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Well Gily, you certainly caused a discussion although you have now gone beyond me, Macro is something on my camera and that is it.
As a lad I lived in a place that had soil toilets so surely the answer for someone worried about manure is use their own, everything out of those earth toilets in the village went onto the land, nothing wasted and the Veg tasted just as good. I went back last year for the first time since I left, those gardens were still as productive and the Veg still as large although I would assume they now have better toilets, therefore different arrangements for fertilisation?
An intuitive process you say "hm" my intuition is eat to live not live to eat and it has got me this far!!!


flowering rose

If the horse eats grass and deposits on the ground it will help to fertilize the ground .It is not harming the horse or the ground its what nature intended to do with the waste.Human and animals that are carnivores are different from the vegetarian point of view as to the eating of flesh at the ended of the day its all waste that's returned to the earth.


Last time i looked at macrobiotics was about 20 or 30 years ago and it seems things have moved on and occasional white fish is allowed.  However, it still is based mainly on whole grains and certain veggies and cooking processes and even materials are discouraged.  See below.  In the UK, GM foods are not yet accepted for growing and the EU has mechanisms for testing imported grain feeds for GM and other unwanted features so I rather feel the horses will just be eating hay and ordinary cereals.

A macrobiotic diet combines elements of Buddhism with dietary principles based on simplicity and avoidance of "toxins" that come from eating dairy products, meats, and oily foods. Older versions of the macrobiotic diet were quite restrictive. One variation allowed only the consumption of whole grains. Current proponents of the diet advocate flexibility but still discourage dairy products, meats, and refined sugars,

The standard macrobiotic diet of today consists of 50 to 60 percent organically grown whole grains, 20% to 25% locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables, and 5% to 10% soups made with vegetables, seaweed, grains, beans, and miso (a fermented soy product). Other elements may include occasional helpings of fresh white fish, nuts, seeds, pickles, Asian condiments, and non-stimulating and non-aromatic teas. Early versions of the diet excluded all animal products. Proponents still discourage dairy products, eggs, coffee, sugar, stimulant and aromatic herbs, red meat, poultry, and processed foods. Some vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, spinach, beets, zucchini, and avocados, are discouraged. The diet also advises against eating fruit that does not grow locally (for example, in most of the United States and Europe, bananas, pineapples, and other tropical fruits).


Do you think, Gily, you are over-thinking all this?

If you are eating fish, surely you are not a true vegan so why are you so concerned?

And yet again you use the word antibiotics when talking about horse feed. 

GM is a difficult one.  Anybody that eats cornflakes and such like breakfast cereals, presumably is eating GM products, unless they are specified as organic,  That is also the case for all animal feeds which contain soya as 80% of the soya produced in the USA is GM.

All I can say, is 'It's your choice'.



GM has been around for ages.  Back then it was called selective breeding, and took a long time to do.  If you can short-cut with GM, then I'm all for it.

But then again, to me, Meat is Dinner, when I grew up (not that long ago), you ate what was on your plate, there was no alternative if you didn't like it, tough.  Any diet which restricts any type of food, unless there is a medical reason for it, I find a bit dubious.

I also think horse manure is horse manure.  They are not fed on the same rubbish that cows were fed on a few years ago that caused BSE (feeding a herbivore on the carcasses of sheep with scrapie, however much it was 'processed' is just plain wrong).  Hopefully we've learnt from our mistakes.  Each to their own, the thing that annoys me is when someone tries to tell me that their way is better and my way will give me cancer or some other such scare story.  Lots of cancers are genetic, lots of cancers are caused by environmental factors.  I believe when it's your time, you go, if it's not your time, you survive.  Tradition is important, but the good old days weren't that good.  Poverty was rife, childhood diseases were killers, and many went without because there just wasn't enough food to go round.  We are living in a golden age where the children we have are likely to live to see adulthood, most have a roof over their heads, are warm enough and have full bellies at night, and if you are ill, help is available.  Not everyone has these basic comforts, and here we are discussing the merits of horse poo





Thank-you MMP- that is the most sensible post that has been made on this thread-I fail too see how being a vegan is saving the planet which was one of the wilder claims-full merit to Gily for putting her head above the parapet but just can't accept this philosophy

As has said each to their own but I am quite happy striking the "balance" by eating a proper diet of meat,fish and veg as does the vast majority of people in this country.


MMP I so agree with you, but.................. Selective breeding is not the same as Genetically Modified.  With GM alien genes are put into something.  With selective breeding you cross and re-cross until the desirable trait you want is dominant. That is how all the wonderful range of plant colours and habits come about; high-yielding vegetables and grains.  Their breeding is essentially natural.

GM can mean putting say, fish genes into plants, or mice or insects.  Not the same thing at all.



