[permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [SANET-MG] organic standards for vegan or vegetarian consumers/farmers?]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Wed Feb 3 10:00:50 EST 2010

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] organic standards for vegan or vegetarian 
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 09:40:46 -0500
From: Frank Teuton <fteuton at VIDEOTRON.CA>

Hi Hector,

No one farms without the presence of animals. Whether macrofauna, such as
cattle, sheep, poultry, but also wild animals like deer, rabbits, marmots,
mice and voles, and of course birds, or mesofauna like earthworms and
various other insects or invertebrates, down to microfauna like mites 
and on
down to protozoans, animals are integrated parts of agro-ecosystems and our
actions inevitably favor some whilst injuring, even onto death, numerous

A literary op-ed on this is Robert Burns well know poem, "To A Mouse, on
Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough"


Anyone who tills the land is putting animals to death, at some scale or
another. And too much tolerance of animal presence in your fields may mean
you get no crops....if you've ever seen a nursery in the spring where 
every little tree has been girdled by voles, ye ken of wot I speak, eh?

Obviously, you can substitute alfalfa meal for chicken manure, or hay for
animal manure in general, but the animals in the soil, well, only a no till
approach even begins to leave them in peace, and it is nature's way to have
the voles and the marmots try to move in when the opportunity is there.

Compare any farm or garden you can think of to the natural ecosystems that
surround it, and measure the degree to which those agroecosystems have
displaced natural ones including the animals in them....that should be in
the 'vegans' minds. What had to be done to clear the field for the kind
sweet gentle soybeans, or to cut the alfalfa or other hay?

To my mind the only system that even comes close to the veganic ideal is
some kind of permaculture forest garden:


Having said that, I think it also should be said that permanent pasture
never getting plowed, but producing pasture products like milk, wool, and
yes, eggs and meat, may actually involve less animal abuse than a tillage
system based entirely on plant inputs....

The best standard for anyone with particular moral issues in agriculture is
of course to know the farmer, and know the methods....and to use their own

The TANSTAAFL principle is always in full force and effect, and self
enforcing in one way or another; our awareness of it ebbs and flows with 
illusion(s) du jour acting as blinders.

My two cents,

Frank Teuton

More information about the permaculture mailing list