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How to do Vegorganic

Non-Vegans often to try to understand veganism through thought experiments. 

“If you were stranded on an island, would you spear and eat a fish?”

There is much wrong with this. 

Veganism has almost nothing to do with what you eat. It is to do with your footprint on the planet, the absolute certainty that you know what you are consuming, and the belief in the sanctity of life. 

Therefore, a question formulated to understand veganism which only considers “diet” is not useful in understanding veganism. I am not on an island. I have vegetables, fruits and nuts in profusion. Also, veggie burgers, humus, tofu, etc etc. What you are talking about is “following a plant based diet” (which is good, obviously), but it ain’t veganism.

The great thing about veganism is that it is really easy to understand. You do not use animals for anything. Entertainment, food, clothing, their labour, their wombs. You do not profit from them, and you do not enslave them. 

The great thing about veganism is there are no excuses. There are rules. If you use an animal, you are not vegan. 

“It’s my pet”. No, it’s not “your” pet to own. You feed it, it gives you companionship. For dogs especially, this is good. Dogs need to belong to a pack. You can be the pack leader, but you cannot “own” the dog.

“It lived a happy life and was humanely killed”. No, it didn’t and no it wasn’t.

The most borderline case is possibly mine. I use horse and cow shit from horses and cows I have visited many times. When I tell you that the 3 cows and 7 horses have a better life than the couple who look after them, you can believe me. But. This. Is. Against. Veganism.

“If you were stranded on an island, would you spear and eat a fish?”

Those (apparently, very, very few) of us who are serious about living a completely self sufficient life have essentially put ourselves on an island. The conceptual self-marooned desert(ed) island helps us to understand self sufficiency. Nothing goes in, nothing comes out. 

What you’ve got there is what you have. If you don’t have it, you can make it, bodge it, or do without it. 

However, until I declare the self sufficient Jolly Roger to have been raised atop the flagpole, I still have a supply ship from which I can order items necessary to the ultimate aim.

At this point (once I declare unilateral independence from Planet Human), I shall burn the harbour, throw the radio into the waves, and retire with my 8 discs, book and luxury item.

This is the goal. The three year plan. Year one - Do Not Die.

The fundamentals are easy - improve the soil, and protect the insects.

Digging, clearing, establishing a crop rotation, building insect friendly habitats. It’s a lot of work in the first years.

“Improving the soil” is generally expressed in one of two ways.

One of these is self sufficient and requires animals. The other is is vegan and not self sufficient.

You either use the dung of your animals, or you import tonnes of organic matter from outside - clippings from tree surgeons, waste from breweries and everything in between.

Take a look at @charles_dowding. One day, I will write a post about how much I disapprove his approach to vegetable gardening, but for now, check out the number of posts he has talking about how much organic matter he imports. It’s truly staggering, and in no way can be called self sufficient.  I’m not going to follow his example, and I don’t want to use animal by products. 

So how to resolve this? 

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