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not sure where i heard this

 
pollinator
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I think animals share the planet with us, period, no debate about that.

And my experience raising guineas tells me they did wonders for the 1/2-0 inches of topsoil i had around here.

My humanure compost is as good as any cow's when processed properly and it also does wonders for the topsoil.

I do have trouble with large numbers of domesticated animals as a "permaculture solution" because they do require constant attention

I'm looking for a system where i don't have to work at all, no cows to feed and water and keep the flies off of.

no herds of goats waiting for the lapse that lets them run rampant eating fruit and berry bushes that i depend on.

Maybe it is a bit idealistic at this stage of the process, and maybe we do need to tolerate running large herds of domestic animals while getting marginal and desert lands back into forests.

Maybe it is good that there are still lots of meat eating humans to keep the profit in systems that are helping to bank carbon and are reducing poisons etc at the same time, but also maybe there is a better way than that.

And i really don't know all that Joel has to say about veges and their systems, i was mostly addressing something i heard or read after or during the voices conference that sounded to me to be antagonistic to veges . but i really don't have time to go back and find what it was and i'm not going to worry about it anymore. evidently no one else noticed.

I tend to be in agreement with a lot of joels methods and general philosophy, the need for humans to be meat eaters is probably the one issue i could debate, but i still would teach his methods especially as a model to farmers who do still eat meat and want to perpetuate that system.

we are looking for earth repairing permaculture systems that will work for everybody, if there is a single overwhelming truth about diet optimums, it has yet to be recognized by everyone, and maybe there never will be one "truth", but there is only one earth (that i know of).

 
Posts: 65
Location: NW lower Michigan
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This is like the family dinner table convo around the holidays.... Different strokes for different folks.

Please, enlighten me.

How have you avoided any killing, enslavement or byproduct use of animals for 30 years?

I do believe in vegetarianism, so I don't need that lesson, but when I tried veganism, I did not have super powers... More like super deficiency. I realize this is anecdotal, and could have been my particular vegan diet. So... I ate some sushi and a grassfed tenderloin and have never looked back.

How are you producing your vegan diet?

Do you consume honey, or use beeswax in your lifestyle?

Do you till the soil, or do you avoid harming small creatures like earthworms in your food production?

I am truly curious, really.
We keep rabbits, chickens, and pigs for the soil and protein yeild, and you are right that it is a lot of work.

With a nursing mom and a protein hungry 1 year old, I can't see another way for us right now.

But, as Paul says in that podcast posted above, (page 1) I am thankful for your sacrifice.
 
bob day
pollinator
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First of all, I'm vegan cause i want to be, i didn't give up anything, i changed my choices

But i do see this as a grand experiment--I've said for a long time now that i plan to live to be 120 at which point i'll see how things are going to figure if i want to keep going--Dr. C used to say the body was built to last 1000 years

before i only knew about peanut butter, now i know about almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter......my mouth waters to think about all the delicious combinations

i think animals have a place in permaculture systems--which animals, for how long, and how many is probably a good topic to look at

when i kept guineas i trapped and killed predators, but in the end they won anyway, now i'm not sure what i want to do about animals, the whole thing seemed so futile, i felt terrible for raising birds that were only slaughtered by other animals, and i felt bad about killing the animals that were killing my birds

i do raise compost worms, i don't like to kill worms, but i do turn over the soil when i first start a new bed to decompact it--actually not many worms in this clay anyway,

i don't grow all my own food --yet

and maybe i'm not really vegan, what type of vegan eats honey

i might have ideas different about what proteins are better for children, when someone asks for advice on converting to veges i suggest that meat is less problematic than dairy--but lots of kids are raised vegan with no ill effects (assuming they get proper nutrition, and aren't candy bar vegans)
the hardest part for them is peer pressure in school

if you're raising all your own food, you're doing much better than I am and i understand that animal sources may be easier to come by while trees and other systems are coming online




anyway, gotta go

 
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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if people around here stopped raising cows the elk would be able to have so much more land to roam and that would be a lot better. over grazing is not good for the land here at all and grazing in a way that mimics the elk (and this way does add carbon back to the soil) is not profitable so even the 'best and kindest' ranchers out here don't do it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Meryt Helmer wrote:...grazing in a way that mimics the elk (and this way does add carbon back to the soil) is not profitable so even the 'best and kindest' ranchers out here don't do it.



