50 Shades of Vegan Farming

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Conventional farming practices are a heavy burden to our planet’s health and to our health. Most vegan farmers are a conscious bunch that not only try to lessen the pain for animals but also the negative impact that “modern” farming has on our ecosystems. Agriculture needs to change in order for us to survive, and the more it moves towards vegan farming, the better.
From a permaculturist’s perspective, I have to say though: Small and slow(-ish) steps are great! Farmers are under great financial pressure and often have to aim for where the subsidies are. If a farmer changes from cattle to plant farming, but still uses manure – super! If a biodynamic farmer stops selling milk and meat but still uses some cows for fertilising – go for it! If an urban gardener fertilises his soil with the help of a worm compost – great!
Change needs time, and everyone who is ready to take steps in the right direction is helping.

What can we do as consumers?

As a permaculturist and soon-to-be farmer, my personal favourite solution, for now, is the combination of vegan agriculture and animal sanctuary. I see the positives of creating an abundant ecosystem, animals included. And I see an opportunity to help animals that are already here, to give them a second chance. My vision is to create a space where plant food grows abundantly and a couple of rescued animals live out their lives, roaming happily among the plants.

The clickbait title mirrors my thoughts: there is no black and white in vegan agriculture, it comes in different shades. What ties it all together is the common goal to stop using animals. And in this interconnected, globalised world, we all play our parts: As farmers, as consumers, as politicians, and as human animals.

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