Jaipi Sixbear is an established author of hundreds of helpful online articles. Jaipi learned to garden at an early age. She has old and new tips and tricks for growing your best garden ever.
If you’re vegan and trying to set up a homestead garden, you might be frustrated with homesteading shows or articles. After all, they do tend to focus on or feature animal use. The good news is that it’s perfectly possible to have a homestead garden as a vegan. Animal usage is not a necessary piece of the puzzle when it comes to living a sustainable life.
You don’t need animal based fertilizer
Vegetable based manures and composts provide everything your garden needs. Breathe easy. Literally. Because it’s just not necessary to use animal manure on your garden. As a vegan, you probably are already aware of the fact that animal protein originates in the plants eaten by the animals. By the same token, your garden is better off with first hand food as well. That is, nutrition that’s not cycled through another animal, but rather, “eaten” straight from the source.
Chicken keeping is highly overrated
Yes, chicken leavings make excellent fertilizer. Sort of. It’s also more likely to become contaminated than vegetable fertilizer. Plus, keeping chickens is hard work for both you and the chickens. The hens are worn out from being forced to produce more eggs than they would naturally. Male baby chicks are killed at birth because only the females are sale-able, etc, etc. You know all that. Plus, you’ll be having to keep away predators, which also impacts natural balance. And those spare, unfertilized eggs? Well, they’re not useless to the hens who need them for calcium. So, keeping chickens isn’t as wholesome as it’s cracked up to be, even if you don’t eat the eggs.
Honey is for the bees
It may sound harmless to collect honey from beehives. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There are many reasons why vegans don’t include beekeeping as part of homesteading. There is, however, a good alternative. Placing items that might serve as a home for a colony can bring them to your garden. There, they can help pollinate your crops. Just one thing: Don’t harvest the honey. The bees need it much more than you do. And don’t order bees for your hive. Many die in transport. We need more, not less, bees in this world.
How about those worms?
Worms live naturally in vegetable based compost. Therefore, using said compost might be indirectly considered as animal use. It’s not, however, intentional, since worms will inhabit your soil, whether you put them there or they find it on their own. Worms are quite happy, tunneling around, creating new dirt for your garden. Yes, sadly, there may be a victim from time to time, what with having to turn the compost and till the garden.
Prevent some casualties.
Your kids don’t need cruel lessons
We’ve all heard how wonderful the lessons kids learn on animal farms are for them. The reality is that many of the lessons learned are harsh and unnecessary in today’s world. How traumatic is it for kids to raise livestock that ends up on the dinner table or being sold to a slaughterhouse? If you’re vegan, you’ll be glad to know that sustainable farming doesn’t have to include animal use and abuse. Instead, your kids can learn to live in harmony with their fellow animals by not treating them as products.
Keeping it simple follows traditional ways
In pioneer days, people raised or hunted animals out of need. That’s absolutely true. However, nowadays, with every possible fruit, grain, vegetable, herb etc. being readily available, all our nutrition can come from plant sources. Vegan gardening is much simpler and kinder. There’s no need to harm other animals and upset the natural balance. We can grow (or purchase with our harvest money) more than adequate plant life to sustain us now. Our ancestors knew to keep it simple. There’s nothing simpler than gardening cruelty free and as close to nature as possible. Vegans can have a homestead garden without any animal use at all. Isn’t that nice to know?