Vegetables, even organic ones, get fertilised with pellets made of animal carcasses. I was surprised when an organic vegetable farmer told me that the fertiliser he uses on his fields is made of cow carcasses. This is only one of hundreds of organic fertilisers made of animal carcasses on the list of officially approved organic fertilisers by the Swiss Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL) - everything from pelletised cow carcasses to horn meal or bristle meal.
So, who is more vegan - the person eating beef from cows who only ate grass or the vegan who obliviously eats organic vegetables that were almost certainly fertilised with animal carcasses and animal manure?
My point is - things are usually not as one-dimensional as they are made out to be. I am almost certain that a whole lot of vegans will be up in arms when they find out that their farmer of trust has been feeding his vegetables with "meat". Should we create a new label for "vegan vegetables"? - certainly sounds like a funny business idea.
But of course the answer is no. Fertilising fields with animal manure (ideally, composted) or slaughterhouse waste (from animal-appropriate animal husbandry) is part of a sustainable cycle and is the only realistic organic alternative to artificially synthesised chemical fertilisers.
Be sure not to misunderstand me - I am not calling for more animal husbandry. We need only as many cows as we have grass to feed them, not a single one more (that is being fed on grain), but also not a single one less!