After having come to the conclusion that one of the most essential causes of all evil on Earth is in the fact that humans still are feeding themselves predominantly with foodstuff that is both very unnatural and very life-unfriendly (in the sense of obtained by killing or ill-treating other kinds of living beings like animals and plants), a big question one is confronted with is how one can obtain sufficiently of food, that doesn’t have these negative characteristics.
One of the first things one then thinks of is the fact that naturally all the food humans need is present in their environment without the least of their intervention and in a shape that doesn’t take any kind of preparation to be edible or tastfull.
But looking at reality one subsequently is forced to conclude that the option to feed oneself completely with wild grown fruits at the moment is hardly or not available.
For already nearly all of the natural vegetation, that among others has this food providing function is destroyed by humans themselves.
So one doesn’t get round the conclusion that in case one in principle only wants to use pure and perfectly life-friendly food, in nowadays situation it will be necessary to grow and harvest it in a special way.
This special way (of life-friendly agriculture) has the following main characteristics:
AS REGARDS THE CULTIVATION
In principle trees and other fruit wearing plants are not planted, but sowed, so that no life in and on the relevant spot will have to be destroyed or even disturbed.
If this is not feasible, than planting will have to take place in the most carefull way possible with regard to life and well-being of already present plants and of ground life on the relevant spot(s). This means that the ground in principle is not ploughed or spaded, but that plants are really planted by sticking them into the ground after an as small as possible hole has been made with a dibble.
One and the other implies that the sowed or planted culture plants in many a case up to a certain level will have to compete with already present naturally (“wild”) grown plants there. Especcially as far as concerns grains this may lead to a strongly reduced yield. This however in principle is not a reason to be less life friendly in that respect, but can be seen as a sign of the fact that grains are not really food for humans, who hardly can eat them in their natural shape.
So called weeds that later on grow under or between the fruits bringing trees and plants are not pulled or killed otherwise either.
Nor are they or other plants like whether or not naturally grown grass ever mowed, as long as they or their leafs still are green and so alive.
(One of the reasons why this mostly happens in nowadays practise is in the fact, that these wild plants are supposed to take part of the vital force the ground there has to give to the plants that grow there, so that when the weeds are removed, the force that they would have received can all go to the fruits wearing plant, as a result of which this will bring more volume).
(In the Vivistic philosophy this however is concidered as disadvantuous anyway, as the fact that one has killed that many plants in order to gain more will be punished by nature in a way that reduces the pleasure one expects to get of what one earned that much, that the pleasure would have been bigger in case one would have respected life and well-being of these creatures by not harming them).
No (parts of) roots, stem, branches or leafs (that obviously aren’t dead yet), will be removed from trees or other plants; which mainly implies that they never are pruned, nor grafted.
No trees or other of the fruit wearing plants will be cut resp. pulled out, as long as there’s still life inside them.
(This often happens for economical reasons, among others when a certain fruit race has fallen out of favor on the market, or another one has become much more popular. Also it happens in order to replace older plants by young ones, because these use to bring more volume and so more yield).
No killing of insects or microbial life such as virusses.
In case a tree or other plant is ‘attacked’ by insects or a virus, than one has to accept this as a natural thing, although one may have some trouble with the moral question whether this also would have happened in case the relevant plant would have come to existance in a purely natural way.
So no use of artificial fertilizer nor of animal dung. The principle is, that natural fertilizer (fallen leafs, dry plants and dung of wild game and insects) should and will do.
Pushing the plants one way or another to bring more volume than they naturally would do, might at least kind of stress them.
But the very life-unfriendly aspects of fertilizing are in the facts that addidtional animal dung comes from cattle-breeding, which is known to be a very animal unfriendly economical activity, whereas artificial fertilizer is a chemical product made out of crude oil, which implies that numberless of microbes that naturally find themselves in that oil loose their life in the chemical production proces.
Also this chemical stuff most likely kills or seriously damages well-being of numberless microbes and insects that naturally are present in the soil, the fertilizer ends up upon.
