Getting a confession out the way. About a third of my meals are 100% vegan. But in balance, an evening dinner rarely doesn’t contain meat. I like to think this is normal. Nutritionally balanced. A healthy diet, that supports a healthy farming ecosystem of arable and livestock. What’s not to like about that? Well, everything if you are vegan. My diet is completely unacceptable. I am uncaring, without empathy, blah, blah. This labelling tends to push me towards believing that outspoken vegans are nutters, who just like the sound of their own voices.
But this is really the problem with vegans: They only care about life above the ground.
Sheep matter, worms don’t. Cows matter, soil microbiology doesn’t. Pigs matter, organic matter doesn’t This being a solid health magazine first and foremost, you can see where I am going. Grazed land has some of the best soil microbiology. “The golden hoof” has been written about many times in these pages. Farmers look to bring in as much manure as possible, as with it comes the biology needed to grow healthy, nutritious and sustainable food. Livestock are an essential part. Yet vegans are usually oblivious to this argument. Because what goes on below ground doesn’t seem to matter to them.
Fields of soy / corn rotations are what’s needed to save the planet. Grown with lots of herbicides and synthetic fertiliser in soils that have lost all their fertility. That is how to get to net-zero. Despite the glaring issue of it not being sustainable or closed loop or near to net-zero. Soil isn’t sexy, it’s hidden away, out of sight. It’s hard to understand the massive impact of what below the ground can have in the world. But it is critical to the argument. Beans, rye, brassicas are all good to have in the rotation.
These crops grown on regenerative farms should be the staple purchases for the like of Huel (the vegan health food). But many vegan food companies seem have little interest in regen ag. Unfortunately, being vegan is enough for them. However, their products could be even kinder to the planet if products were sourced from regen farms. These companies should represent the main sales channels for regen farms – as their goals align with what we can deliver. However, that is not the case currently. But it should be our aim to supply them (at a premium).