I thought lots of people in California did successful MOB grazing.
 
bob day
pollinator
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without really knowing, i wasn't aware that elk were big time grazers, i thought they were more browsers.
 
Meryt Helmer
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they are able to be successful with the cows but in doing so all the native grasses are unable o grow there and the grasses that do grow are not very good at leasing with dry summers and drought is even worse for them. the elk that are native here are very similar to the cows in how they graze and even the bacteria in their manure (if not given antibiotics and wormed) and the places they are allowed to live naturally we have native grasses that stay green all summer long and do fabulous in a drought. so yes they are able to make profit with the cows but at a great cost to the environment. if they grazed fewer cows over more land it mimics what the elk do. i guess what would really be ideal is get rid of the cows take all that land let elk graze naturally and then allow people to hunt the elk to keep their population under control and we would eat elk rather than cows.
 
bob day
pollinator
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when it dries up there do the elk migrate away and then return when the grass is lush again?
 
Meryt Helmer
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where the elk stay we have native grass and the native grass stays green all summer and does not dry up
 
bob day
pollinator
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My question really would be what are the migratory patterns of the elk, are they there in the same numbers throughout the drought cycles?
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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I think they just are forced to keep the number of elk very small here because the land they would migrate on is being used to farm cows. I don't know if tule elk do migrate or not. the ones near me got infected with a disease from the cows also so they can't move them around to where other tule elk are. my point though was if they either kept the number of cows they are farming down low enough and moved them around fast enough we would have lush native grass everyplace or better yet just get rid of teh cows and go back to elk and eat the elk since I think the only elk predator left here are mountain lions. That would be better for the area than farming cows. the reason I don't see this happening is that they would need to have so few cows that it would not be profitable. they instead choose to keep too many cows to an area which prevents native grasses from growing. they have to do that to make any money. from a lot of perspectives it is sustainable and the cows are better off than if they where being raised in other ways. i just think looking at the whole picture it really isn't very good to do it the way it is being done.
 
bob day
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oh, i don't think anyone would question that, conventional agriculture continues to come up with one bad consequence after another, disease, pestilence, impoverishment of soil and the landscape in general. The degradation of grasslands from cattle farmers doing it WRONG yes, i said it, i made a judgement there, which i usually don't like to do, and i wouldn't lead off with that if i was directly trying to persuade a cattle rancher, more and more i'm finding the ability to really know detailed information about topics scientifically is one of the best things to take to that discussion. Generalities sound like BS, they need somebody who knows everything monsanto knows, and then on top of that everything elaine ingham and geoff lawton, bill mollison, allan savory, and joel salatin can add to the discussion

That includes knowledge of cattle price trends, costs of vet visits, medications, conventional pasture treatments, really understand everything as well and better than the ranchers that are right down in it, and then, understanding all that, have direct answers at the ready as to how they can get out of the holes they have dug themselves into.I doubt that very many cattle ranchers are doing what they're doing because they hate the environment, most just don't have the information they need to make things right again, and they're so busy trying to keep up they don't have time or the will to research alternatives, and telling someone who's invested their living in a dream that they have to move off the land and let the elk have it isn't going to get any traction.

Quite a big job, guess we'd better get busy



 
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I was a strict vegan for a long time, (even went fruitarian for 10 month), but am not any longer. I find meat impossible to eat (I do not judge meat eater), sorry to say this, but I find it disgusting. But I do not eat dairy, eggs, extremely rarely fish, and on rare occasions mussels. So what do I eat? Insects, worms, mostly store bought (I live in a city). Weird isn't it, that I find meat disgusting, but can enjoy eating insects (in moderate quantities), while many meat eaters would find that not in their taste.

Veganism is an artificial IDEA, and is totally removed from our physical reality. For instance: things that vegans love to consume such as peanut butter, chocolate, wheat, noodles, ground cinnamon, thyme etc, have quite high amounts of insect fragments, and the food industry allows only a certain level for each type. When harvesting, lots of animals/insects are caught and killed...

The more I read about it, the more I realise that insects have been and are still an important part in our diets (sure in hotter climates, there are more bugs): termites, caterpillars, grasshoppers, worms, ants...

