Veganism for environment

This subforum is for discussions of any issues and concerns that impact the environment, such as biodiversity, global climate change, genetically engineered plants and animals, human population, animal and nature conservation, natural disasters, etc.
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WrenWyrd
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby WrenWyrd » 12 Jan 2012, 17:20

Hey Kima,

what's bad about a winter's long meal plan of cabbage, carrots and brussel sprouts grown here in OUR soil ;)?
Worry not, I have just bought a book about food preservation! I'll simply need Vitamin C supplements (or doesn't sauerkraut have that? In which case, we're sorted out).
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby DJ Droood » 12 Jan 2012, 17:31

Hey Kima,

what's bad about a winter's long meal plan of cabbage, carrots and brussel sprouts grown here in OUR soil ;)?
Worry not, I have just bought a book about food preservation! I'll simply need Vitamin C supplements (or doesn't sauerkraut have that? In which case, we're sorted out).

mmmm...sauerkraut...loaded with vitamin C...sailors used to take it on long voyages to prevent scurvy and because it keeps forever....here is a fun fact "During World War I, due to concerns the American public would reject a product with a German name, American sauerkraut makers relabeled their product as "Liberty cabbage" for the duration of the war.[14][15] (See also: Freedom fries.)" That made me LOL..
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby poeticoxana » 22 Jan 2012, 00:06

Again, thank you all for all your thoughtful replies.

I do agree that facts should be better known by all sides of the discussion. I agree that as a vegan I should know about the environmental cost of eating tofu. I also know that there are studies confirming the fact that meat-based diet requires times more resources, including land, but especially water.

I would like to emphasise that I never said "Every Druid Should". This is a thread about Environment, and I posted how one could contribute to preservation and flourishing of our shared environment if one chose to do so - base on one's knowledge and beliefs.

I am very happy that there are so many people in Druidry who are conscious about food choices they make. :)
May all the beings in all the worlds be happy

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby Forest Dryad » 05 Feb 2012, 23:19

Interesting article from today's Independent about this.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 23173.html

Even the article has someone who works for an environmental charity (and stood as green party candidate for Cambridge a few years ago), talking about sustainable meat and the importance of cattle in organic farming. I guess he forgets that we produce plenty of vegetable based foods, enough to feed the growing population of the world, but when that's being fed to cattle to produce meat for the (relatively) wealthy, it all becomes unsustainable.

I find that when you start talking about something as controversial as veganism, it's almost like they take it personally, and begin using whatever argument they can to justify meat-eating, even if it doesn't make sense. That's my experience of it anyway. :old:
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby Lily » 06 Feb 2012, 08:19

if you "feed no food", i.e. raise cattle on grass alone, it is a way of using land that would otherwise be less accessible to food production. In the Alpine region this method has sustained a population for the past 5000 years, using high-altitude summer pastures.

our local organic cows are raised that way. Better?
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby LoneWalker » 06 Feb 2012, 08:53

The environmental benefits of livestock production will be to do with maintaining grassland/pasture habitiats and not having the whole countryside either ploughed or overun with bracken and gorse.

The difficulty at least in the uk with suggesting that we only keep livestock on land that can't be used for crops is that because the main "carbon" footprint of livestock comes from methane emissions keeping cattle or sheep on poor land is actually associated with the highest carbon emissions :-( (If anyone wants the references for that let me know and I'll try and find them)

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby paikea » 06 Feb 2012, 09:32

Permaculture all the way. especially forest gardens.

The vast majority of our food comes from within a 3 mile radius from where we live. our meat is reared on a biodynamic farm, our veg from an organic farm or more often our back garden. Veganism for us would be more expensive environementally speaking than what we do now.

I must admit that the whole passive aggresiveness of vegans and vegetarians is really offputting. Veganism is not controversial for me it is simply not something I would consider feeding my family. I find it amusing that it is ok for vegans to quote biased research and when a non vegan uses research or reasons as a counter argument it is "any argument they can find to justify meat eating". I don't need to justify meat eating, I have no issues with it. The people we get our meat from rear it in a very good way and slaughter as respectfully as the law allows them too. I have no issue eating a cockerall from a clutch laid by my chickens. I think veganism very often goes way too far (ie many vegan organisations advocate for cats to go vegan just give them some supplements they say cats, are carnivores!)

