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Re: vegan permaculture
>2 of our 3 perm/terns are vegans & I had to honestly tell them that I
>didnt know of many examples of animal less permaculture, the plants for
>a future project in the uk is the only one I can think of off hand.
>anybody know of any US ones, especially somewhere in the midwest that we
Hmm. Well I'm sure they exist, but IMO "vegan" and "permaculture" are
kinda mutually exclusive, with all due respect to PFAF who do tremendous work.
I don't mean that everybody has to eat meat. That's a diet choice. I
don't eat it myself in fact. But the vegan philosophy - that is, that any
use of animal "products" is exploitative - just doesn't fly in the real
world, in my experience.
The thing is when you set up a Permaculture site, it has to include animals
- if not domestic ones, then wild ones. The world has plants and animals
in it and it needs both. If you decide you're going to be vegan and be
self sufficient, food-wise, then what happens is if you don't have
domesticated animals, the wild ones move in and start eating your food. At
that point you have to do something about it or you will have a wildlife
population problem in a big way. That's the "problem" with abundance!
Possibly you could get around this problem if you encourage and are able to
attract other predators such as cougars or wolves. However I think it's
kinda folly to say that cougars and wolves are predators and humans are
not. There has never been a vegan tribal society and there are good
reasons for that.
Anyhow what a lot of people will do who don't want to kill animals is to
fence them out of their gardens. If you're vegetarian and you have to grow
a lot of grains and legumes to feed yourself, this becomes a problem
because you've had to fence off, and possibly clear, fairly large
quantities of land to accomplish this. You could preserve a lot more of
this land if you were willing to kill a few deer and eat them. The deer
eat things that you couldn't eat anyhow. And the deer or other wildlife
are in any case liable to die if they are fenced out of their usual
territory and cut off from resources that are normally available to them.
Just ask the Kalahari bushmen whose antelope herds were found piled up dead
against farmers' fences. You think that because you didn't eat the cow
that nobody had to die to feed you, but you don't see the thousands
antelope that died because somebody fenced them off their land in order to
grow your soyburger.
There is no way around the problem of having to kill something in order to
eat. All living things have to do that and if you don't kill when you must,
you end up killing a lot of things that you never see because you ran from
that responsibility. I still struggle with this issue myself, but I do
realize that one can't philosophically defend veganism, especially if you
are trying to follow the permacultural principles of interrelationships
between all things. Sooner or later you reach an impasse.
I certainly won't eat factory farmed meat, which IS exploitative, but to
compare animals in a permaculture situation to factory farms is just like
comparing home grown veggies in a PC site to genetically engineered,
factory farmed soybeans.
Well anyhow... don't mean to stir up a big argument or anything, just some
food for thought and an explanation as to why there aren't more vegan
= Lee =
Lee A Flier
Atlanta and Ellijay, Georgia, U.S.A.