In the process of caring for our bodies and our environment by daily choosing the organic lifestyle, we can extend this care toward our fellow living creatures by going one step further. In becoming a vegan through our food consumption, product use, and gardening practices, we can amplify our efforts toward creating a kind and healthy world.
According to The Vegan Society, a vegan is defined as a person “who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet”. Dietary vegans are individuals who strive to refrain from eating any animal products including meat, milk, eggs or honey. Meanwhile, ethical vegans refrain from using animal products in any part of their lives from dining to shopping for clothing to purchasing gardening products. Ostensibly, each vegan prescribes to a commitment toward ahimsa or actions of loving kindness and non-violence for all living beings.
Vegan and organic cultures are complementary and harmonious in nature. When combined, they formulate the voluminous, compassionate veganic lifestyle. According to the Vegan Organic Network, a veganic or stock-free organic way of living repudiates the use of
“artificial chemicals, livestock manures, animal remains from slaughterhouses, genetically modified material and indeed anything of animal origin such as fish meal”. Perspicacious advocates for stock-free organic living have discovered that even organic fertilizers contain unnecessary and harmful animal bi-products and chemicals such as blood and bone meal or antibiotics. As a result of using organic fertilizers, organic consumers and gardeners may inadvertently undermine their own efforts toward unadulterated, sustainable food practices.
Veganic gardeners apply multifarious green practices to promote sustainable living. These practices include using green manures, vegetable composting, and mulching among other sustainable practices. Green manures are synonymous with nitrogen-producing cover crops. With traditional animal manures, the animals are fed these same cover crops that pass through their systems to produce nitrogen-rich fertilizer. In bi-passing the animal interagent, veganic gardeners go directly to the cover crop for the richest source of nitrogen rather than the manure whose nitrogen supply has become diffuse in the animal’s system. These fast growing cover crops including clover, alfalfa, and oats are grown and tilled into the soil between gardening seasons to infuse the soil with rich nutrients.
Veganic gardeners also apply vegetable composting, which comprises a cache of fruit and
vegetable debris layered with leaves or grass clippings that aerate the mixture and properly formulate vitamin-rich soil. Concurrently, hay can be administered to the garden as a natural mulch that feeds the soil with organic matter, suppresses weeds, and propagates worms to further imbue the earth with nutrients.
Simply by adjusting our approach to fertilizing our gardens, we can significantly shift the paradigm toward stronger, sustainable food practices. This shift can lead to a ternary benefit for ourselves, our planet, and the creatures who cohabitate the earth with us. Just by applying veganic principles to our gardens, we are planting the loving and life-enhancing elements of ahimsa. See what beauty and magnificence will bloom.
*Ahimsa garden image from Moving Overseas Guide
*Certified Veganic logo image from Journey to Compassionate Living Blog
*I Love Vegans Image from FARM