Veganism and gardening: is it possible to create a completely “plant-based” garden?

The main purpose of veganism is love and gentle care for the environment, animals and also people. In gardening, this mentality brings huge benefits that are available to virtually everyone – “plant-based” gardening is much easier than you might think. If you want to protect your green beds as much as possible from diseases and feed them sustainably, and thus also protect the environment and yourself, it is important to choose only organic and plant ingredients for the care of your garden.

The main purpose of veganism is love and gentle care for the environment, animals and also people. In gardening, this mentality brings huge benefits that are available to virtually everyone – “plant-based” gardening is much easier than you might think. If you want to protect your green beds as much as possible from diseases and feed them sustainably, and thus also protect the environment and yourself, it is important to choose only organic and plant ingredients for the care of your garden.

Veganism is not just a popular trend. Veganism is a way of life that is currently extremely popular and on the rise. It is basically a philosophy that seeks to reject any exploitation and cruelty to animals. Be it in nutrition, clothing, cosmetics and also in gardening. The main idea behind veganism is a life without exploitation. It also advocates compassion, sustainability and balance. Veganism therefore has a very important ecological note, while at the same time loudly opposing the meat industry. Currently, the latter is well on its way to becoming the biggest polluter on the planet, right behind the oil and fashion industry.

It is merely a simple principle of gardening, where all animal products are replaced by plant ones. At the same time, vegan gardening is essentially organic and without negative consequences for any organism and ecosystem. With such gardening, you do not endanger the environment and ethically create a crop that is safe to cultivate. At the same time as creating your own vegan gardens, you are not supporting the meat industry, intensive agriculture, or potentially dangerous fertilizers. With plant-based beds, you have to be a little more careful with what you fertilize the plants with, what substrate you choose and what pesticide you use to spray the crop.

This is not just about exploiting animals, it is also about protecting the animals and yourself. Did you know that pathogenic substances such as diseases, bacteria and viruses are brought to your garden by animal remains? It is really easiest to fertilize flower beds with extra strong fertilizers and control pests with pesticide welds. But it is necessary to imagine what consequences such actions can bring to the environment and people. In vegan gardening, there are a myriad of other options that gently provide a healthy crop and lush garden.

Animal manure, which has been used to fertilize plants since time immemorial, is usually full of many bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are deadly to humans. These are, for example, E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Campylobacter. Antibiotics and hormones used to raise animals are also problematic and of course find their way across the entire digestive tract, resulting in them being found in manure and on your plate.

What the consequences of transmitting the virus from animals to humans are becoming increasingly clear with desperate epidemics – from swine and chicken flu to the pandemic that has reigned around the world since early 2020. It’s not just animal manure that should be to avoid. Animal residues are also present in fertilizers, which bring a bunch of diseases. These are, for example, blood and bones, which are found in products as by-products, as they are swept off the floor of slaughterhouses.

There is a lot of research on how fertilizing with animal manure and fertilizers with animal residues increases antibiotic resistance in humans as well. Such fertilizers are applied directly to agricultural land and create outbreaks of bacterial resistance, both on plants and later in humans. The formation of super-bacteria is a great recipe for environmental disaster.

There would be nothing wrong with fertilizing the gardens occasionally and in small quantities with animal manure from eco-farms and with fertilizers that are organic. However, as soon as the products of intensive agriculture or mass production are at stake, we will receive artificial ingredients and poor quality, which destroy the natural bacterial composition of the soil and consequently enable the emergence of disease.

In gardening, where you want to avoid animal debris in the biggest arc, choose methods that are organic and sustainable. The fertility and liveliness of the soil is completely feasible even with only natural ingredients and without a flood of toxic dirt. Below are some tricks that you can use yourself to create healthy flower beds.

Before the spring preparation of the soil, simply sprinkle quality compost – Vegipost on the surface and bury it lightly so that it decomposes naturally. To protect your fingers, it is also great to use a mat that can be dug into the ground up to 5cm deep. In this way, the soil will retain its fertility, and the mulch will protect it from water evaporation and erosion due to wind and rain. The mulch also protects against weeds. So get rid of a whole bunch of flies at once! The best mat is, of course, the organic one, without dyes and impregnations. Raw coconut crumbs work great.

Birds are already chirping about the importance of compost in the garden. Composting is a natural process where organic material decomposes, creating a home-made fertilizer with a high proportion of humus. In composting, the main microorganisms that make humus are. If you are a gardener and you have the option of composting, roll up your sleeves quickly. Composting is very easy, but it must be done properly, like any other thing.

Organic food residues are the basis for compost as it will break down into rich nutrients for soil and plants. Create layers of food scraps, leaves and cut grass by loading larger and coarser material (pieces of wood) on the bottom and continuing to load increasingly finer materials. What doesn’t belong in compost? Mowed grass growing along the road and food scraps that have traveled a long way to supermarkets and are most likely full of pesticides. Before use, the compost must be sieved to extract larger particles and those that do not decompose, such as nuts. Be sure not to put plastic packaging, printed paper, weeds, oil and other inorganic materials that do not decompose on your compost.

Plants work the same way as humans when we meet anew. We quickly make friends with some, while we look at each other ugly from afar. Individual plant cultures thrive perfectly when planted together, and certain ones can in no way thrive in coexistence. The reasons why certain plants are incompatible are not entirely clear. They say that plants that don’t like each other compete for the same nutrients. Plants from the same family are not recommended to be planted together as they are susceptible to the same bacterial, fungal or viral infections. At the same time, they also have the same pests, so it is wise to keep them apart according to peasant logic.

