Guy De Pompignac wrote:Things to think about :
Produce enought :
* omega 3 (short and long chain)
* vitamin D in winter
i think its the most limiting factors
While I would love to get into the Vegan vs omnivore debate I am going to try and respect the thread starters wish and not go there too much... I have the book The New Complete Book Of Self Sufficiency by John Seymour. John is widely regarded as the grandfather of self sufficiency. The book is an awesome resource for the self supporter/permaculturalist. John was a big fan of having a house cow, preferably a jersey or maybe a dexter. I Quote 'Nothing keeps the health of your family, and your land, at a high level better than a cow. If you and your children have ample good, fresh, unpasturised unadulterated milk, butter, buttermilk, soft cheese, hard cheese, yogurt, sour milk, and whey, you will simply be a healthy family, and that is the end of it. A cow will give you the complete basis of good health. If your pigs and poultry also get their share of the milk by products, they too will thrive. If your garden gets plenty of cow manure, it too will thrive. This cow will be the mainspring of all your health and wellbeing. He then says that if you followed a regime of grazing and crop rotation on one acre of land (admittedly with hay bought in for the winter) ' I would be very surprised if, after following this regime for a few years, you did not find that your acre of land increased enormously in fertility, and that it was producing more food, for humans, than many 10 acre farms run on ordinary commercial lines.'
If you had 2 acres of well managed land, it's likely you wouldn't need to bring any hay or outside feed in for your animals. The cow would provide all of the omega 3, winter vitamin D, protein and good fats for a family for the year. Combined with poultry, maybe a few pigs, whichever grains and vegatables grow well in your climate, and fruit and nut trees, that's ample nutrition for anyone.
Now as for the vegan diet being more healthy, natural, and better for the environment and animals. If everyone became vegans, as many vegans advocate, what would happen to all our domesticated livestock? It would be pointless keeping them, as they would just be taking up land which could be planted in edible vegetation. So would we release them to wander around untill they starve to death, or do we kill them all? Do we keep the ones which have usefull products like wool and leather, and then kill them and bury them somewhere where their neutrients can't contaminate our plant food (proponents of veganic gardening seem very concerned about animals or animal manure getting into their food, otherwise known as the 'neutrient cycle') or do we all wear synthetic clothing made out of oil? In a future with little oil, animals are going to once again be needed to provide muscle on farms, from pigs turning compost, to horses pulling manure spreaders over fields, or even bullocks trampling straw into clay to mix cob for building (the traditional British method).
As for a vegan diet being healthier, the fossil record shows that in North America for example, where indians went off their hunter gatherer diets and started cultivating maize in the south, skeletons became smaller and tooth decay became an issue. The Indians further north, whose diet was largely one of animal products with an emphasis on 'guts and grease', the early European settlers were amazed at their muscularity and height. Their traditional healthy animal based diet is the reason Native Americans are so prone to alcaholism and diabetes now, along with other cultures like Pacific Islanders who traditionally had few starchy carbohydrates in their diet.
So back to John Seymour. When he was in his eighties he was convicted of sabotaging Monsanto's GE feild trials in Ireland, still sprightly enough to scale fences and destroy crops. He was instrumental in Monsanto abandoning their GE beet trials. When he was 90 he called his family togeather and informed them he had had a great life and it was time to move on. He died later that week. He may not have lived to 110 like some Japanese or vegans on a restricted calorie diet think they're going to but I reckon 90 is plenty old enough and it shows that all those dairy products did him no harm at all.