If people are going to talk about issues that they find contraversial (like this one) it would be really nice if they could stick to facts and not claim to be right and have the only way.....

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby DJ Droood » 06 Feb 2012, 13:52

Permaculture all the way. especially forest gardens.

The vast majority of our food comes from within a 3 mile radius from where we live. our meat is reared on a biodynamic farm, our veg from an organic farm or more often our back garden. Veganism for us would be more expensive environementally speaking than what we do now.

I must admit that the whole passive aggresiveness of vegans and vegetarians is really offputting. Veganism is not controversial for me it is simply not something I would consider feeding my family. I find it amusing that it is ok for vegans to quote biased research and when a non vegan uses research or reasons as a counter argument it is "any argument they can find to justify meat eating". I don't need to justify meat eating, I have no issues with it. The people we get our meat from rear it in a very good way and slaughter as respectfully as the law allows them too. I have no issue eating a cockerall from a clutch laid by my chickens. I think veganism very often goes way too far (ie many vegan organisations advocate for cats to go vegan just give them some supplements they say cats, are carnivores!)

If people are going to talk about issues that they find contraversial (like this one) it would be really nice if they could stick to facts and not claim to be right and have the only way.....
I think when most vegans or vegetarians rail against meat, they have the Mordoresque "Meat Industry" in mind...factory systems are where the vast majority of people get their flesh, fowl and fish, and the environmental and ethical horrors of "producing" meat that way are fairly obvious.
I would hope that those interested in ethical eating would find common cause....certainly a vegan who eats an "organic" mango that has used exploitive labour and a 5000 km route to get to the table isnt helping the common good...but I would hate to see "Big Meat" using small and local meat producers and locavore meat consumers as a smoke screen to hide behind and discredit very legitimate arguments of vegetarians and vegans.

I also think it is important to extrapolate your food production ideas to the realities of modern populations. With vast urban populations, is locally-grown meat even an option for most people? I think a core of the vegan/vegetarian argument is that a lot more people can be fed with a lot less land and energy if they are eating a primarily plant-based diet. I think a good area of "common cause" would be lobbying local urban governments to allow the raising of poultry in city limits...there are lots of people with suburban backyards who could be raising a lot of chicken and eggs for their family and friends if they were allowed....
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby Forest Dryad » 06 Feb 2012, 14:44

That's precisely it DJ! :D

Paikea - I think it's great that you can have local, biodynamically grown food, but not everyone can, for a number of reasons. Largely, there isn't the land for everyone to do that, especially as the population is still growing, and I have little doubt that feeding the everyone will become an increasing challenge as time goes on.

Aside from that, most people when presented with a more expensive, but organic option in the supermarket, will choose a cheaper less ethical option, especially as for a lot of people times are hard financially. This means that the choice they are left with isn't about sustainable meat eating, or eating more environmentally friendly, ethical meat. :shrug:

People tend to over-consume meat for sure, and I certainly know many people who eat meat a few times a day (my parents for example, who take meat or dairy to work in their sandwiches, and eat meat every night with dinner). When this is becomes a habit, and yet for one reason or another, ethical meat is not an option, the simple thing to do is carry on the same practice, but as cheaply as possible. What would perhaps be a better idea would be vegetarianism, veganism, or as a friend of mine does, limited meat consumption from good sources.

I like the idea of raising poultry in the suburbs. I live in a fairly rural part of the country, and there's quite a bit of that going on here. Personally I don't eat eggs, because it's giving money to the same industry, and I can imagine what happens to hens when they're no longer "profitable". If they lived in my back yard, and I knew they were well looked after, no profit concerns involved, I'd feel differently I think. :D

Also, I should mention that I didn't mean my earlier post to sound aggressive Paikea, and if it came across that way then I apologise. I should point out, that I didn't claim that I had the answers and that my way of doing things was the "right" way. No dogma in druidry, is there! :wink: After all, what we eat isn't merely an environmental issue, and people choose their diets based on ethics, health, and other factors. When that's taken into account, it becomes fairly individual, but I think there are things that most people can agree on. :thinking:

So you know, I believe that the group you're talking about advocating vegan cats and dogs is PETA. They're really popular with teenage veggies, but as someone who's been involved with serious peaceful animal rights activism for a number of years, they're a bit of a joke in more mature circles. I certainly agree that cats shouldn't be vegan!
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby paikea » 06 Feb 2012, 15:23