You invest a lot of time and care in flower beds, but what quickly happens is that pests come by and all your efforts go to the franchises! The usual solution for gardeners are pesticides and herbicides, which are harmful to our health and the health of plants and animals. If you want to grow safe and juicy tomatoes, choosing aggressive agents is by no means the right solution. Pests are not your mortal enemies, they are the inhabitants of nature who were here much earlier than we are. In principle, we are the ones who break into their homes. For healthy organic flower beds, it is better to use vegan, organic methods of suppressing unwanted guests. Those that ecologically and sustainably protect against unwanted pests of your gardens.

A vegan solution is to protect flower beds before pests and diseases spread. Such solutions are:

Rotate during the year and between seasons. This prevents the rapid reproduction of pests.

Create a hedge by planting plants in the beds where predators live. These are nettles, dandelions or horsetail. Rotten logs are also an excellent habitat for pests.

Use a mat to protect against snails. Sprinkle the organic mat with coconut crumbs along the edges of the beds. The pieces will stick to the snail’s mucosa and prevent them from continuing their way towards your salad.

Use homeopathic products and natural solutions – Pharmacy for plants.

It works on the principle of energetic influence on biological processes in plants. Homeopathy for plants uses the same principles as homeopathy for the treatment of people, only it makes sense to transfer them to plants. The positive effects of such action are vital, strong and resilient plants. Homeopathy for plants allows the care and treatment of plants with a similar – only the strengthening of plants and accurate diagnosis and action. The key to success are potentiation and dilution techniques and complex, definite and logical combinations of mother tinctures. The basis is 25 years of experience in plants and of course the rise of a new plant care system in the last 2 years.

As noted above, animal fertilizers are best avoided. Vegan gardening commands the use of organic fertilizers that are made only from natural, plant ingredients. Compost is a great way to revitalize the soil and feed the plants with suitable minerals. However, compost is not always available to everyone and at the same time it takes quite some time before you can use it for fertilizing. The use of VEGiPOST vegan fertilizers is recommended. These are completely biodegradable and natural fertilizers made from composted and fermented plant extracts.

Vegan fertilizers are 100% plant-based.

They do not contain pathogenic animal residues that cause or transmit diseases.

They promote growth in a natural way, without artificial stimulants.

They increase the activity of beneficial microorganisms that revitalize the soil.

They contain rich nutrients for healthy plant growth.

They stimulate the formation of humus.

They do not contain artificial fertilizers, heavy metals and other toxins.

Social issues and vegan solution

We destroy world

Social issues

The production and consumption of animal products causes many issues related to social issues.

Hunger and malnutrition

“Every day in the world, 40,000 children die due to lack of food. We, who in the West, are changing and feeding on animals bred for meat, eating the meat of these children.”

  • Thich nhat hanh More than 20 million people die from malnutrition in one year and about one billion people, especially women and children in the countryside, suffer chronic hunger. A lot of food (plant origin), which is currently being stored by animals, could instead be used directly for the food of all people suffering from hunger. In order to eat in the end, only one kilogram of cow meat takes at least seven pounds of cereals and other food of plant origin to feed the animals. Among children suffering from hunger, as many as 80 percent, live in countries that actually have excess food – children remain hungry, as farmers use excess grain for animal feed instead of food food. Environment and human rights Livestock production is a major cause of environmental destruction, including global warming. In all parts of the world, a healthy environment is a prerequisite for many human rights, such as: life, health and well -being. Global warming will in the future have an even greater impact in countries where many people suffer from hunger and many problems in the field of human rights are present. The lack of drinking water Drinking water is becoming an increasingly limited source. A lot of drinking water is consumed for animal breeding. Livestock production and other industries are also heavily polluted by water. Drinking water lack is also the main reason for the disease, especially among poor people. The rights of indigenous peoples The main causes for forest shrinkage are the need for new pastures and arable land for animal feed. Forest contraction is often associated with territories where indigenous residents reside, and often their basic rights are not taken into account. Conflict As a result, conflicts and wars between different nations and groups of people are happening around the world due to limited or unnecessary access to water and food. Impact on slaughterhouse workers Human Rights Organization -Human Rights Watch states that slaughterhouse workers do “the most dangerous factory work in the US”. Claving workers are much more likely to become ill and suffer from other workers compared to other workers. In addition to personal injuries, they also suffer at a psychological level (5). Workers suffer from loss of compassion, which allows them to kill animals at all. In doing so, they have to suppress all empathy for animals. The absence of emotions to the suffering of animals is also associated with a greater tendency to services crimes associated with violence against humans, especially domestic violence. More information on this topic is written in the paper (6). Violence The effects of the transmission of humans against animals to human violence have been the subject of some scientific research. The article entitled “Vegan Nutrition influenced the California prison” (4) stated that the results of the introduction of vegan diets were incredibly positive.

Climate and meat

In recent years, the climate has become an increasingly appreciated natural resource, as it has largely affects animals, plants, food production, water sources, well -being and health, production and energy consumption. In addition to natural factors, the climate and its changes have no doubt a great influence.

1.3 billion cows and a billion pigs, estimated by the global population, and other animals used for human nutrition, together create more greenhouse gases than the entire global transport system. Most greenhouse gases, the origin of the livestock, are methane. Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas that, unlike much weaker carbon dioxide, which takes some 100 years to break down in the atmosphere, breaks down in 8 to 10 years. A sudden decrease in the amount of greenhouse gases can lead to a sudden cooling of the planet. (Geoff Russell Csiro Perfidy, 2009)

According to UN reports, we use 30 percent of land for livestock today, mostly in the form of permanent pastures. In addition, about a third of all the world’s cultivated land for the production of animal feed. In order to ensure sufficient landscapes and fields for the production of feed, the tropical rainforest is severely cut down. In addition, large amounts of fertilizers are used in the fields where raw materials are grown.

These facts have an extremely negative impact on the climate and, consequently, all of our planet. However, organic vegan food production generates 94 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than the average meat, milk and dairy diet. What’s more, a vegan driven by an off -road car creates smaller amounts of greenhouse gas than a carnivorous carnivore. Therefore, the UN calls for a global shift to a vegan diet to maintain renewability, as the global human population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion by 2050.