Between 1978-81, in Thailand, there was an outbreak of locusts in the maize fields, the government did not manage to control it, so after a while, the government did a campaign to promote the farmers eating the locusts... It worked so well, that today, some farmers even grow the maize in order to raise the insects rather than harvesting the maize

In Japan, at each rice harvest, there is the grasshoppers harvest. In Korea, when the use of insecticide for rice growing spread, people stopped eating grasshoppers, but when they went organic, the coops made a nice benefit from the large number of grasshoppers sold in connection with the rice harvest.

We seem to forget the small critters, attention seem to get stuck on the big animals... For instance in Africa, there is a competition between the very nutritious mopane worms and elephants, they use the same trees. Elephants are very well know to destroy trees, just by walking around. There is a very strong protection programme in many places in Africa for elephant, which is good, but if the population gets too big, it just leaves a trail of distraction behind.

In some places, the Aztecs managed to develop a complex society without domesticated animals, instead they had insects and insects eggs, semi-cultivated in marshes and ponds.

The native indian americans would make a "fruitcake", made of pulverised grasshoppers + berries, easy to store and great for winter food. (Btw, when they tried their first prawn, they said it tasted like "sea-cricket". And a westerner might, when trying a cricket, call it a "sky-prawn"...)

And then we have environmental aspect, I don't have the numbers around, but compared with beef, the use of water was so much more efficient. And no butchering and all that ugly stuff. You can eat them whole.

Vegans like to point out, we don't have claws and fangs, we are not hunters. I agree in a way (though I don't see tools as evil as many fruitarian do). We are gatherers, and yes, I remembers those african boys going out in the early morning to go pick the grasshoppers (when it's cold they don't move). You don't go hunting shells, grubs, worms, you pick/gather them...

Go to Asia, Africa, Mexico and there is quite a lot of insect eating going on. This is definitively the future, I've heard of more and more restaurants in the US and Europe who are into this... But, there is a shortage of grubs for sale, there is a great market out there !!




 
bob day
pollinator
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Your diet is probably closer to true omnivore than most people would like to believe

. I can see native hunters getting the occasional deer, but in the gathering mode where most of the diet came from, insects would have been much more present.

If the stuff ever hits the fan and i get hungry enough, i will be right there with you eating grubs and locusts and everything else that doesn't make me sick, unless i have managed to put together a really productive food forest and most of the insects are already food for some other critters, i personally haven't developed a taste for them even though they are so natural, so it will be a last resort

the idea of eating bugs to control them has occurred to me before, seems sensible enough.
 
Keira Oakley
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I have tested a bit of different insects, I have to say that the tastiest ones are from the tropics, sago worms and bamboo worms, (high fat content, are more like a treat) but also difficult to get. Grasshoppers are nice, roasted. Roasted giant ants from Colombia were also nice, but not cheap. Usually I go for the cheaper meal worm or buffalo worm, they are ok, taste a bit nutty.

Interesting is the view of lobster and shellfish, maybe 150 or 200 yrs ago, they were not seen as nice food, but were used as ground fertiliser or given to livestock.

Also, in Europe, insects are seen as something negative, they eat crops (often fed to livestock). So it's insects versus livestock.

Another interesting thing is that a few have tried big factory production of different insects, but no one has succeeded yet, (not sure why). But done on a smaller scale, it works, and is usually quite easy. I like the idea that huge scale farming is not possible, but small scale works...

And insects can be a good cash crop. In Niger, locust are picked in millet fields, and the locals make more money from the locusts than than from the millet itself!
 
Meryt Helmer
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I totally believe humans are meant to eat mostly plants and then bugs (not limited to insects) and possibly eggs since they seem like something early humans could get pretty easily. I am finding all of this fascinating. I have had giant ants in Colombia and I did not like them much. that was like 20 years ago though and hard for me to remember what they where like.

maybe we need a thread someplace on eating bugs? what section should that be in? I would love to learn more about catching crickets and grasshoppers and preparing them.
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Meryt Helmer wrote:maybe we need a thread someplace on eating bugs?


here's one
and another
but wait, there's more...
 
Keira Oakley
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Thanks Leila for the info.

