What Is Veganic?

The word veganic is a portmanteau of ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’. Veganic
agriculture brings together all the positive aspects of growing crops organically while simultaneously eschewing all additives derived from farmed animals. This is important because most organic agriculture relies on fertilizers that are byproducts from the meat industry, such as manure, blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and fish emulsion. Instead of these, veganic farmers feed the soil using green manures, plant-based composts,
mulches, and other vegan methods. Furthermore, the goal of most veganic farmers is to build the soil and maintain its fertility over time through a holistic systems approach, rather than by merely adding a fertilizer. Under most definitions, veganic farms also exclude animals that are farmed for their flesh, byproducts or labor.

Veganic farming constitutes a response to numerous animal rights, environmental, and health concerns connected to animal agriculture. In rejecting the use of farmed animal wastes, veganic growing practices delink plant farming from the systematic exploitation of animals for food. Most of the animal by-products used in organic agriculture are derived from factory farm operations, a very important source of greenhouse gases; veganic agriculture avoids directly subsidizing this climate-impactful industry. And, antibiotics that may still be present in trace amounts in farmed animal wastes are not introduced to veganic farm fields.

Small-scale, organic animal agriculture is touted by many in the environmental movement as a solution to climate change but it reproduces many of the same problems as large-scale animal agriculture. A food system based on veganic farming would use far less land and water, protect biodiversity and regenerate our soils. Let’s move beyond the false solutions of all sides: veganic agriculture is a real response to the many environmental, animal rights and health concerns connected to industrial and animal agriculture.