More than 11,000 scientists are calling on humanity for a sustainable diet

More than 11,000 scientists signed the November climate warning in the scientific journal BioScience (Ripple et al., 2019). 12 scientific signatories are from Slovenia.

In the climate warning, scientists list worrying trends that suggest that the climate crisis will cause unimaginably much suffering to humanity if society and the system do not change fast enough and radically enough.

Scientists are mainly concerned about the annual increase in the number of people on the planet, the annual global increase in livestock, the annual global increase in average annual meat intake per capita, the annual increase in world gross domestic product (GDP), the annual global increase in tree losses, the annual global increase in fossil fuel annual global increase in air traffic.

All of the above is responsible for increasing the annual emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere on a global scale. The annual increase in these three emissions is followed by annual increases in atmospheric concentrations of these three greenhouse gases.

So instead of drastically reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the last century, humanity is steadily increasing them. At the end of the last century, it was already known that the safe capacity limit of our planet, which refers to atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, has been exceeded. In the last forty years (the first World Climate Conference: Geneva, 1979), decision-makers have never moved from wording on these topics to active action.

In the November climate warning in the scientific journal BioScience, more than 11,000 scientists call on humanity, among other things, for a sustainable diet. They agree that changing eating habits is the most effective agri-food-nutrition measure to mitigate climate change. They call for a diet based on plant-based foods, which is in four respects better than the average global diet: it has health benefits, causes significantly less greenhouse gas emissions, uses arable land more rationally (with the same area of ​​arable land we produce much more plant food as animal), in addition, it requires much less agricultural land than the average diet and consequently has a greatly increased potential for afforestation of unused agricultural land compared to other diets (Ripple et al., 2019).

The combination of changing eating habits and afforestation increases the potential for carbon neutrality in the agri-food sector (Bryngelsson et al., 2016; Röös et al., 2017; Searchinger et al., 2018a; Searchinger et al., 2018b). If all the inhabitants of Slovenia became vegans, theoretically this measure alone would be enough to achieve the 2050 agricultural targets for climate change mitigation (Jeran, 2019). If the European Union is to achieve its climate change targets by 2050, reducing ruminant meat intake is likely to be at least 50% among the inevitable strategies (Bryngelsson et al., 2016).

Science says that our planet should not be warmed by more than + 1.5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels. We have already warmed it by about + 1.1 to + 1.2 ° C and if it goes on like this, the planet will be really OVERHEAT in 2030. Put pressure on politicians and responsible ministries! We need a rapid and radical transformation of society and the system.

Can a consumer society become responsible for animals, their own health and the environment?

Slaughterhouses are death factories. We all know they exist. Those who buy their products support them to continue their work. Slaughterhouses are not to blame for killing animals, livestock farmers are not to blame, for them it is just a matter of survival. It is the fault of the consumers to whom this business is provided. How to make changes in consumer society, how to raise consumer awareness, make them critical and create a fairer society for people and animals?

The problem with violence in modern societies is that it is systemic. This means that violence is embedded in society and its functioning, such as violence against the environment, migrants, the economically weak and, of course, animals. Simply put: if you want to buy tomatoes, you’ll have a hard time getting them without plastic packaging; if you flee to a safer country as a victim of war and want to work honestly there, you will not get a work permit; and if you’re hungry, you won’t get a vegan sandwich at the gas station. Violence is systemic and thus normalized – it seems that “it cannot be otherwise than it is”, that “we will not be able to change anything” and even that it is so “right”.

Let’s look at this problem in a different way: we humans are mostly very kind to each other today. We greet each other nicely if we accidentally walk to the store, apologize politely, write kind mail, and even if someone gets on our nerves, we are patient. So the problem is not interpersonal relationships, but the system. A system that produces butchers, both butchers and professional soldiers, who are then burdened with “ugly work”, losing the responsibility of the individual consumer. A lot of people say, “It’s not just me doing this. Everyone does that. If it weren’t for me, it would be for others. ”In this way, we transfer the responsibility to professional life-takers, and we wash our hands, saying that they are to blame for everything and we are to blame for nothing. But in reality, people who pursue these professions are often victims themselves: victims of their demographic circumstances, as they usually do not even have the right career choice for economic or perhaps some other reason.

In fact, I myself am convinced that the prospects in terms of increasing systematization and automation of violence are poor. In my opinion, civilization will increasingly resort to devices that will do ugly work instead of man. This can already be seen today: large farms with tens of thousands of animals can be managed, so to speak, remotely, without humans, just as we can shoot people from drones on another continent. I see a great danger for humanity in the process, which will increasingly leave killing to robots and automated devices, and thus encourage it, as it will somehow sweep it under the rug. I am convinced that in ten or twenty years there will be no more people employed in slaughterhouses, except, of course, operators of fully automated conveyor belts, who will not have any physical contact with “livestock”. How to change that? As far as animals are concerned, the story is very simple: stop eating meat and use as few animal products as possible. As far as the military industry is concerned, unfortunately, I do not see such a simple solution on the horizon

The importance of values

We are part of a consumer company that approves of all of the above. Every society is made up of individuals and many disagree with the generally accepted practice of the Holocaust over animals. What values ​​does an individual need to develop in order to be touched by such events, to understand that it is about killing innocent animals, to finally realize that this is not right? How are these values ​​formed?