ACtually I think the majority of people can eat local organic veg if they choose too. People don't want to put the effort where it is needed. You say there isn't the land to do so I say rubbish!! if more farmers would explore alternative farming techniques to the standard stuff they have been doing they would find that their farms can become far more profitable on the same amount of land. I would go as far as saying that they can easily double their harvest within 2 years of starting to include permaculture and Holtzinger principles. The use for irrigation would be reduced (using hugelkulture and standard forest garden principles)

If more people would be satisfied with less and do more. It would require a total turnaround of what we are doing but we can easily produce more food with better nutritional value if we started to work with nature instead of against her

PETA probably advocates for vegan cats but it is not the only one. The UK vegan society also advocates for vegan cats last time I read on their website.

Times are hard for most people but that isn't an excuse! Hubs and I have 3 kids 3 rescued cats, chickens and a guinea pig and rabbit (also rescues) our entire food/cleaning/personal hygiene bill every month is no more than 250 pounds. That includes biodynamically grown meats a few local treats (a nice goatscheese some chutney etc) I bake my own bread (which contrary to what people think takes me no more than 10 minutes a day to have a daily loaf) grow as many veg as I can and obviously the chickens mean we have lots of eggs. It is so easy to say "I can't" when more people need to find ways to say "I can". I think I'll start up another thread to discuss this...

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby Forest Dryad » 06 Feb 2012, 17:51

You know what? I can't be bothered. I'm willing to compromise and agree with you on some points, but you're clearly assuming that your way is correct and everyone else is wrong (which is precisely what you initially accused me of). Forget it. You won't consider anyone else's opinion, and that doesn't make for good debate.
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby paikea » 06 Feb 2012, 18:36

huh? I am debating! you are saying this won't work because of these point and I am sharing my knowledge where it has shown to work.

Please show me where I said that my way is the right way?? How can it be a debate if I can't say my side? I even agreed on the whole over consumption.
Unless you are sitting across the table from me you can't see what I do or don't take into consideration. I considered your points but my experience is different from yours and I disagree.
I'm really not sure why you think this :shrug:

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby Forest Dryad » 06 Feb 2012, 19:25

Darn the internet with it's lack of intonation, body language, and other means of non-verbal communication. I think I misinterpreted your last post as being slightly aggressive and got slightly annoyed. I apologise. :shake:

Debate then! :D I agree when you say that hard times aren't an excuse. There are ways of making things work, and I guess what I was saying is that if you can't eat ethical and environmentally friendly meat, you probably shouldn't eat it at all! And you're right that we need to work with the earth, not against it. I'm not sure I'm with you on the land issue though. Granted, there are definitely more efficient ways of using the land we have, permaculture being a good example. My question to you would be, is that enough? Farmers doubling a harvest in 2 years is an interesting idea, but it'd like to see the maths there. Why 2 years, and why double? I'm willing to accept I may be wrong, but my understanding is that if we factor meat consumption in, we can't produce enough grain to feed livestock and people. Not convinced that different farming methods would change that, but please prove me wrong! :thinking:
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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby paikea » 06 Feb 2012, 20:26

Right why double? erm because its a nice slightly negative middleground. FArmers I have spoken to have said anything between 1.5 to 4x times the amount of harvest as before. Why? its simple if you look at conventional farming it looks like this
x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x

With x being your veg of choice

With permaculture it looks like this
vxd4csdv4vsd
vxd4csdv4vsd
vxd4csdv4vsd
vxd4csdv4vsd

So the same amount of space is densely planted, in layers, the numbers would be trees fruitbaring trees or preferably multipurpose trees (fuel fruits leaves animalfeed). There would be more variation in the crops and you would not see monocultures!
Because of how permaculture principles advise you to grow your produce your need for heavy machinery is reduced, which in turn would lead to reduced expenses.
Things that would be killed like nettle are actually cashcrops so you really use your land to the best of your ability. You plant in a way that is beneficial to everyone.
Ideally you would close the loop (ie have a smallholding) and keep everything on the land you "own" this includes humanure and urine catchment systems. that way the nutrients are always recycled in the land instead of flushed into our drinking water...

