Thursday, April 30, 2015

10 year Veganniversary / Fruitarianism, most ethical diet




It's almost May, and I didn't want to forget to mention that April marks my-so-called Veganniversary. Ten years ago this month, I had an epiphany: that all People and animals have the same needs, desires, and want their life protected. And I began to extend this ethical principle into my diet and lifestyle. I chose not to consume animals, and use, or wear any animal by-product. I stopped using shampoo, shaving cream, body wash that was tested on animals. Other things that changed in my life: I began using a Diva Cup instead of tampons and pads; bought clothes secondhand, stopped frequently shaving and showering. I translated a superficial idea of Veganism into my life for many years.
I realized that including the food I called ethical is certainly not always ethically grown. Commercial fruit and vegetable agriculture were grown using methods that harmed other beings as well. Vegan "foods" can be considered unethical when the farmers are required to spray pesticides among other things to kill the insects. Another practice of commercial agriculture is that the soils are tilled which kills frogs, snakes, worms, moles, microbes that live in the soil. The farmers and pickers are usually working under horrible conditions of hot temperatures, long hours, fast labor, all the while being underpaid when the grocery chains are getting paid outrageous profits for selling to customers cheaply.
How is the fruit and vegetables I eat considered ethical under those conditions? This led to my second epiphany three and half years ago. Literally when I was working a desk job as a secretary--I was researching how to grow food, how to build a house with earthen materials, using solar energy, and foraging. With the new knowledge, I could not go on living a normal life.
Shortly afterword, I quit my job to pursue a life of homesteading. At that time, I also quit going to college because I was studying a degree I was not interested in any longer. Also my whole college experience was like living two lives. I made sure to focus on school and research, but I made time to party, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, stay up late, rarely sleep, eat vegan junk food, and make unhealthy choices--which led to my quest for optimal health on the raw vegan diet.

picture of me and a cabbage head I grew
As I am writing this, I understand that there are aspects of my life that continue to be part of the environmental problem. I still buy things wrapped in plastic (which I don't always recycle or re-purpose). I am not using solar energy at the moment, because that is an investment we have yet to make. I am not living in a cob home, and I am not using a composting toilet. I am not drinking water from a spring, and I am not eating solely from the food forest. And yet I continue to make steps towards this lifestyle which I desire to pursue.
It's true I could have kept a job to pay for essential homesteading items. Instead I have chosen to live a life without money (or little money). If I had money I could buy solar panels, and buy the straw bales and other materials for the cob home. And as it goes, I have chosen to work harder without getting money involved. We have chosen to live with little money, we are temporarily building a cob home next to my family and growing food on family property. Because of this, building and growing come with challenges, delays, and setbacks.

In my experience, most people prefer to spend a lot of money for less time and less effort put into a house, food, energy, etc. People would rather buy a home than build one, or people would rather buy food than grow it. I am the opposite. Instead of buying lumber for raised beds, I'll go to the woods to scavenge logs for raised beds-- which I haul and drag myself. That's my life. I prefer to spend all my time and effort on projects rather than making money to buy the lumber.


last years Spring garden, April 2014
Of course I would love a trading system, exchanging trees, plants, seeds, and other things for ones I need. I have traded many things before without involving money. I could do many things if I had the money. In fact, in the last three and a half years of gardening, I could have bought a hundred fruit trees; but I try not to think of it that way. I try to think in terms of accomplishments instead of what we lack. I think, I can save the seed from fruits to grow and propagate in the future without buying a tree. 




Of course you can check out the collection of fruit trees in our food forest in previous posts: Blooming Fruit trees in the food forest and Fruit trees & Fruit bushes we are currently growing (Garden update July 2014).

Ok, so I really went off on a tangent from Veganism to growing food to money to transcendentalism... What I mean to say is, I have come to see how we eat, how we make money, and how we live to be interconnected. And all people's choices affect other beings. By creating a food forest for myself and my family, I can ensure that we eat in times of shortage, depression, or economic collapse. The edible landscape I create could potentially feed a new generation of people. Humans have controlled and conquered all life from deforestation, slaying of animals, producing an abundance of waste. But Humans have the potential to create a brighter, healthier, and abundant Earth (something I mentioned in my last post: Beautify the world with guerrilla gardening, graffiti art & tips on seed bombing).
typical box of groceries for me

A true ethical lifestyle is one consisting of no waste or recycles supplies, and a diet consisting of Fruit that was foraged, and/or grown in our own backyard. This is the lifestyle I am searching for. I have deep connection to the woods, hunting fruit, climbing trees, being barefoot and naked, breathing fresh air, and surrounded by plants.