I think that the problem is not that we do not have or know these values, but that we put them in brackets, precisely because the above-mentioned systematization and automation of violence allows us to escape from direct cruelty we effectively distance ourselves and at the same time avoid responsibility. People say, “Ah, since this sausage is on the shelf anyway, why not eat it?” ). They also say what I mentioned above: “What can I do? If I don’t eat chicken, someone else will! ”Another way: there is no problem with slaughter and suffering not touching us – everyone, except for a really negligible percentage of the pathological population, is slaughter accompanied by blood, dying and the screaming of animals, a force disgusting, so he wants to avoid it. The problem is that smart monkeys have invented a way to force others who are less fortunate into ugly work to do it for us, while connecting a bandage over our heads that prevents us from seeing and hearing bad things. around us so we can dine on our steak in peace with musical accompaniment. It is a phenomenon I call “intentional ignorance.” My thesis is that the problem in ethics is not a lack of information and empathy, but the deliberate avoidance of information and the learned restraint of compassion or numbness.

Extending compassion to all animals

Those of us who have dogs and cats at home find it easier to imagine the suffering of farm animals. We know how to empathize with them and we know how they feel when cruel livestock practices happen to them, e.g. when mother cows are deprived of a newborn calf, when they have to die so young, they would like to live… What about those who have no contact with animals? How should you extend your compassion to all animals?

I see a problem here. Namely: if I have pets, I may be more susceptible to the direct suffering of other animals, but the problem is that I put a blindfold around my eyes again and give these pets these slaughtered animals as food… This is a great moral for me personally. a dilemma as I am a big dog lover. In short: I think those of us who have pets have the same problem as those who do not extend their compassion to animals. Sorry. We just have to be consistent in our thinking and admit everything, even what we don’t want to hear and know. The fact is, however, that the planned breeding of large dogs that eat large amounts of meat is just as problematic as human consumption of meat. I try to compensate for this at least a little by having chihuahuas… But the paradox that on the one hand we are lovers of domestic animals – especially dogs and cats – among those who do not extend compassion to all animals, remains and is not so easy to solve … Of course I understand that dogs and cats do not have the same dietary choices as humans do. They just need meat more. However, this fact does not justify the systematic breeding of such animals. Rescuing them from shelters may still be somehow compatible with the idea of animal ethics, as we help survive creatures that were born by chance and are just here with us in the world. However, producing such creatures that have to eat other animals for their own pleasure and prestige is almost even more controversial than if we simply ate the meat ourselves. The institution of the “pet” is so full of traps and very enigmatic moral dilemmas, including the objectification and commodification of animals, which in the eyes of the owner often becomes a toy, which in my opinion contributes little to the actual moral attitude towards all living beings. After all, we all know the scandals with dog dealers and the conditions in which these animals live – and die -. All because of our “love” for small, fluffy, cute lumps… In short, the path to compassion for all living things is sometimes more a matter of rational argumentation than partial feelings, which are unreliable because they are attracted to what is here and close, meanwhile when they forget the distant and the hidden, which are precisely the animals in industrial meat production.

Overcome selfishness and comfort

Many people are selfish and think only of their own comfort. Is it even possible to move you out of your comfort zone?

I don’t know if I can totally agree with that. I think the appearance of being selfish creates just a distance from violence, that we have deliberately distanced ourselves from anything that would cause discomfort. Namely, if we personally witness some bad things, such as an accident, the vast majority will help us spontaneously, even though we will be at a “loss” because of it. In short, egoism may be in the fact that we close our eyes. However, I doubt that we can say that when we are faced with concrete situations, we are also completely insensitive. These may be just certain soldiers and police officers who are pre-trained in such a way that they must not show compassion, even though there are more benefactors and soft-hearted people than brutalists in these types – I am sure. People are people and it is difficult to find someone with a stone instead of a heart. These are only rare pathological specimens. The problem, as has been said, is that we are systematically hiding violence. Look, after all, how the system has eliminated aging and dying people from our lives, who exhale quietly and silently in overcrowded nursing homes, so that their slowness and the end of life do not “spoil” the youthful atmosphere that our culture favors. . It’s not that we don’t like older people as persons; the point is that the system is set up in such a way that it easily excludes the elderly from the fast pace of today’s life.

Transcend traditions, customs and religious practices

Ingrained traditions, customs and harmful religious practices (eg on religious holidays, when – despite the commandment Do not kill! – most animals are killed) we have lived since childhood. What needs to happen for us to be able to critically reevaluate and transcend them?

I have a feeling that these practices have less to do with religion than with the simple customs that are intertwined with consumerism today. You yourself have pointed out the unbearable tension between principles and practice, between the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ And religious customs. But as I said, this is, in my opinion, a matter of habit rather than religion. I know a lot of religious people who don’t eat meat or avoid it very much – they are usually really religious, deeply religious people. Perhaps customs are actually followed more by those who do not think much about religion and basic religious messages and understand their “faithfulness” more in terms of blindly following habits.

But you ask me how we can overcome this integration into the environment and customs… Perhaps the answer to this critical thinking or critical revaluation you mention. Of course, this immediately raises the question of what makes such thinking possible. In my experience, this is on the one hand courage, and on the other hand a social climate that at least allows deviation from the average if it is not already actively encouraging it. In a society where there is strong conformism, ie the pressure to adapt to others, it will be very difficult to develop critical thinking, as this will mean isolation for anyone who dares to do something a little differently. However, if we create such conditions to promote diversity, then it is easier. I am a lecturer myself and in the lecture hall the difference is immediately seen between a teacher who wants everyone to agree with him and one who accepts different opinions. Only in the latter can we hope for the emergence of critical thinking, because only there will people get the feeling that they will be accepted even if they think differently and that no one will judge them for it. It is important, in short, to try to allow ourselves to be different, even though it often goes to our noses and even though we are sacredly convinced that we are “more right”. Of course, this is much easier said than done: I find myself practically daily in my own confusion…

Animal education system and ethics

Given that children are extremely compassionate towards animals, we can talk about child abuse. Parents, school, and society make emotional robots out of them out of compassion. This could also be prevented in schools, but even these are only a reflection of society. However, when they are taken to livestock farms in schools, they only further strengthen the belief that the exploitation and killing of animals is normal. What do you think the school or. what can teachers do to preserve children’s compassion for other living beings and to raise awareness of animal rights?

