Not all vegan foods are as green as they seem

It is no secret to many vegans and vegetarians that fertilizers are sometimes used in agriculture, made industrially from … animal remains. In addition, some fertilizers (“pesticides”) are known to be deadly to insects, worms, and small rodents, so vegetables grown on such fertilizers, strictly speaking, cannot be considered a fully ethical product. The website of the respected British newspaper The Guardian, which frequently covers vegetarianism, has been a hot topic of discussion.

“Fish, blood and bones” is what vegetables are fertilized by, according to some of the most pessimistic vegans. It is clear that even the organic remains that are introduced into the soil by some farms are already a by-product of the slaughter, and soil fertilization in itself cannot be the goal of slaughtering or unethical animal husbandry. However, even considering this fact, in the vegan community, of course, no one is inspired by the possibility of consuming slaughter products, albeit indirectly, mediated, but still!

Unfortunately, the problem raised by British journalists and bloggers is more than relevant in our country. Suspicions that vegetables can be grown “on blood” apply, in fact, to all vegetables from the supermarket and from large (and therefore most likely using industrial fertilizers) farms. That is, if you buy a “network”, branded vegetarian product, it is almost certainly not XNUMX% vegetarian.

It is not a panacea to buy fruits and vegetables certified as “organic”. This may sound unethical, but you must admit, there is actually nothing more “organic” than the horns-and-hooves of unfortunate cattle that have already found their last refuge in a meat-eater’s plate … This is really sad, especially since formally (at least in our country) the farm is not required to specifically indicate on the packaging of its vegetable or fruit products if it was grown using fertilizers containing animal components. Such products may even have a bright sticker “100% vegetarian product”, and this does not violate the law in any way.

What is the alternative? Fortunately, not all farms – both in the West and in our country – use the remains of animals to fertilize the fields. Quite often, “truly green” fields are cultivated precisely by small, private farms – when the field is cultivated by a farming family or even one individual small entrepreneur. Such products are available, and they are quite affordable, especially through special online stores that offer both “baskets” of farm products from the manufacturer and various natural farm products by weight. Unfortunately, in fact, only in the case of cooperation with individual, small entrepreneurs, the consumer has a chance to directly contact the farmer and find out – how does he fertilize his field of beautiful vegan tomatoes – compost, manure, or is it “hoof horns” and fish leftovers? I think there are people who are not too lazy to spend a little time and check how the product that ends up on their table is received. Since we are thinking about what we eat, isn’t it logical to think about how it was grown?

In fact, there are many ethical “100% green” farms. The application of fertilizers only of plant origin (compost, etc.), as well as those obtained in a way that does not imply the killing or unethical exploitation of an animal (for example, prepared horse manure) is quite realistic, practical, and has been used for many years by many farmers, in all countries of the world. Not to mention that such a practice is ethical, then – if, of course, we talk about small farms – it is also not ruinous from a commercial point of view.

How can you grow a truly ethical vegetable that is not fertilized with animal ingredients? First of all, refuse ready-made, industrial fertilizers – unless, of course, you are 100% sure that it does not contain slaughterhouse waste. Since ancient times, people have used, among other things, ethical and even purely vegetable recipes for preparing fertilizers – first of all, different types of prepared manure and herbal composts. For example, in our country, comfrey compost fertilizer is often used. In Europe, clover is widely used to fertilize the soil. Various composts from farm waste of plant origin (tops, cleanings, etc.) are also used. To protect against rodents and parasitic insects, mechanical barriers (nets, trenches, etc.) can be used instead of chemicals, or companion plants that are unpleasant for this type of rodents or insects can be planted directly on the field. As many years of practice shows, there is absolutely always a “green”, humane alternative to the use of murderous chemistry! Ultimately, only a total rejection of the use of ready-made fertilizers and insecticides guarantees a truly healthy product that can be eaten with confidence and given to children.

In European countries, green methods have been applied at the industrial level for more than 20 years, in ethical farming. ์Such products are voluntarily labeled “stock-free” or “vegan farming”. But, unfortunately, even in progressive Europe it is far from always possible to find out from the seller how exactly this or that vegetable or fruit was grown.

In our country, many farmers also grow vegetables in an ethical way – whether for commercial or ethical reasons – the only problem is to get information about such farms. Fortunately, we have both farmers and private farms who specifically grow truly 100% ethical products. So there is no reason to panic, but if you want to be really sure, you should be interested in the origin of the plant food that you purchase in advance.



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