When you choose to be vegan, you question every facet of your life. We begin searching for the answers which are provided by nature...
  

7 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your Veganniversary, and for making big strides toward an ideal way of life; when you follow the logic of localization, sustainability and veganism,​ it all does ​ultimately leads to one thing: ​vegan homesteading.

    And as you said, "a true ethical lifestyle is one consisting of no waste," so that vegan homestead would ideally be zero-waste as well. Humans do indeed "have the potential to create a brighter, healthier, and abundant Earth," the main problem however is that most people are not approaching that potential because of something too often overlooked, the "elephant in the room" of land & water costs, control and taxation. Because of that humanity remains handicapped by (and enslaved to) coercive social-systems that produce evermore increasing destruction, toxicity and illness. Therefore the ideal needs one more addition, the word sovereign, as in sovereign homesteading land, which should be a free birthright of all women & men on Earth. This is why I phrase the ideal as "zero-waste sovereign veganic homesteads, making up voluntary gift-economy communities." The gift-economy aspect you also brilliantly mention in this post, it is a natural part of natural communities, but in order for such communities to flourish, people need free access to a fair share of land and water, no longer oppressed by the root injustice of having to pay other humans just to live on this planet. Otherwise full-time self/community-sufficient veganic homesteading is something only a very small percentage of humanity can actually engage in. I explain this further on my wordpress page, any feedback from you is welcome. I added your page to this one on veganic gardening, let me know if you know of other vegan homesteaders out there I can highlight: https://sites.google.com/a/veganmail.com/veganicrevolution/

    Keep up the great work bringing a heavenly lifestyle to Earth and giving others a glimpse of what life could be like outside of corporatist urban wastelands.
    Peace,
    Colin D.

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    1. You are seeing life similar as I do, and for that I am grateful knowing that other people feel the same. Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing the blog, Colin. Do you use facebook? It would be nice to share ideas there as well.


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    2. If you look on the left side of the page, you'll see a list titled "Sustainability & Gardening sites" which will directly link you to vegan gardeners such as
      Victor VanRambutan's garden, Banana Sanctuary with Robert Fulop, John Kohler from Growing your greens. I would say vegan homesteaders would be Terra Fruitis with many people involved, and Yogagarden Hawaii, also with many people involved. I know there are many more, but I can't think of them all at the moment.

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  2. :) That's awesome to hear of these other vegan growers, the only one I was already familiar with was John Kohler (I actually have one of his videos waiting to be watched in a browser tab right now), I will update my veganic page, thanks. I also hadn't seen all the other great links on the sidebar of your site before, well done with that, I will browse through them more.

    I canceled my facebook account a while a go, and speaking of that, yesterday I just watched the documentary "Terms and Conditions May Apply", which added a lot of info to what I already knew on why it's not such a good thing; you can watch it for free here: http://thoughtmaybe.com/terms-and-conditions-may-apply/
    I am on twitter though, I find it not as bad, more purely info-sharing: @landequality
    Of course in-person remains the best though, natural interaction & community can't be beat by modern tech.

    I just checked out your Art page too, really nice photos... I'm guessing you like some of the work of Georgia O'Keeffe too? I worked at a veganic farm for a while in New Mexico near where she used to live, I miss it, currently back in the city :/ waiting for another good vegan work-exchange opportunity to come up.

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    1. The only reason I continue to use Facebook is for sharing and collaborating with other vegans, and also to keep in touch with family. Actually that's how I know of some friends growing their own food forests and groups coming together to grow fruit farms.
      Thank you for taking an interest in the art page as well, and thank you for sharing Georgia with me--I love her paintings of flowers...such an erotic feel to them, haha.

      Good luck getting back to the country~

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  3. Thanks, and yeah her paintings do. On a less beautiful front I recently heard about this off-the-grid family in Kentucky (maybe near you?) who home-schooled and didn't trust vaccinations (both smart things) and because of that apparently was subject to the children being take by the State, really awful. This police-state tyranny shows the true side of the system that keeps the Garden of Eden away from the majority of people (through their forced membership/funding/citizenship), it can't be ignored and just hoped to go away you know? People are saying they neglected the children because the house was not well-built, and that's why the kids were taken, but how is that the business of the State? What kind of precedent is that? Here's the family page:
    https://www.facebook.com/MyBlessedLittleHomestead
    Also you can search under #Kentucky10 on twitter.

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