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Organic Farming: Supporting Factory Farms?

Some people may say that the animals these byproducts are derived from are already being “used for other means” and thus using their bodily functions and internal fluids to grow crops is still an environmentally sound thing to do. Waste not, want not?

It’s true that there is a heaping file of dung to deal with on this planet, but the question is: Are we really the ones that should be paying for it? Livestock in the United States create approximately 89,000 pounds of excrement per second! The nitrogen in this waste is converted into ammonia and nitrates that seep into the water system contaminating wells, rivers, streams and eventually the ocean. And let us not forget the blood, bones, fish sludge, eggshells and more that these farms must also dispose of.

Factory farms have a huge waste problem on their hands and while using manure, blood and bone, and slaughterhouse sludge in organic farming isnít going to fix this problem, industrialized farms have nonetheless figured out a way to get organic growers and us to pay for it. If you buy manure and other fertilizers made from animal byproducts, you are supporting the cruel and environmentally destructive systems these farms practice, instead of forcing them to deal with the impact of their claustrophobic feedlots and toxic slaughterhouses. Even with organic growers and homeowners buying some of the waste, the runoff from these unsanitary facilities is leaking into fields and poisoning our water and food supply.

It is not only possible, but practical and ethical to truly green our organic growing practices both on a large scale and in our own homes. If you’re interested in banning blood, bone, feces and other animal byproducts from your garden and subsequently your table, youíre in good company.

There are a number of organic growers out there that have gone stock-free, such as Tolhurst Farm in Whitchurch-on-Thames in south Oxfordshire, UK. They have been successfully stock-free for over 10 years now, demonstrating that this practice is definitely viable on a large scale! They aren’t the only ones though; there are a growing number of farms worldwide that are going veganic. For a list of these farms check out the Veganic Agriculture Network. This list is continuing to expand, but some stock-free farms still haven’t joined the network. If you know of a farm practicing veganic agriculture that is not on this list please contact the VAN and let them know.

I know many of the people reading this article believe strongly in organics and sustainable agriculture, as do I. This is why from our home garden plots to the sweeping crops that cover this land, we have the right to raise the standard, stop supporting environmentally destructive and unethical farming practices and go VEGANIC!

Look out for my next post on the animal-derived ingredients to watch out for in your fertilizer and their fabulous vegan-organic alternatives, coming soon!

Read more: Environment, Green, Health, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, News & Issues, , ,

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


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11:57AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Never thought about it, thanks for the info.

Read more:

5:40AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

By supporting Green Giant, you're supporting Monsanto and eating GMO the very least!

Please stop supporting Monsanto before they destroy our food supply with their genetic tampering!

9:26PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

Super info .. thank you!

5:45PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

Victoria Pitchford, I would have to agree to your remarks about the price of Organic produce.
I must also admit that I am guilty of the practice. Yet, I am not the one who started the practice, but we arrived at a place that if we did not offer the organic produce at the elevated price, many people would wonder if was truly organic.
What word comes to mind, perhaps, Crazy. You would be right.

We grow in Aquaponics, the initial outlay for production is somewhat high, but the yield is much higher than that of in ground production. We do not see the inherent health safety issues with regard to Salmonella, E-Coli, Listeria and no hormones.

In our "Industry", we have many regulations, or as we have often cited, we are expected to jump through hoops...No, they set the hoops aflame. Just another day in Paradise.
God speed.

11:47AM PST on Nov 26, 2011


If anyone buys Green Giant products they are supporting the 1%.

3:31PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

It's definitely much better to use plant based fertilizers instead of those coming from animals in terms of the use of land and water and food.

10:18PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Buy from neighboring farms.

11:18PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

thanks for the article - enlightening!

12:58AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Never thought about it, thanks for the info.

5:11PM PST on Nov 22, 2011

unfortunately, organic foods are very expensive, and most people I know and polls have shown that people do not buy Organic foods because of the price. Unless the price goes down, I doubt anything will be done. I wish they didn't put chemicals in our foods, but there's hardly any regulation, and governments/the rich have their nose in everything.

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