What are organic vegetables? It’s vegetables that haven’t been fertilised with chemicals, and if they have been, the amount of chemicals used is not as high as on the non organic vegetables. And here, dear vegans, is a catch. It turns out that not all natural fertilisers are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Here is why this is so and how I found that out.
Living in a countryside, I meet people who maintain and pick vegetables for a living. It was from such a person that I heard for the first time that organic vegetables in Germany are fertilised with powdered hooves…
I honestly admit that it shocked me. Maybe for some it is an obvious fact but it stunned me. I don’t eat meat for several years to eat a carrot grown on bones.
Approaching this logically, hooves are probably slaughterhouse waste and powdered probably have a lot of calcium. So why throw it away? Nevertheless, personally I would rather not eat them!
Sources of animal derived fertilisers
Reading into the topic, it turns out that fertilisers of animal origin are easily accessible and come in many different forms. Quite often they are made of meat and fur industry waste.
The cruel sources of fertiliser include:
- Guano – made of manure of wild animals, birds and fish. Also produced from the remainings of fish and whales or entire fish.
- Blood meal. Dried and blended animal blood. Often added to bagged soil.
- Waste from the fur industry – leather meal.
- Apart from hooves, fertilisers are also made of horns, bones, feathers or hog bristles.
- The contents of animal stomachs and intestines are also used.
Do not worry. The are plant powered fertilisers too.
Not all fertilisers are of animal origin. The ethical and eco friendly ones include:
- Herbaceous fertilizers
- Rock meal
What do we do with this now?
We have no way of knowing what fertilisers were used vegetables we buy as producers don’t tend to share this kind of information. We can always call them up and ask but this could be a long and not necessarily effective task, unless you buy all your produce from one, trusted farmer.
The best thing we can do is grow our own vegetables and produce our own fertiliser for example from nettle or other wild growing herbs. I don’t know about you but I don’t feel comfortable knowing that although I haven’t been eating meat for a few years now, I’ve been eating veg grown on animal parts.