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  1. #1
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    feeding your plants...

    This is actually in response to a response on the cloth menstrual pads thread, but it is in fact a completely different topic. I think it was soapandwater who said that you can soak your used cloth pads and then use the water to feed your plants.

    We just planted some herbs and veggies, and when looking around at plant food and potting soil, realised how much animal matter goes into some of them. We're not vegetarians, but I feel like I couldn't feed my home-grown tomatoes and rosemary to vegetarians or vegans if I fed them with plant food containing animal matter. I guess I feel like using your soaking water is kind of the same thing. Or am I just being weird and/or overly cautious? Can any vegetarians or vegans fill me in on their opinion on this?

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  3. #2
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    menstrual blood is definitely not the same thing to a veg*an as animal blood. it's like asking if vegans breastfeed their own babies. if it comes out of your body, it's probably cool. however, i bet a lot of people would be totally grossed out if they knew your tomatoes were fed with menstrual blood, so you might not want to tell them.

    i use manure from my horses as fertilizer, so that's not an issue for me. i don't buy blood, feather, or bone meal, but i can't really control what is applied to the vegetable crops i eat. there's a point at which even a vegetarian has to draw the line, right? i'd rather eat food that doesn't have blood meal applied to it, but i can't track down the farmer that grew the tomatoes in my tomato paste and ask them either.

  4. #3
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    I'm not vegan or vegetarian myself, but I know a lot of people who are and they are concerned with the fact that animal products are not freely given by the animal, as opposed to say, your menstrual blood. The animals ground up into fertilizer didn't have a choice, while you do - does that make sense?

  5. #4
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    Seems to me like bone meal and blood meal are waste products anyway - if everyone was vegetarian, no one would start killing the cows for fertilizer, right? Plus I bet many people, veg or not, would be happier to eat organically grown stuff than stuff grown with chemicals.

    Even if you're buying manure, it's probably manure from livestock that's going to be killed, and the only reason they're fed so much that they poop so much is that someone's going to eat them too.

    It's like vegetarians who consciously wear leather because it's less ecologically harmful than pleather. And there are lots of veggies who don't eat meat for health reasons too, not just ethical ones.

  6. #5
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    Thanks for the good responses. I guess it is pretty difficult to eat veggies completely devoid of animal matter unless you're growing it all yourself under strict circumstances. And even then, who knows what's in the soil, or even in the water? (Ok, I'm not going to go there...).

    stella - thanks for the point about breastfeeding, I suppose I was more concerned about the gross-out factor to not rationally think that one through.

    And yeah, I definitely think that it's more ecologically sound to not use chemicals, I wouldn't want to put them on my tomatoes. And also to make good use of waste that would otherwise just be waste.

    And I can now logically see the difference between something like bone meal and manure. (My brain is often in a low gear, excuse me for saying silly things).

  7. #6
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    using bone meal is actually a bit risky because of mad cow/prion diseases which concentrate in the spinal column I have heard. I know we stopped using it when we heard this cause we didn't want to breathe it in.
    I think that using blood water is a lovely form of activism that I would imagine a vegan would support!
    It is an excellent plant food.

  8. #7
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    Another thing to think about is "You are what you eat." A concern with using manure and animal products is the chemicals, such as growth hormones, contained in the feed comes out in the manure or animal products and is then absorbed by the plants and then consumed by people. The same thing holds true for people. If a person takes lots of medications and eats a lot of processed foods, those chemicals pass through your body as well. Just something to think about...


 

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