We all know that our current intensive farming methods are killing the planet and that unless we stop it, our earth will become uninhabitable. Thankfully there is something we can all do to not only stop the destruction, but reverse the damage that has already been done.
We know that our planet is dying. And it’s dying because we are destroying it with the way we live. Thankfully there is a way we can all not only stop this global destruction, but repair the damage that has ready been done. And I’ll tell you how you can start turning things around today. We all consume far more than we need and throw away millions of tons of unnecessary rubbish year after year without giving a thought as to what happens to all this landfill.
Also the intensive farming methods that are now used to produce our food are causing more damage to the planet than the automotive industry. So the obvious solution is to stop these unhealthy practices and start living the opposite way to how we do now.
And the answer is vegan permaculture.
So What Exactly is Vegan Permaculture?
Vegan permaculture is a real culture and it is designed to reduce energy (including human energy) reduce our human footprint on the planet, and reduces waste, all which helps the planet and the animals.
Vegan permaculture provides a much more natural environment for animals and humans using layers, zones and a ‘no waste’ philosophy. With permaculture, nothing is ever wasted or thrown away.
The focus of permaculture is to provide a completely sustainable way of life that respects the earth, the animals, the insects and humans so that we can all live better and benefit from integrating rather than segregating each species as we do now. This means concentrating on the relationships between each element and the way they are interrelated as a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts, and using it to its best advantage. This also minimizes waste, human labour and energy input by building systems that maximize benefits and produce a high level of synergy.
This, simply put, means working with nature and not against it. It means recognising that everything in nature has a purpose whether we understand it or not, and our need to respect it’s uniqueness and usefulness in the ecological system. One important part of vegan permaculture is living with zones and layers that help everything in the environment to thrive.
Zones Zone are a way of intelligently organizing design elements in a human environment by basing it on the needs of humans and animals and insects equally.
There are usually 6 zones all sitting in concentric circles around each other.
Zone 0 is the human house at the centre of the zones and this is where permaculture principles are appled in terms of reducing waste, water and human energy by using natural resources that are already freely available, such as sunlight.
Zone 1 encirlcles the home zone and contains elements that need frequent attention such as herbs, soft fruit, berries and soft vegetables.
Zone 2 contains plants that need less attention such as fruit trees, root crops and currant bushes.
Zone 3 is where the main crops are grown for trade and the vegetable beds, once established, require minimal attention.
Zone 4 is a semi-wild area and is where wild food can be foraged, and timber from this area can be used for firewood or construction.
Zone 5, the outer-most zone, is a wilderness area and should have no human intervention.
Layers Layers are also used in permaculture and are incredibly beneficial to both humans and animals. Because plants grow to different heights, a diverse community of life is able to grow in a very small space, which can be easily seen in any rain forest.
There are 7 recognised layers in a food forest.
The canopy. These are the tallest trees in the forest that dominate, but do not saturate the area. This means that while they can be dense in some areas, they are sparse in others.
The understory layer. This consists of the smaller trees.
Shrubs. These grow at the bottom of all the trees.
Herbaceous. Smaller shrubs that provide much ground cover.
Soil Surface. The life blood of any forest which is usually rich with all the natural compost and fertilizer it catches from the abundance of plant growth above it.
Rhizosphere. This is under the soil where root crops grow.
Verticial layer. This is climbers and vines and can include runner beans.
All these essential layers are necessary for a food forest to not only survive, but to thrive.
Vegan permaculture completely envelopes animals, insects, humans and plants and provides for them all to live an extremely ethical, and environmently sound, existence.
Conventional permaculture promotes almost these same principles with it’s core values of
Vegan permaculture goes one step further and also has
as one of it’s core values and does not use domestic animals as one of it’s design elements such as chickens being used as a form of weed control, egg production, meat and fertilizer.
On the contrary, vegan permaculture has the utmost respect for animals and their right to live freely and it provides a way for them to do this.
And the great thing is that absolutely everyone can start the movement towards a vegan permaculture lifestyle. No matter where you live you can make a change today in several ways such as
Consuming (buying) less
Not buying intensively farmed products
Reusing and recycling
Using permaculture practices at home
Changing to a vegan diet
Eating less processed foods
Cooking at home more
There are also many other ways you can help the planet while improving your life and your health at the same time.
And the really good news is, you can make the change right now, because it only takes a minute to change your mind.
Ruth Barringham is a vegan, writer and web entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. She runs several websites on the internet and her main site for writers is Writeaholics.net. She also has a new vegan website, Australian Vegan.net.
- Published: 12 March 2013
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