What do plants eat? They eat dead animals; that’s the problem. For me that was a horrifying realization. You want to be an organic gardener, of course, so you keep reading “Feed the soil, feed the soil, feed the soil…”
Alright. Well what does the soil want to eat? Well it wants manure, and it wants urine, and it wants blood meal and bone meal. And I…could not face that. I wanted my garden to be pure and death-free. It didn’t matter what I wanted: plants wanted those things; they needed those things to grow…
So, I sort played a moral hide-and-seek in my mind. I was left with this realization that I could eat an animal directly, or I could pass an animal through a plant and then eat it, but either way there were animals involved in this process. I could not remove animals from the equation.
I had to accept on some level that there was a cycle here, and it was very ancient, and ultimately very spiritual. It was really hard for me to accept the ‘death’ part of that equation. Years. It took me years to finally face it. But there wasn’t any way out of it if I was going to grow things.
Lierre Keith, on gardening as a vegan; October 8, 2009 on Underground Wellness Radio (via weeta)
OK, I’ll do it. I’m going to commit to eating only humanely raised pigs, or ban pork when in doubt. I don’t eat a lot of pork, so it should be easy, hopefully. I was just talking about this with an acquaintance over dinner the other night. We were in the Deer Cafe in Vesterbro, Copenhagen and I ordered baked cod with mustard sauce. It was garnished with two slices of thick bacon.
Lars, a shy Swede and nerdy computer programmer, told me that he only eats wild hunted swine (aka wild boar). It was more natural, he said, and better for the conscience.
He explained that Denmark is one of the largest producers of pork in the world, and that factory farming of pigs was a terrible, horrible business that he couldn’t support. He talked about how pigs are highly intelligent, have personalities, and can feel happiness and pain.
I listened intently while munching on thick bacon strips in between swills of some dark ale. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, perhaps even overblown since the EU supposedly is very strict with respect to agriculture and factory farming. Even though this video was shot in the states, and is a horrible nightmare to watch, I fear that the 22 million pigs(!) that are slaughtered each year just in Denmark do not live anything but short, brutal lives. I am so confused at why this happens in 2012. Wikipedia has an entry on intensive pig farming in the U.S., here.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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