What do plants eat? They eat dead animals; that’s the problem. For me that was a horrifying realization. You want to be an organic gardener, of course, so you keep reading “Feed the soil, feed the soil, feed the soil…”
Alright. Well what does the soil want to eat? Well it wants manure, and it wants urine, and it wants blood meal and bone meal. And I…could not face that. I wanted my garden to be pure and death-free. It didn’t matter what I wanted: plants wanted those things; they needed those things to grow…
So, I sort played a moral hide-and-seek in my mind. I was left with this realization that I could eat an animal directly, or I could pass an animal through a plant and then eat it, but either way there were animals involved in this process. I could not remove animals from the equation.
I had to accept on some level that there was a cycle here, and it was very ancient, and ultimately very spiritual. It was really hard for me to accept the ‘death’ part of that equation. Years. It took me years to finally face it. But there wasn’t any way out of it if I was going to grow things.
Lierre Keith, on gardening as a vegan; October 8, 2009 on Underground Wellness Radio (via weeta)
alexanderpf: I try very hard not to sound like an ignoramus — but this is pretty damn absurd. A cycle on some level?! This reminds me of the comment by Derrick Jensen regarding pacifism.
If we love we cannot ever consider violence, even to protect those we love. I’m not sure that mother grizzly bears would agree, nor mother moose (I’ve heard it said that the most dangerous creature in the forest, apart, of course, from civilized humans, is a moose when you’re between her and her child), nor many other mothers I’ve known. I’ve been attacked by mother horses, cows, mice, chickens, geese, eagles, hawks, and hummingbirds who thought I was threatening their children. I have known many human mothers who would kill anyone who was going to harm their little ones. If a mother mouse is willing to put her life on the line by attacking someone eight thousand times her size, how pathetic it is that we construct religious and spiritual philosophies that tell us that to attack even those who are killing those we most dearly love—or those we pretend we love—is to not love at all.
But I guess Lierre Keith is above those lowly animals…