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Thread: Worm Composting?

  1. #1

    Question Worm Composting?

    So I built bins with the intent on having an indoor worm compost for the winter; it's all set, full of yummy scraps for worms to eat and turn into fertilized soil, then I got to wondering last night........would a worm compost be considered non-vegan? The worms wouldn't be harmed, would be carrying out a natural behavior, and the end result would benefit the environment as I'm not throwing my scraps in the trash which would greatly reduce waste, but I'm curious....what do others think of this in terms of veganism?

    Thanks all!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: Worm Composting?

    Interesting post and makes me think about worms. I'm an avid gardener and I till the soil by hand with a shovel. My children watch the dirt as I turn it over and pick up the worms. The love the worms and like to watch them for awhile, then release them. Fairly frequently I cut a worm, especially as the soil becomes richer with compost and there are more worms. It's a little painful for me to see these cut up worms, and it caused others to question my veganism when I revealed that I unintentionally harm worms.

    My worry about your indoor compost is that you've created an artificially warm and closed environment which makes the worms dependent on you. You're taking on responsibility for their care; you could unintentionally dry them out in a heated house or face some other accidental mishap. Rather than take on this potential burden I suggest collecting compost outside. Food scraps break down slowly over winter but where I live the freeze and thaw cycles still helps to break everything down, and in spring the decomposition happens quickly. My kitchen compost doesn't take up much room in the yard and the worms feed on it naturally as it decomposes.

    Worms are great to have in the yard, a sure sign of healthy soil. Any thoughts on how to protect them while working in the garden?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Worm Composting?

    Donald Watson, the guy who coined the term vegan in the 1940's, said he used a fork instead of a spade to "prevent" worm killing. In the end I think we have to accept that at either large scale or small scale, agriculture inevitably kills a lot of insect and small animal life. There's no way around it short of committing suicide and that's not vegan either!

    Keeping worms confined in the house is sort of like having pets.

  4. #4
    baffled harpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Re: Worm Composting?

    My outdoor compost bin is full of worms so I guess they don't see it as confinement (although of course they are free to leave if they want to, and it may not always be the same worms for all I know )

    Technically it may or may not be vegan but I personally wouldn't see it as particularly problematic as long as you can provide a good environment for the worms.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Worm Composting?

    I remember getting excited about a worm compost thingymajig until a few minutes later, there was that little voice "wait! is it vegan..?"

    gtsstl- I find it really distressing hurting bugs whilst working in the garden. I try to use my hands as much as possible for small jobs, and work very slowly if I'm digging into the ground. Me and my veggie boyfriend work together- one digs, the other relocates bugs as we go


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