Above all, we need to focus on teacher education. I teach myself at the Faculty of Education and it’s really amazing how stereotypically future teachers and educators sometimes think about animals. Often the activity for kindergarten children is to take them to the farm, where the farmer then explains “what” is an animal, and no one even notices that we are the ones who “made” animals for food and that it could be otherwise. Anthropocentrism, according to which everything in the world is for the benefit of man, is a very widespread view and sneaks into every pore of life. Already at the level of picture books and toys for the youngest children. Think, for example, of toys in the sense of “farm” – in addition to the barn, tractor and tools, there are also chickens, pigs and cows in the packaging, as if in this case it is the same as in the first one. We already teach children with toys what “farmed animals” are for. In this way, we socialize children into violence against animals. Gene Myers has successfully shown that younger children are more empathetic to pigs and cows than older ones, because we already teach older people what cows and pigs are “for” and that it is perfectly normal to slaughter billions of them. summer. These are exactly the systematization and distancing from violence that I talked about earlier.

Much like prejudice against animals, it is prejudice against people. In fact, specism (discrimination based on type) and racism are very similar. Sometimes geography is taught in such a way as to show, say, the difference between Slovenia and Africa, without even noticing that the former is a country of two million and the latter of a billion continent! How the hell can you even compare the two? This is much worse than comparing apples and pears – it is more like comparing apples with the whole fruit and vegetable department, and with household appliances on top, or comparing one color with a rainbow that contains all the others. Absurd… In fact, this is the same as finding the differences between “man” and “animal”, not noticing at all that we have one species on one side and 7.77 million species on the other, many of which are more human-like. than each other. Such teaching is possible only and exclusively because of prejudice, and it is unfortunate that these prejudices in educational institutions are sometimes reinforced rather than disintegrated. You see, that is why it is so important that we have quality teacher education and that we work with colleagues at pedagogical faculties to open the eyes of future teachers at least a little and make them aware of what they uncritically accept from the environment and then spread. in classrooms.

Political system

Radical changes in society could be made by the politicians or state bodies we elect (especially the National Assembly and the Government). We should take the right decisions to promote health, promote healthy plant nutrition for citizens at all levels and shift state subsidies from the livestock sector to organic plant farming. The fact is, however, that the political orientation of politicians and their subordination to lobbies (especially livestock) under the guise of profit are often more important than the common public good. Probably only determined politicians could resist this. What personal qualities should politicians have in order to do more for the common good? How should we recognize them before the elections?

I personally think that it is better for politics if it is not based on strong and charismatic personalities, but on sober, rational arguments and conscientious, diligent and responsible officials. I would rather have quiet and collected political speeches than performances, as we can see in our National Assembly, where we really witness below-average rhetoric – I can’t imagine what it would be like if, for example, I lectured at such a low level of speech. I think students would justifiably leave the lecture hall… Well, I want to say that politics should be guided by arguments, not charisma. For charisma is a double-edged sword: if you are lucky, a strong, hard, relentless charismatic politician will stand up for the right things, but what if you don’t have it? Then you will have to deal with all sorts of Trump, Putin, Erdogan and similarly suspicious personalities who are not committed to the right things. In fact, it will happen to you much sooner that a charismatic person will be charismatic in the wrong, populist way. Think about how many historical political figures were charismatic in the “right” way. Maybe Gandhi, Mandela and Luther King – I don’t remember the fourth, and the third was more of a preacher than a politician. However, it is as problematic as you want… You do not get to know a good politician after his performance, but after a political program that you read carefully and shake. The less bombastic promises there are and the more arguments you find there, the better. I think Merkel is a good politician precisely because she is not bombastic and because she is quiet, committed and sober. Now compare her to Salvini. Disaster… So: don’t trust quick feelings! Rely only on arguments!

In short, sobriety is needed in politics, but also more foresight than it is today, but by no means appearances and promises. The problem of profit and capital flow that you mention is related to foresight. If we were far-sighted, of course, we would not hesitate to switch to a plant-based diet, and livestock farming would be just a sample. Now, however, we are forging earnings at the expense of future generations by throwing manure on the shoulders of another. In general, it seems to me that this is the main injustice of forging today’s profits: the cost of production in terms of the absorption of by-products is simply externalized and placed on the shoulders of others. It would be right for those who pollute the environment the most to pay for it… I myself mentioned in my book that the problem with implementing animal ethics is that its ideas are detrimental to the millions of financial flows that will need to be redirected. Of course, this is not impossible – money turns quickly – but it will take some time and effort. Again, a significant part of the responsibility for this lies with the consumer. Someone once said that in democratic societies, we don’t just have elections once every four years, but every time we go to the store. We actually vote with what we buy.

The media

We know that the media have an enormous influence on shaping public opinion, and they depend on the capital that finances them. Therefore, in the meantime, the state should intervene and ban harmful advertisements that mislead and direct people away from health, environmental protection and animal welfare. Any advertisement for animal products should be warned that this is harmful to health, similar to tobacco products. Do you think that such a measure of the state would guide people on the right path?

No. I think that such state interference in the lives of individuals is a very bad idea, as it smells of totalitarianism and ideological control of citizens. Personally, I am against the persecution of smokers and I do not see why I would then advocate an institutionalized persecution against those who eat meat. All these arguments of “health” are very suspicious to me personally and smell of moralizing, of puritanism, of ideological purity. After that, the “unhealthy” need to be cut off. Already Foucault has shown how dangerous state interference in people’s bodies can be in order to ensure “health”. This was done, among other things, by the Nazis, who wanted to have a “healthy” population.