Furthermore the fact that artificial fertilizer subsequently dissolves in the rain water that falls on the same spot, after which it together with this water sinks into the soil, where it is sucked up by the roots of the fruit trees there, that among others pump it into their fruits, so that eventually it will be eaten by the fruits consumers, who’s health as a result will be damaged, must be concidered an additional life unfriendly aspect of artificail fertilzer use.
It’s quite likely that intensive fertilizing with animal dung, that also dissolves in rainwater and eventually is eaten by consumers of the relevant fruits, is not exactly healthy either.
AS REGARDS THE HARVESTING
Most fruits can easily be harvested in a plant-friendly way, in other words without doing the fruits carrying plant any harm.
• Apples for instance can be clicked off at the place where its stalk is attached to the branch, which is also the place where it gets loose from the tree, when it’s not picked, but falls down when sufficiently ripened.
• With tomatoes its no different and this also goes for so called vine-tomatoes. They as well can be clicked off plant-friendly where they are attached to the plant stem. In practise however the whole bunch is cut off from the stem, which implies that part of the stem and so of the living plant itself is cut off too. In this way picking tomatoes cannot be called plant-friendly.
• The same problem incidentally plays with other fruits that grow in clusters, such as grapes, currents, dates, banana’s, etcetera. In nowadays practise the whole bunch is cut off from the plant, although there’s no evident place where it is supposed to be picked as a whole. Also because these fruits don’t fall from the plant when they’re ripened, the last mentioned fact indicates that naturally these fruits are supposed to be picked one by one from the plant (without some kind of a stalk) and consumed on the spot. In this way what remains of such a bunch stays fresh behind on the plant and is available for other humans or animals.
(Indeed it’s not very likely that naturally the bunches are supposed to be cut off and subsequently transported worldwide, where they are available in shops for weeks; that’s not how things are created).
• All in all one can even conclude that pure naturally humans are not supposed to use ladders or other artificial means in order to get to the fruits of high trees, that naturally are not attainable for them. On may be devoted to the conception that in essence these fruits are intended for birds.
(Which doesn’t have to be a problem when there are that many fruit bringing trees all over the planet that for humans who only pick what’s attainable when standing on the ground or after climbing in the tree without use of any unnatural means, there’s enough any way).
• Peanuts cán be harvested in a plant friendly way, but mostly aren’t. One can by hand pull the stem to which the nut is attached out of the ground and then pick the nut. But nowadays practise implies that machines pull out all of the plant including its roots and put it upside down on the ground, so that it dies from dehydration, after which another machine can easily pick the nuts. Very plant-unfriendly indeed.
• Roots and tubers, that commonly are used as food, like carrots, red beets, onions and potatoes, formally are not fruits, but root-vegetables, for vital parts of the relevant plants themselves.
Still there is a way of harvesting them without harming those plants.
In case one waits untill the plant has died off naturally after one or two years, the chance is big enough that the mentioned roots or tubers remain flawlessly in the ground, so that one can take them out without harming the plant of which they have been part.
Although some kinds of them (among others onions and potatoes) would otherwise sprout in springtime and grow out to a new plant, this is not an objection for plantfriends to harvest them and use them as food, because this can happen earlier, when the root or tuber still is potential new life, but not yet started new life, exactly like is the case with fruits like grains and other plant seeds, that are harvested before they start sprouting.
On the other hand the fact that roots and tubers (as well as peanuts) have to be taken out of the ground before being useable as food for humans can have one or more life unfriendly aspects anyway, namely because in this way ground life (mainly insects and microbes) always is more or less disrupted. Also some ground that is attached to the tuber and in which many of those insects and microbes find themselves is taken away too and mostly will dry, so that the insects (like nematodes / roundworms) will probably die, unless fitting measures are taken to prevent this (for instance by peeling the harvested tubers right away and leave the peels together with the ground that is attached to them behind on the spot where the tuber has been taken out. Another possible objection is in the fact that one might say that food that grows underground is meant for beings that live there and not for humans.
Reasons enough so to be rather reserved in using this kind of food and to only use it as far as necessary, even when it’s harvested in a way as life-friendly as possible.
© Copyright Nicolas Pleumekers (Nature Protection Foundation)