Veganic agriculture is an approach to growing plant foods that encompasses a respect for animals, the environment, and human health. Also known as “stockfree” “vegan organic” and “plant-based,” this is a form of agriculture that goes further than organic standards, by eliminating the use of products that are derived from confined animals and by encouraging the presence of wild native animals on the farmland.
Organic farmers are currently permitted to use animal products as fertilizers, such as manure, blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, and fish emulsion, but these animal products are often obtained from intensive farms and slaughterhouses. Not only does large-scale animal farming have a heavy impact on the environment, most modern farm animals are kept in highly confined conditions and are exposed to a variety of contaminants. Veganic agriculture breaks the link between livestock operations and the production of organic plant-foods by maintaining fertility using plant-based techniques.
Like organic agriculture, veganic doesn’t use the following products for growing plant foods:
- No pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides)
- No chemical fertilizers
- No genetically modified organisms (GMO)
In addition, veganic agriculture doesn’t use agricultural products that are derived from animals:
- No blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, fish meal, fish emulsion, shrimp compost
- No manure
Instead, veganic agriculture uses plant-based techniques for fertility:
- Vegetable compost
- Green manure
- Chipped branch wood
- Crop rotation
- And all other techniques that are sustainable and don’t rely on the exploitation of animals.
Beyond that, veganic agriculture seeks to demonstrate a more sustainable way to farm, with reduced dependence on fossil fuels. As much as possible, veganic farmers produce their sources of fertility directly on the farm. The veganic maxim is that by feeding the soil, the soil will feed the plants. By adding organic plant-based materials to the soil, this produces rich living soil that is bountiful with microorganisms, which in turn feed the plants and create long-term fertility. Veganic techniques aim to replenish biodiversity of plants and animals, and veganic growers are dedicated to the care of the wild ecology that surrounds and makes up their farmland.