I only use organic free-range products (which our local 
Nimbin butcher specialises in) and they feel comfortable indulging in 
animal products that have been raised naturally and respectfully. 

While its understandable and important that people react against animal 
factory foods, especially in Europe where this is the norm (particularly 
now with the mad cows disease disaster), it's also critical that growers 
raising animals organically and naturally are supported to encourage good 
farming & integrated livestock practices. In Australia I feel more 
ecological guilt eating grain products that result in an average soil 
loss of 27 tonnes of top soil per acre per year (2kg of top soil for 
every loaf of bread) than eating lamb or beef grown free range on 
permanent pasture. 

In the end, one could assume that our perspective of the prevailing 
issues around food are largely derived from the kind of agriculture 
systems we see practiced around us, and how deeply we choose to look into 


Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Education Centre
home to: 
Permaculture Education
ERDA Institute Trust
Nimbin Eco-Village Project Office
Robyn Francis - permaculture designer & educator
PO Box 379, Nimbin NSW 2480 Australia
Ph 02-6689 1755 Fax 02-6689 1225
permed at

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