View Full Version : Pesticides (was: ahh! help!)

Sep 3rd, 2006, 03:33 AM
Lately I can not stop thinking about pesticides and how un-vegan they are. are we just hypocrites since pesticides kill all those insects? and what about animal-derived manure? what do you think?

Sep 3rd, 2006, 08:35 AM

If we are avoiding taking lives where it's possible to do so, we do our best - even if unintentional harming/killing may indirectly happen as result of our lifestyle and of living in the society we live in. If you take a train or car trip, that train or car may kill an animal, which we don't want, but it's still great that the driver and passengers don't eat meat...

Some may think that they might as well eat meat because pesticides are used in growing (some of) the plants they eat, but remember that pesticides is used in growing the plants that factory animals eat eat too... 'Killing once is better than killing twice".

Some people, use the argument that since we already kill, we can kill more: "We probably kill more bugs driving to the grocery store to get some honey-sweetened product than are killed in the product’s production." But the math is simple: if you want to take as few lives as possible, take as few as possible instead of using one situation to excuse another.

Instead of talking about hypocrisy, I'd rather see it this way: If you can avoid more pesticide infected plants than you do now... do it! :)

Pesticides also get into the soil, killing beneficial microbes and bacteria. They also end up the water we drink, and use of pesticides may be one of the most important B12 killers out there: both the soil itself and humans suffer if the earth is destroyed by chemicals.

Here's what others say about pesticides:


How about Pesticides?

Pesticides, herbicides, and other agricultural chemicals are omnipresent in the food supply, the result of a chemical industry run amuck in the halls of congress. The best way to reduce your intake of these harmful substances is to follow the vegan lifestyle. Plant foods contain some of these organic chemical residues, but the fatty tissues of animals have absorbed and concentrated them roughly ten-fold.

Buying organically grown vegetables is a good way to further reduce exposure to chemical residue, but it's senseless to rely only on this strategy while still eating the high-fat, high-pesticide animalfoods.


Percentage of U.S. mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 99
Percentage of U.S. vegetarian mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 8

The pesticide issue is both a valid reason for avoiding animal products, for avoiding honey and for supporting non-conventional farming methods (see our subforum called Organic/Veganic. (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=58))

Some non-organic plants contain a lot more pesticides than others. That could be because they absorb less pesticides, or because less pesticides are used in producing them. This overview may be interesting for people who want to avoid pesticides:

The least contaminated are:
• Asparagus
• Avocados
• Bananas
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Corn (sweet)
• Kiwi
• Mangos
• Onions
• Papaya
• Pineapples
• Peas (sweet)

The most contaminated are (Buy these organic:)
• Apples
• Bell Peppers
• Celery
• Cherries
• Imported Grapes
• Nectarines
• Peaches
• Pears
• Potatoes
• Red Raspberries
• Spinach
• Strawberries
(Source: http://www.foodnews.org/reportcard.php)

Peaches, raspberries, strawberries and apples are all on the list of the most pesticide contaminated plants, but I've been growing growing these fruits/berries myself (not using any pesticides) without any problems...

Here's a discussion about a book about growing plants without using pesticides:

How To Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons.

For over 25 years, author John Jeavons has been researching and teaching the biointinsive garden method in over 100 countries and has revolutionized small-scale food production. "The Method" (first brought to this country by Master Horticulurist Alan Chadwick and then further developed by Jeavons) produces the largest amount of food on the smallest amount of earth using no pesticides or equipment other than our Bulldog Fork and Spade for "double digging". Jeavons has it down to growing all of your food on as little as 4,000 square feet - and this while increasing soil fertility. Jeavons writes: "As we begin to use sustainable land and resource-conserving food-raising approaches, a living habitat, free from human interference, can remain untouched so that the great spectrum of endangered plant and animal diversity is necessary if the planet on which we live is to support abundance." Fifth edition.

We have a thread about manure here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=437).

Sep 3rd, 2006, 05:03 PM
The use of animal products and by-products are, unfortunately, almost everywhere. For example, animal fats can be used to make rubber, vinyl, and plastics. Hence, cars, buses, and even bicycles are not always considered to be “vegan” means of transportation. Animal products can be found in many materials we use for home improvement, I recently found out that they can be used in bricks. They can also be found in everyday products, such as glue, hydraulic brake fluid, film, and music instruments.

As for pesticides, I believe that there more chemicals used on plants fed to food animals than plants grown for human consumption as, in the long run, there are more plants grown to feed animals compared to what a vegan might consume on their own; hence, the amount of insects destroyed by an omnivorous diet outnumbers that of those who eat only plant based foods. Does this justify killing insects so that we can enjoy rice with veggies or so that we can drive a car to work? Maybe…maybe not; but I believe that the soul reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle is to avoid, within reason, products that cause suffering. It really isn’t possible to be 100% vegan in today’s world (depending on how you define veganism), but it is possible to strive to do your best and not drive yourself crazy trying to avoid every last item that may contain a trace amount of animal products or may have caused death to an insect…the big issue is ending the “intentional” suffering by avoiding the obvious—animal flesh, eggs, and milk. Being vegan is a learning process and as you go, you slowly begin to eliminate more of the smaller things, such as changing cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.