The main feature of the notion of the state after the new century is that its task is not to help people achieve good, but to protect citizens from evil. Although the two seem very similar, they are in fact a big difference. The first understanding of the state presupposes that we know what is good for people and that we also prescribe it to them by law. Another way: it assumes that we impose our view of happiness on others, e.g. in the form of a “healthy lifestyle” or “utility”. This, as history has taught us, is very bad: just look at the religious wars in seventeenth-century Europe, where each side was convinced that it knew what was good for the other. A related problem today, in my opinion, is that part of the Islamic world that is fundamentalist and conservative, where in endless civil wars each side claims to know what true doctrine is and is consequently imposed by others who misunderstand the Prophet. . Of course, it is true that there are often strategic and financial interests behind these wars, but we cannot ignore the fact that they are justified by a “true interpretation” of religion. It seems to me that this is a general problem of monotheism, which, due to its insistence on the “true and only God”, is easily radicalized. Much better than imposing our view on healthy living, we simply leave the pursuit of happiness to the individual to decide for himself whether he wants to live healthy, faithful and useful or not, and we make sure that no one interferes in his choice of happiness. So I think it’s much better to simply write in the constitution that ANIMALS SHOULD NOT BE PROPERTY – in this way we don’t rape people with our ideas about what is “good”, “healthy” and “useful” to them, but only we protect animals from violence or encroachment on their well-being

Deficient ethics

The anthropocentric attitude towards farm animals shows the extremely moral shallowness of society and citizens, as they do not understand that animals are sentient living beings who want to live just like us. What we cause them as a society is completely unnecessary, because it does not only harm animals, but also the environment or. the planet as a whole, and through unhealthy diets to yourself and your health. How could society change to prevent this from happening? Who are the actors who would contribute to this?

As I said, I don’t think it’s about not wanting to understand that, it’s about avoiding that understanding. Everyone knows that a cow and a pig feel pain. You will not find a person in his right mind to doubt this. At best, people think that the slaughter process is painless, although in my opinion they do not believe in it at all: they know that they are fleeing from the truth.

Who can change society? I think you can do it yourself, because we are the company after all. People who enjoy a social reputation, of course, have a special power, as they can be role models, and from Bandura onwards, we have also been proven to know that people learn by example. But our celebrities are not necessarily the only celebrities. In fact, we are all a constant role model to each other. If, for example, someone in a family of four decides not to eat meat strictly, it will affect the whole family sooner or later, and it is very likely that the other three members will eat at least some less meat and save some lives. Cumulatively, the effect will be as if there were two vegetarians or vegans in the family. This may not seem like much, but grain by grain cake, stone by stone palace… I want to say that individuals, however, have a greater impact than we are aware of. Of course, it is true that we have to be very persistent and principled, which is certainly difficult, especially at the beginning of the path we have chosen, because at that time we are often lonely, often even isolated. It should be noted that many people who opt for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, after a certain more or less long period, fall back into the carnivore regime. Why? Because their reasons were too weak, or because society with systemic violence is geared so that these reasons fade over time: if animal suffering is hidden and bad information is actively avoided, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember the original reasons why we gave up the meat diet.


If we were kind to all animals, we would have a good feeling, a clear conscience and a good opinion of ourselves as a person and of the society in which we live. We would know we are doing good for ourselves, for the animals and the planet. What else would you add to this thought?

In fact, it is difficult to add anything to this thought, except that in such a world we would also feel safer and more accepted. Among the more interesting facts, it seems to me that, for example, those who are among the most demographically endangered are almost the most anti-migrant – less educated, poorer, more vulnerable. The paradox is that it is precisely these people who would benefit most from the systematic defense of human rights, as they would have a solid foundation on which to base themselves when demanding more rights for themselves. That the violation of the rights of migrants is related to the violation of the rights of their own citizens can be clearly seen in Hungary, where the criminalization of refugees was followed by an attempt to criminalize the poorest and most vulnerable people – the homeless. In other words, human rights violations will always affect the most vulnerable first, so it would be most logical for them to come together and loudly defend strict adherence to international law on the fundamental rights of all. The same can be said by this logic for animal rights: in fact, defending animal rights also means defending human rights. Animal ethics is therefore not only “friendly” to animals, but to all beings. That being said, everyone would feel safer in such a world. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the arguments of those who argue that animal rights are defended at the expense of human rights and that people should be taken care of first, then animals. These people do not realize that the cause of the suffering of both humans and animals is very similar, and that eliminating it would actually eliminate the suffering of all.

Extremely harmful meat

Mass livestock farming with its products of animal origin (meat, milk, eggs and products from them) is also very destructive in terms of health. Consumption of meat and other foods of animal origin is a risk factor for many diseases of civilization (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease…), also causes overweight and even depression, because a 1998 study shows that meat consumers are more afraid and depressed than vegetarians. According to a study by the University of California, Loma Linda, meat consumers are twice as likely to develop dementia. Recent research shows that infection with toxoplasmosis (parasites in the brain), which is most commonly transmitted through meat, promotes those character traits that are prevalent today, e.g. neglect of moral values, indifference and light-heartedness, from which the question of the extent to which the consumption of meat contributes to the disintegration of values in modern society could be drawn. According to an American study, vascular changes are found in as many as 70% of children.

Meat is no longer part of the life force, as the life guideline has been for decades, but in reality it has never been. There are nations in the world that eat exclusively vegetarian, which is also proof that meat is not necessary for life. Various studies around the world prove that e.g. vegetarians and vegans have a lower risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, vascular disease, cancer, rheumatism. Vegetarians and especially vegans are healthier and are supposed to live longer than those who eat meat. Foods of animal origin are therefore not necessary in the human diet at all. Eating meat is a matter of habit or. tradition and not necessity. The same goes for milk.

