What is Veganic?

Veganic simply means animal-free. Just like how vegan food is made without animals, veganic is an agricultural practice of growing plant foods without using animal labor or animal products. Veganic agriculture is rooted in a deep respect not only for animals, but for the environment and human health, too. 

Houseplants aren’t typically included in veganic growing, even though the same ingredients are used in various soil blends. We think that all plantcare can be done veganically, whether you’re growing plants for food, medicine or pleasure.  

The problem with commercial soils—even organic ones. Animal products are commonly used to make soil, compost and plant fertilizers for houseplants and outdoor gardening. These products come from animals bred in captivity on intensive farms and killed in slaughterhouses. 

Commercial soils contain numerous ingredients that are products of animal cruelty and pose serious risks to the environment and to human health.

  • animal manure (antibiotic, bacteria, pathogenic microorganism transmission)
  • blood meal (bovine and avian disease transmission)
  • bone meal (bovine and avian disease transmission)
  • feather meal (arsenic contamination, avian disease transmission)
  • fish emulsion (antibiotic contamination)
  • bat guano (zoonotic disease spread, habitat loss)
  • worm castings (captive breeding and confinement)

Commercial soils don’t just harm animals, they contain soil additives that put human health at risk and leave a big ecological footprint. 

  • Sphagnum and peat moss are slow-growing mosses that are considered ‘ecosystem engineers’ of wetland habitats. Peat mining depletes peat accumulation because it extracts mosses at a faster rate than they can regrow. Mining disrupts fragile peatland communities and releases toxic metals and organic pollutants that contaminate the air, waterways and local fisheries.
  • Vermiculite is a non-renewable mineral that is extracted through mining. Vermiculite ores often contain asbestos, which is released into the air through mining and is highly toxic to humans and harmful to the environment.
  • Perlite is non-renewable volcanic glass that is extracted through mining, causing world reserves of perlite to decrease. Known as volcanic popcorn, perlite is considered a chemical hazard that can cause respiratory damage to workers who inhale it.

Soil is a public health issue. In the wake of COVID-19, we understand that farming animals isn’t just unethical, but it destroys necessary barriers between human communities and wildlife habitats, which leads to the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases like the novel Coronavirus.

Soil is a climate justice issue. We are currently living in a climate crisis and animal agriculture is a leading factor. The CO2 gases released from intensive farming operations contribute to global warming. The use of antibiotics, monocrop animal feed, and the accumulation of animal waste causes increased pollution to the air, water and land. 

Soil is a social justice issue. People who are employed on animal farms and slaughterhouses are the most routinely exploited workers. The workforce is made up of Black and Latinx people, women, undocumented migrants, and formerly incarcerated people who are underserved by their communities. They are frequently denied bathroom breaks and medical care for workplace injuries, they experience higher rates of sexual and racial violence, and receive poverty-level wages for work that causes chronic pain and leads to permanent disabilities. 

We don’t need to cause harm to others in order to grow nourishing plant food for ourselves

The solution is veganic. Veganic plantcare is good for everyone. The principles for following a vegan plantbased diet for ourselves are the same reasons for switching to plantbased plantcare. We take veganism seriously, so you will never find an animal by-product in any of our products. 

At PlantBased Plants, our soils and mixes are made of renewable and non-extractive materials. 

  • leaf-mold
  • rice hulls
  • pine bark
  • animal-free compost
  •  

    We go beyond organic. We don’t use pesticides or genetically modified plants. But we go far beyond organic practices because we encourage the presence of wild native species. We work with nature, not against it, and thereby lower our ecological footprint.

    It’s easy to convert your houseplant collection and garden to veganic practices. We offer workshops and individual consultation to make the switch to veganic. Get started 

     

    SOURCES: 

    Norby, Richard J et al. “Rapid loss of an ecosystem engineer: Sphagnum decline in an experimentally warmed bog.” Ecology and evolution vol. 9,22 12571-12585. 30 Oct. 2019, doi:10.1002/ece3.5722

    Winkler, Marjorie G., and Calvin B. DeWitt. “Environmental Impacts of Peat Mining in the United States: Documentation for Wetland Conservation.” Environmental Conservation, vol. 12, no. 4, 1985, pp. 317–330., doi:10.1017/S0376892900034433.

    Antao, Vinicius C et al. “Libby vermiculite exposure and risk of developing asbestos-related lung and pleural diseases.” Current opinion in pulmonary medicine vol. 18,2 (2012): 161-7. doi:10.1097/MCP.0b013e32834e897d

    "CDC – NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards – Perlite.” https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0491.html 

    Nachman, K. E.; Raber, G.; Francesconi, K. A.; Navas-Acien, A.; Love, D. C. (2012-02-15). "Arsenic species in poultry feather meal." The Science of the Total Environment. 417–418: 183–188. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.12.022. ISSN 1879-1026. PMID 22244353.

     Duan, Y.; Awasthi, S. K.; Liu, T.; Pandey, A.; Zhang, Z.; Kumar, S.; Awasthi, M. K. (2020). “Succession of keratin-degrading bacteria and associated health risks during pig manure composting.” Journal of Cleaner Production. Volume 258, 120624, ISSN 0959-6526, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.120624.

     Kumar, K., Gupta, S.C., Baidoo, S.K., Chander, Y. and Rosen, C.J. (2005), Antibiotic Uptake by Plants from Soil Fertilized with Animal Manure. J. Environ. Qual., 34: 2082-2085. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2005.0026 

     Surgan, M., Condon, M. & Cox, C. Pesticide Risk Indicators: Unidentified Inert Ingredients Compromise Their Integrity and Utility. Environmental Management 45, 834–841 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-009-9382-9 

     Huong NQ, Nga NTT, Long NV, Luu BD, Latinne A, Pruvot M, et al. (2020) Coronavirus testing indicates transmission risk increases along wildlife supply chains for human consumption in Viet Nam, 2013-2014. PLoS ONE 15(8): e0237129. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237129 

     Ghanem, Simon J. and Christian C. Voigt (2012), “Increasing Awareness of Ecosystem Services Provided by Bats.” Editor(s): H. Jane Brockmann, Timothy J. Roper, Marc Naguib, John C. Mitani, Leigh W. Simmons. Advances in the Study of Behavior. Academic Press, (44) 279-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-394288-3.00007-1 

     Pfiffner, Lukas (2014, “Earthworms – Architects of fertile soils.” Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE) (Hrsg.). https://www.fibl.org/fileadmin/documents/shop/1629-earthworms.pdf 

     Cudworth, E. (2011) Climate Change, Industrial Animal Agriculture and Complex Inequalities.The International Journal of Science in Society, 2(3), pp. 323-334. https://doi.org/10.18848/1836-6236/CGP/v02i03/51257 

    Human Labor & Slavery. The Food Empowerment Project.  https://foodispower.org/human-labor-slavery/