I read that the average american eats 2 pounds of dead insects per year, found for instance in herbs, veg, spinach, broccoli, beer (LOTS in hops: up to 2500 aphids per 10g!), canned tomatoes, canned fruit juice (maggots), fig paste (up to 13 insect heads allowed ). Honestly, I think that it is good, that way at least the vegans get a bit of B12 without knowing...
I've heard of an experiment done in a lab with fruit bats. They were fed good fruits, but after a while started to get sick and die. Some scientists believed that it was because of the lack of worms, worm eggs and other small insects... There is no such thing as pure veganism. I am happy I'm not stuck in mindset anymore
 
Keira Oakley
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Some yrs ago I was trying the fruitarian thing and was following a forum called 30bananas a day, run by an australian couple. They are strongly vegan and make videos where the guy often has clothes with VEGAN written on. The girl has big breast implants that stand out unnaturally from her thin body, and she likes to talk about health and detox (...and bananas and veganism).
This is a very heavily censored site. Any mention of her implants, any criticism (even done in a polite and constructive way) concerning the diet or veganism is immediatelly erased and the member closed our from the forum. There are many members, usually very young people who are maybe just a bit curious and not doing it 100% (luckily!), but there are few extreme cases. One guy would talk about not eating things with yeast or fermented food, because eating microorganisms is not vegan!!! Well, must be hard to avoid, as most fruits and veg carry yeast etc on their surface.
30 bad as the forum is called, is almost like a cult. And I would say the same of many health coach (not all of course), rawfoodist and vegan... One guy called Doug graham runs 30 days fasting retreats in costa rica, that cost crazy amounts of money. A few people have died from his retreats, and recently one young woman ended in the hospital, and her situation was VERY critical for a few days. Doug is vegan, and more or less fruitarian since a long time. His appearance has definitively deteriorated a lot. He used to look super healthy and glowing in the beginning, now he's just like an empty shell: many people have commented on this: how come, he who is a super health guru? Something is clearly wrong with the whole thing.
 
bob day
pollinator
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i'm not an expert, although i know many reputable systems that advocate fruit juices as part of an initial cleansing in cases where there may be diseases, or just to get the body cleaned in general for a more balanced regimen that includes veges.

Technically, yeast is somewhat of a mystery, starting as a single cell that almost classifies as a plant, but developing into fungal form under certain conditions (as in candida)

and of course according to paul stamets and others, fungus has many of the abilities and needs of animals (they've taught fungus to learn a maze) so this should totally confuse a lot of people if they ever do join fungus with animals in a super kingdom

all the more reason to avoid gurus who are dogmatic about anything
 
Keira Oakley
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It's one thing to cleanse the body for a few days, a few weeks or even a few month, you don't need to be an expert to understand that. That's obvious.
They advocate a diet with more calories than normal, not for a limited time, but as a "way of life". (they prefer not to call it a diet). You're supposed to do this for the rest of your like: binge on fruits. (they advocate to eat as much as you can). These two people are really just kids, have absolutely no training/education/deep understanding in health.
The funny thing with Freelea, the girl with the big implants, is that she talks about detox, but she herself is a big advertising image of plastic toxicity : those implants, no matter what they are made of, are TOXIC. Trust me, I know quite a lot about implants. And she's sending a bad message to all the young girls out there following her at youtube.

Sure, the whole thing with fungus, yeasts etc is interesting, but the point was that there are some vegans who say that fungus and lactic acid etc is not vegan... lol, I don't know, I find this really funny in a way, but it also show some sort of fanaticism or something...
 
bob day
pollinator
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I've been vegan long enough to feel i have very positive results with my life style, about the only tweaking i plan to do is incorporate more homegrown, foraged, raw stuff into my diet

and maybe more juices too, but fanatacism is just silly, i eat honey sometimes, sometimes i don't, but if i gave it up it would be to reduce my overall sugars, not because it has some bee venom in it as a preservative
 
Keira Oakley
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if you eat honey, then you are not a vegan...
why use the term and ideology of veganism? it does not exist in reality.
there is a site called "beyond veg", about a lot of longterm ex raw vegan and other people.
 
bob day
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as far as i know there is no actual word for a vegan who eats honey, and if there was i probably still wouldn't worry about it.

I was calling myself vegan before all the finer points of not wearing leather or eating honey actually became such a big deal, so i consider myself grandfathered in to the vegan club, and occasionally i have gone for years without honey, but maple syrup and the like is just so damn expensive, and i'm not going back to table sugar and corn syrup, although i will probably look at sweet crops i can grow, sorghum or some such, but by the point where i'm truly self sufficient, i probably will only be eating fruit most of the time anyway

by the way, thanks for the tip about beyond veg
 
moose poop looks like football shaped elk poop. About the size of this tiny ad:
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