Mass livestock farming is at its root, that is, the production of meat and other foods of animal origin is cruel. Animals suffer unbearably. Brutal murders take place in slaughterhouses. Many of the living creatures that the butcher is tearing apart are still conscious. Living beings howl and stutter in mortal fear of hellish pain. Animals waiting in line often have to empathize with the death torments of their predecessors and know that it will befall them as well. Slaughterhouses are places of unimaginable suffering of living beings, beings who feel or. they feel pain and fear just like a human being. Dairy cows also suffer unbearably, as they have become real factories for milk production. Cows are treated as profit-making machines. Thanks to genetic changes and production techniques geared to the highest capacity, the cow is now able to produce more than 6,000 liters of milk a year – a multiple of what it produces in the wild. Under natural conditions, a cow gives milk only when she has a cub. To meet the milk needs of the population, cows are artificially inseminated every year. Calves are separated from their mothers immediately after birth. For the mother, this loss of the child is the most traumatic experience in her already torturous life. In freedom she finds her cub among a thousand calves and breastfeeds him for 6 to 12 months. Growth hormones and unnatural milking cycles contribute to udder pain, which can become so severe that it slips on the floor from time to time. Therefore, udder infections often occur, which they try to prevent with antibiotic treatment. Therefore, this activity is also very unethical. The suffering of animals in terms of production of meat, milk, eggs tudi is also completely unnecessary, as it has been proven that people can live normally without food of animal origin, not only that, they are also healthier and live longer.

All of the above, ie the very harmful consequences of mass livestock farming, would not exist or would be less so if the protection of animals, based on high ethical principles, which could be summed up in the Golden Rule, were part of social responsibility. If e.g. protect animal life and animals would have the right to life, health and well-being and of course their dignity and physical and mental integrity, mass livestock farming would not exist and thus not its very harmful consequences described above which greatly destroy society. Meat could be said to be a mass murderer: some 60 billion land animals, more than 1,000 billion aquatic creatures die from meat each year worldwide, an endless number of small animals are destroyed in industrial production and tens of millions of people, and of course also nature.

Here are some facts about meat:

meat is a superfluous food from a physiological and nutritional point of view. Experts today no longer doubt that a vegan diet provides optimal coverage of nutrient needs. In some diseases, e.g. in case of high blood pressure, rheumatism, disorders in fat metabolism, it is vegetarian or vegan lifestyle one of the most meaningful therapeutic measures in general. A varied vegan diet has everything a person needs for their life. No serious scientist doubts this anymore. All this also applies to children’s nutrition. All this also applies to children’s nutrition. No scientific study e.g. has not proven that infants fed wholesome meat-free foods are deficient in iron or anything else. Meat is no longer part of the life force, as the motto has been for decades. There are nations in the world that eat exclusively vegetarian, which is also proof that meat is not necessary for life;

meat causes diabetes: High consumption of saturated fatty acids can lead to insulin resistance and thus contribute to the development of diabetes (diabetes mellitus). In general, animal products contain a lot of saturated fatty acids;

meat causes overweight: Saturated fatty acids contribute to the formation of excess weight. Being overweight is considered to be a risk factor for heart and circulatory disorders, heart attacks, strokes and circulatory disorders;

meat damages bones: Meat products contain on average more phosphorus than calcium. The increased ratio of phosphorus to calcium results in increased release of calcium from the bones. As some research has shown, there is a close association between high phosphate intake with food and an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures;

meat is a risk factor for cancer: In 2001, the NIH, the world’s largest research institution, found an increased risk of cancer when eating red meat. Argentina and Uruguay are among the largest consumers of beef in the world and at the same time the countries with the highest rates of breast and intestinal cancer. A study from the University of Minnesota, published in September 2002, found that eating grilled red meat promotes pancreatic cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, which are among the world’s most reputable institutions in the field of cancer research, believe that there is a “convincing link between red meat, meat products and colon and rectal cancer” and that the link between meat and cancer, thanks to recent research, much stronger than it was about a decade ago. Research shows a link between eating meat and cancer of the prostate, lung, esophagus, stomach and pancreas;

meat promotes inflammation and pain: Animal products contain a lot of arachidonic acid, from which inflammatory substances are formed. These substances can cause neurodermatitis, inflammation of the small and large intestine, asthma, arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatism;

meat accelerates heart attack and arteriosclerosis: Excessive iron intake from eating red meat is a dangerous source of free radicals that damage blood vessels. Especially in men, the risk of heart attack increases;

meat promotes depression: Meat has a negative effect on mentality. A 1998 study shows that meat eaters have an increased incidence of fear and depression compared to vegetarians;

An interesting study on the problems of heme iron has shown that elevated heme iron (sources: red meat, poultry, fish) is a risk factor for colon cancer. is associated with cancer risk). The study also showed that the ORIGIN of iron is essential and that iron of plant origin is not associated with the development of cancer. Another study, however, showed that heme iron increases the risk of cardiovascular disease because heme iron acts as a pro-oxidant and promotes a reaction between LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and oxygen, forming plaque on the walls of blood vessels;

Several studies, notably from Prague (Charles University) and the Universities of Oxford and Maryland, have shown that toxoplasmosis (a parasite in the brain) that is most commonly transmitted through meat promotes those traits that are prevalent today. e.g. neglect of moral values, indifference and light-heartedness. Toxoplasma-infected people differed in their personality traits from those without parasites in the brain in a negative direction. Since toxoplasmosis infection is most commonly transmitted through meat, as already mentioned, the question arises as to what extent meat consumption contributes to the breakdown of values ​​in our society. The risk of latent toxoplasma is underestimated, although due to its frequency (between 30 and 70% in western countries) it can pose a serious problem for health care, including in Slovenia;

