Can Vegans Eat Vegetables Grown in Manure?

With veganism gaining popularity throughout the globe, it’s important for those having a positive impact on the Earth to understand what they can and can’t eat. If you’re looking into the vegan lifestyle and movement, there are plenty of unknowns and questions you may have.

The use of artificial fertilisers and soil conditioners increased by 25% from 2008 to 2018 – knowing this, organic farmers are actively looking to implement animal manure into their crops, but, is the usage of manure to grow vegetables vegan-friendly? In this guide, we discuss both sides of the argument so that you can make the choice for yourself.


What is animal manure?

Animal manure, also known as animal poop and animal muck, is essentially a mix of organic matter that is used as a fertilizer in gardening and agriculture. 

Animal manure can be split down into farmyard manure (FYM) or farm slurry. FYM contains organic material (often straw), which has been used as bedding for farm animals and this absorbs the faeces and urine of the animals, whereas farm slurry is produced where plant material isn’t used as bedding for animals – instead concrete or slated are used. This manure is then collected and mixed in with fresh straw.

To find out more information about manure and the different types available to gardeners in the UK, see our ultimate guide to organic manure.


What does it mean to be a vegan?

A common misconception is that vegans face restrictions on a day-to-day basis, however ‘to be vegan’ it’s simply making a conscious decision to eliminate as many animal-based products as you can. Whether this be avoiding leather handbags or a steak in a restaurant, each way of defining veganism is different, but in short, it’s to cut down the number of animal products consumed in day-to-day life as far as possible or practical.


Are vegetables grown with animal manure vegan?

Animal manure is a lot better than chemical fertilisers because it is natural and organic, however, some of us are now questioning: can vegans eat vegetables grown in manure? 

As it is quite a complex question, we’ve created a list of reasons why you CAN and CAN’T eat vegetables grown in manure.


Yes, you can…

When looking at the bigger picture, manure is just excrement mixed in with organic matter – what’s the problem? Manure isn’t put together by animals in which that is their only purpose on a farm. Manure is simply a by-product of animals and this should be taken into consideration when deciding on whether you should eat vegetables that have been grown in manure.

Using manure also enriches soils, reduces wastage and decreases the amount of fertiliser used by farmers, therefore having a far better impact on our ecosystem than using artificial alternatives. In addition to this information, vegetables and fruits are washed before packaging, therefore there are technically no animal products left to consume by that point.


No, you can’t…

Taking veganism literally, on a technical basis you can’t eat vegetables grown in manure. As manure is a product of an animal, vegans should not use it. Using any by-products from animals can be an endless list and manure shouldn’t be seen as an anomaly.  Eating vegetables that were grown from manure can be seen as indirectly supporting industries that farm animals for food, therefore going against the vegan movement. 

An alternative to adding manure to vegetables is Veganic Farming. Veganic farming also called ‘vegan organic’ and plant-based farming is the organic production of vegetables, fruits and other plant foods that have minimal or zero amount of harm to animals.


Summary

To conclude, there are two sides to the argument on whether vegans can eat vegetables grown in manure and these need to be taken into consideration when coming to a decision. Armed with some information, the choice is yours whether you should eat plants grown in animal manure.

About the Author

alsoils tractor landscaping service

Alsoils

The Alsoils Team

For more than three decades, Alsoils has been a trusted name in delivering superior soil, compost products and offering landscaping services. Based in Hampshire, Alsoils caters to a diverse clientele, including both homeowners and businesses. Our team are experts in all things gardening, so you can be sure you get the very best advice for topsoil, compost, manure and so much more!

Good
Based on 14 reviews
Mark Belshaw
Mark Belshaw
2023-02-17
Ordered 2 bulk bags of manure on Wednesday, late afternoon and all was delivered by Friday lunch time. Great quality product and excellent delivery turnaround.
Charles Smith
Charles Smith
2022-06-30
Excellent, from order to delivery. 10 tonnes of loose load top soil delivered within a few days. Best price and the 10mm screened soil is great quality. Thank you
Lesley Barry
Lesley Barry
2022-05-15
Excellent product ordered 4 bags of top soil the driver was so accommodating as we have a very long driveway. The customer sevice was excellent. Thank you.
David Robberts
David Robberts
2021-05-13
Excellent product at a sensible price from a local supplier. Staff are friendly and willing to help: I asked if just one bag of topsoil could be delivered quickly and it arrived next day! Great service.
Mark Hibberd
Mark Hibberd
2018-06-11
Smooth execution of the transaction and delivery. Very helpful phone call and conversation. Ordered three bags of Border Blend topsoil. Paid by Paypal. They delivered, on the specified date, carefully, exactly where I wanted the bags placed. All in all, a very pleasing purchase. The topsoil was excellent and had been very carefully prepared. No lumps. Would definitely recommend and I will use again. Everyone I spoke to was nice and helpful.
David Stamp
David Stamp
2015-09-18
Ordered topsoil on Tuesday came by Friday at the exact time quoted. Was WAY cheaper than anywhere else (by about £15 per bag) and was dropped off via a crane on back of the lorry, not by pallet which most of the other places use. Soil was fine and dry. Brilliant !