The other mistake you make is the assumtpion that you eat the same on a permaculture diet (for lack of a better word) do we need the amount of grain? what can we use instead that would be better for everyone? Chestnuts can be used instead of grain with a far hight nutrional content, higher yield on a smaller scale. the rootstructure would bring up nutrients from deep in the soil and make them available to other plants in the area.

This is why I mentioned we need to make a complete turn around in how we look at the food issue. the current way is not working it is killing the land, wildlife and is reducing our chances of survival in the long run.

We need to look at alternative "land" like rooftops http://rooftopfarms.org/ and we seriously need to stop using stuff that was not meant to go on the land (perticides herbicides and chemical fertilisers).

I am going to start another thread now so we can return this conversation back to veganism :)

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby WrenWyrd » 06 Feb 2012, 21:00

if you "feed no food", i.e. raise cattle on grass alone, it is a way of using land that would otherwise be less accessible to food production. In the Alpine region this method has sustained a population for the past 5000 years, using high-altitude summer pastures.

our local organic cows are raised that way. Better?
I agree with you although, as Til pointed out, these cows would never suffice to cover all of our meat consumption. My answer to this is to eat only a little meat so that I can afford more ethical, healthy, and tasty options.

It is also true that health needs to be taken into consideration: there are so many vegetables and fruits that I have to avoid!
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
Carol Ann Duffy

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby WrenWyrd » 06 Feb 2012, 21:05

This is why I mentioned we need to make a complete turn around in how we look at the food issue. the current way is not working it is killing the land, wildlife and is reducing our chances of survival in the long run.

We need to look at alternative "land" like rooftops http://rooftopfarms.org/ and we seriously need to stop using stuff that was not meant to go on the land (perticides herbicides and chemical fertilisers).

I am going to start another thread now so we can return this conversation back to veganism :)
These all sound like great ideas. I agree that we need to make a big change in the way we approach food.

Oh no, the thread has been taken over by non-vegans :o More seriously, I enjoy being a vegan ally whenever said vegan isn't trying to endoctrinate me and respects my own informed choices. I've had a few bad experiences but usually find that we have a lot to share.
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
Carol Ann Duffy

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby paikea » 06 Feb 2012, 21:22


I agree with you although, as Til pointed out, these cows would never suffice to cover all of our meat consumption. My answer to this is to eat only a little meat so that I can afford more ethical, healthy, and tasty options.
This statement confused me? When you say our meat consumption are you talking about SAD or similar?

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby paikea » 06 Feb 2012, 21:23

Oh no, the thread has been taken over by non-vegans :o More seriously, I enjoy being a vegan ally whenever said vegan isn't trying to endoctrinate me and respects my own informed choices. I've had a few bad experiences but usually find that we have a lot to share.
Lol I just started another thread so this one can return to its original subject :)

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby WrenWyrd » 07 Feb 2012, 09:02


I agree with you although, as Til pointed out, these cows would never suffice to cover all of our meat consumption. My answer to this is to eat only a little meat so that I can afford more ethical, healthy, and tasty options.
This statement confused me? When you say our meat consumption are you talking about SAD or similar?
Sorry, I don't know what SAD is... apart from Seasonal Affective Disorder!
I mean that I strongly support the idea that cows should solely be fed on pastures, and not with vegetables and corn as in intensive farming practices. Pasture land should mainly be land that cannot be cultivated, or land that is being put to rest for a year between crops. If we stuck to such practices, then the number of cows we raise would drop drastically, which means that people would have to eat less meat than they do now, but also that eating meat would not have such a negative impact on the environment (and the animals). I try to make consumer choices that support these ideas.
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
Carol Ann Duffy

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Re: Veganism for environment

Postby WrenWyrd » 07 Feb 2012, 09:10

Here is the link to paikea's other thread: http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewto ... 14&t=40231

I have a question for vegans: do you find it difficult to justify your choices to others in social situations? I am currently on a restrictive diet (for health reasons, so it's not the same thing) and have to tell my loved ones that I cannot eat this, or that, etc. I also have to plan ahead with the organizers of events I'm going to attend. I'm often pleasantly surprised by people's supportive reaction, and I think that vegans, among others, have been fighting hard to open up the public's mind to alternatives.
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
Carol Ann Duffy


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