on October 1, 2003, a study by scientists from the University of California was published in PNAS-online. PNAS stands for “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, the most prestigious and most cited world-renowned professional journal. Researchers have discovered that human metabolism in the consumption of red meat (cattle, pigs, sheep) receives certain foreign molecules from the body and loads them into various tissues. These molecules are associated with the label N – Glycolyneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), which is located on the surface of cell membranes. This substance is formed only by mammals, human metabolism can not produce this sugar connection. Especially large quantities are in the meat of cattle, pigs and sheep. Milk and cheese also contain this link in smaller quantities. Antibodies reacting with Neu5Gc molecules were found in the blood of test subjects. From this it can be concluded that there was an immune reaction against this molecule. The Neu5Gc molecules themselves were first detected in various cancerous tissues and were later found in blood vessels and mucosal cells. Importantly, in this study, it has been scientifically proven for the first time that human tissue accepts molecules from ingested meat, resulting in an immune response. The human immune system treats the Neu5Gc molecule as a harmful intruder. Research effectively points to the fact that meat is no natural human food, otherwise the immune system would not make antibodies. It is obvious that the human body rejects meat through the immune system and that this is a completely natural reaction of the body. It is about defending the body against harmful foreign substances;

also the well-known “China Study” (China-Oxford-Cornell Nutrition and Health Project) shows clear links between meat consumption and disease. Over time, this project has revealed more than 8,000 statistically significant links between various dietary factors and diseases. Findings? People who included the most animal foods in their diets suffered the most from chronic diseases… People who included the most plant foods in their diet were the healthiest and usually did not suffer from chronic diseases. A Chinese study details the link between diet and heart disease, diabetes and cancer, but also the ability of the diet to reduce or eliminate the risk or effects of these deadly diseases. The Chinese study also examines a source of “food confusion” caused by strong stakeholders, government entities and irresponsible scientists.

Does eating meat also harm intelligence? A protein-rich diet leads to an increase in cortisone in blood plasma and saliva. Chronically elevated cortisone levels damage the hippocampus, causing significant memory impairment. According to a study by the University of California, Loma Linda, meat consumers are also twice as likely to develop dementia.

Omega-3 fats in fish are said to be curative and to limit cardiovascular disease. A study examining the effects of various fats on heart disease found a significant link between omega-3 fats from fish and an increased risk of the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, which is contrary to popular belief. Interestingly, high-risk research does not link omega-3 fats from plant sources, but only omega-3 fats from fish. However, this is not the only study to challenge the claim that omega-3 fats from fish are said to reduce the chance of heart disease.

Anyone who wants to live a healthy life should rather give up meat, because:

substances that poison the environment: About 90% of all dioxins and furans are ingested through animal foods. During the food chain, there is an increasing accumulation of difficult-to-digest harmful substances, also due to pesticides from mass livestock farming. The “final link” may then be taken by people who are harmful to their health. Wild boar meat contains not only toxins from the environment, but e.g. also radioactive cesium. The Munich Ecological Institute has targeted 17,600 becquerels per kilogram of meat in black game last year. The food limit is 600 becquerel;

antibiotic resistance: Mass-raised animals are fed enormous amounts of antibiotics. Chemists have shown that antibiotics used in animal husbandry apparently pass on to plants when manure is used and thus enter human food – with dangerous consequences. In environments where livestock farming exists, there is a significantly greater decline in antibiotic resistance. So they don’t help you anymore;

BSE: The muscle meat of slaughtered cattle has always been classified as a healthy food. Now scientists around the world can prove that prions are found in muscle meat. Munich neuropathologist prof. Kretschmar described them as an exciting result because it cannot be ruled out that man gets them with muscle flesh.

Like Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) belongs to neuroregenerative diseases, which cannot always be clearly distinguished from each other according to their clinical picture. A number of American universities have conducted research on the dead, in which specialists diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease during their lifetime. Brilliant in the results of this study is that in 3 to 13 percent it was not Alzheimer’s at all, but Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. In the United States, the number of people who died of Alzheimer’s disease increased 50-fold between 1979 and 2000. In 2000, there were 50,000 of these people. At present, however, there are an estimated 4 million people with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Therefore, it is necessary to realistically conclude that there are considerable dark numbers in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

A study by the German Cancer Research Center found that vegetarians have a markedly reduced risk of death. Of the 100 study participants in the age group that predicted deaths, only 59 were actually faced with vegetarianism. If male study participants are observed separately, the positive effect is even more pronounced with just 52 actual deaths.

Those who eat meat are therefore repeatedly harming themselves and society. Firstly, because they eat food that can make them sick and even die (imagine a father who eats a lot of meat, so he gets cancer and dies, leaving behind an unattended child whose father’s behavior can completely change his life. for the worse), secondly, because their disease caused by eating meat causes society to incur high costs, which health insurance costs have to pay for the treatment of their self-inflicted disease. In most cases, treatment is significantly more expensive than health insurance, which means that they have to be paid by other taxpayers, such as vegetarians who have nothing to do with meat or vegans), and thirdly, because they have to pay for them, ie for their food, which is otherwise superfluous from the point of view of dietary physiology. unnecessary food, to suffer innocent animals immensely (a visit to a slaughterhouse might sober up many people), fourthly, because their consumption of meat kills l Jews in underdeveloped countries and fifthly, because their consumption of meat leads to increasing destruction of the environment. Eating meat is therefore also a threat to society and thus to Slovenia. Poor financial position of the company or. countries and the general well-being of people, endangers public health, destroys the environment, causes immense animal suffering and the deaths of tens of millions of people in underdeveloped countries. The same goes for milk.

Vegan diet is suitable for people at all stages of life, including babies, children, teenagers, pregnant women, nursing mothers and athletes, and also reduces the chances of many chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer…) . This is evidenced by numerous independent scientific studies by international food organizations:

AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics),
DC (Dietitians of Canada),
NHMRC (Australian National Health and Medical Research Council),
BDA (British Dietetic Association),
BNF (British Nutrition Foundation).

Certainly a vegetarian diet is better than a mixed diet as it does not contain meat. However, it contains milk and eggs, which are also harmful to human health and, of course, the environment and climate. Not to mention the animals.