Are vegan foods really vegan? Not at all, says a US farmer from Maine, referring to the use of cow manure in organic farming.
Will Bonsall is a 45-year-old American who enjoys a self-contained lifestyle on a rural Maine property. He is an active member of a vegan farmer group that aims to revolutionize organic farming – which rejects the use of some chemicals and opts for animal by-products such as manure.
"There is a bit of disconnection, even hypocrisy, in vegans … We vegans like to put on our (vegetable) dishes grown with methods that are very unvegans," argues Will Bonsall, quoted by British newspaper "The guardian"." Most organic farming focuses on manure, "he explains," cow manure, animal manure but also blood and bone meal. "
The vegan diet excludes any animal derived foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey.
And Will Bonsall wants to warn that organic farming defaults to the use of animal by-products to fertilize the soil, meaning it supports the large-scale livestock industry. What is unethical, defends as a vegan and organic farmer.
Bonsall is one of about 50 vegan producers in the United States, according to Mona Seymour of Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California), author of a book on self-sustaining production (Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening), in which he presents his method of cultivating "perennial foods with minimal fossil fuel and animal by-products".
Basically, industrial agriculture – which uses synthetic chemical fertilizers – is vegan from the point of view that it produces food without manure and other animal by-products, he argues.
"The next step is organic farming without animal manure," says Jenny Hall, a 25-year-old vegan and head of the British organization. Vegan Organic Network. "But within the organic movement it is still controversial."
"For a long time, no one cared about the organic movement because it was just a group of hippies," says American Will Bonsall. For decades, many argued that if world agriculture were organic "we would have to decide which third (of the world) would starve" because there was not enough production. "A lot of people are doing it now and I'm just one more."
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