Gary Hobson
Welshonion wrote (see)

...GM can mean putting say, fish genes into plants, or mice or insects,...

I'm trying to think why anyone would want to put a fish gene into a plant.

I suppose you could put a sardine gene into a tomato, and get a tomato that tasted like a sardine. I sometimes purchase Sardine and Tomato paste. So, I could actually have sardine and tomato sandwishes, made entirely from my own tomatoes. Seems a good idea.

If insect genes were put into mice, mice could fly. I don't think that is quite such a good idea, although the mice would probably like it.

Now we're getting silly!  What I was trying to say is that GM started out as a short-cut for all of the selective breeding, so we could achive in a few years what would normally take several generations.  Mankind has always been looking for new and innovative ways to kill himself.  I don't know why we call common sense common, when quite clearly it's lacking in some scientist that thinks crossing a fish with a tree, or a kangaroo with a sweetcorn is a good idea......

Gary, I love Herring in tomato sauce although it is not good for the gout so once a month, but, if I could grow it all in one of my tomato's the sky is the limit.
Speaking of which, I do not mind flying mice but flying pigs???

There are not very many certainties in life ... however one is we die (sorry if that sounds brutal), and another is everything, (yes, everything), changes.  It is our choice how consciously we lead our lives - it does not make me or you a better person.

If I get his permission, I will post Richard Sanford's response for people who are interested in horse manure!  I think we may find that he is interested/conscious because he is fighting cancer.

At the end of the day ( which will come to us all ) I think we all have to look at these issues, and decide what is feasible and practical. Personally, I tend towards an organic approach, and over the last few years have found that I've become much more interested in growing veg rather than ornamentals. I make my own compost and leaf mould, and save all the ash from my wood burning stove. I look on horse manure as another method of recycling. GM I think is a bit creepy, but I'm pragmatic enough to acknowledge that higher crop yields from GM crops mean less global hunger. If only there were easy answers!

GM crops just mean mor emoney for Monsanto and their ilk.  It's possible to select plants without GM technology and simply by careful breeding but it's slower.

One of Monsanto's GM tricks is to create edible crops that tolerate glyphosate, thus allowing this weedkiler to be used on products for eventual human consumption.  I don't fancy accumulating glyphosate in my body or the antibiotics that come with factory farmed pigs and chickens so I buy organic flour and oats or spelt and free range or organic meat, poultry and eggs.  

I try to be as natural and organic in the garden as I can but do resort to chemicals when the weeds take over - as they have on the paths this year what with all the rain and my back op putting me out of action for months.   Never use them in the beds or veggie patch.

It is

Every food crisis brings an answer, not always for the best, to feed the burgeoning populations of the world we will need new and better processes including GM.
China Japan South Asia are all experimenting with better rice yields, America? well we are not too sure what they are playing with.
The British army marched on Pom, dried Cabbage Bully beef and M&V during the war, there are stories of German troops swapping their processed sausage for British corn beef? Then we got Spam which was to some of us a luxury not knowing or wanting to know the salt content. Margarine horrible, dried egg horrible tinned bacon so-so, we had no choice, it was extra food to supplement rations.
With peace came the burger bars, hot dog stands and ice cream with 15 ingredients instead of three, it was a reaction to shortages and food that was much the same for nearly ten long years.
Now we are at a time when a lot of people cannot be faddy in what they eat, they eat what they can afford and that cuts out organic and other wholesome things, well wholesome to some of us who can afford it but have go cheaper to a lot of folk.
Demand sets trends and GM whether we like it or not will be the norm in the next decade, it is already here by stealth, we may as well accept it.
I can afford to shop at the last of the local butchers, we know where the meat comes from but he is the last if he goes then it will be the Supermarkets, we do not know where the meat comes from, it is cheaper but to me tasteless, if money was short it would have to make do and that is the way life works.



Although this is an old thread, for your information a vegan method of growing is available. Vegan organics (stockfree organics) is an established method of growing food and used commercially in the UK. It is any way of cultivating the soil that avoids the use of artificial chemicals, genetically modified material, animal products such as manure, blood, fish and bonemeal.


To improve and promote long term fertility of the soil vegan organic or stockfree growers use a variety of different measures. These include crop rotations, green manures, under-sowing, mulching, composting, the use of chipped branched wood and seaweed meal (not calcified).


But has anyone been to a barn where organic produce is being stored.  A friend of mine (farmer) was horrified at the obvious signs of vermin everywhere - made him feel sick.

Sadly, life isn't straightforward  

Many thanks FreddieFuchsia for taking up the discussion.  Just googled Vegan organics (stockfree organics).  Do you have other references besides Vegan Organic Network?

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