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Welcome to the Vegan Organic Network (VON) Newsletter!


The global ecosystem is in far greater danger than scientists previously thought, according to a new study — and that’s really saying something.

The research predicts that without dire action to reverse global climate change, entire ocean ecosystems could suddenly collapse this decade, The Guardian reports. It’s a dire warning: as various organisms face temperatures higher than anything they have before, the study predicts sudden, massive die-offs.

Free Fall

The study, published Tuesday in the prestigious journal Nature, examines the temperatures that 30,000 land and sea organisms can withstand, and plots those ranges against the expected temperature increases through the year 2100.

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Podcast Feature: Tony Martin, Vegan Organic Network

In this episode we talk with Tony Martin, editor of Growing Green International, the magazine of UK based Vegan Organic Network. We chat about the current pandemic’s influence on interest in the orgnazation, about Tony’s editorial role and process about the mission of VON and more.

Listnen to podcast

Rewilding in lockdown: the volunteers holed up in the Highlands sowing seeds

Agroup of rewilding enthusiasts have foregone the comforts of their own homes during lockdown to stay in the Scottish Highlands and look after 100,000 young trees.

Volunteers working for Trees for Life have been voluntarily isolating themselves at the charity’s Dundreggan rewilding estate in Glenmoriston since March – to save more than 100,000 native trees from being lost due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The saplings – including Scots pine, rowan, juniper, hazel, holly and oak, as well as rare mountain species such as dwarf birch and woolly willow – were all grown from seed in Dundreggan’s specialised nursery and were due for planting out on the hills this spring as part of an initiative to restore Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest.

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Get your gardening/farming tips from Veganic Farmer Jenny Hall, Horticultral expert Ellen-Mary and Wildlife Film Maker Piers Warren.

Tanzanian farmers are facing heavy prison sentences if they continue their traditional seed exchange

In order to receive development assistance, Tanzania has to give Western agribusiness full freedom and give enclosed protection for patented seeds. “Eighty percent of the seeds are being shared and sold in an informal system between neighbors, friends and family. The new law criminalizes the practice in Tanzania,” says Michael Farrelly of TOAM, an organic farming movement in Tanzania.

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Nitrogen emissions along global livestock supply chains

Global livestock supply chains have significantly altered nitrogen (N) flows over past years, thereby threatening environmental and human health. Here, we provide a disaggregated assessment of the livestock sector’s impacts on global N flows and emissions, including international trade. The results show that the sector currently emits 65 Tg N yr−1, equivalent to one-third of current human-induced N emissions and sufficient to meet the planetary boundary for N. Of that amount, 66% is allocated to Asia and 68% is associated with feed production. Most emissions originate from locally produced animal-sourced food, although N emissions embedded in international trade are significant for some importing countries. Given the magnitude of its impacts and its central role in both domestic and international N challenges, the livestock sector urgently requires a global initiative to tackle N pollution while supporting food security.

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We’re Thinking Over Why We Kill Clover

Clovers — specifically Trifolium repens — have for centuries been domesticated ground cover plants. Clover is a legume, in the same plant family as peas, beans, and peanuts. Its common names include white clover, white Dutch clover, Dutch clover and ladino clover. While it is native to the Mediterranean, it was introduced into the United States early in the colonial days. By 1747, it was common enough that Benjamin Franklin noted red clover’s value in improving pastures. Today, it grows readily from Canada to Texas, from Florida to Alaska.

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know (or have forgotten) this fact. Most won’t see a useful plant as we might see in its close relatives — the same goes for red clover, Trifolium pratense, white clover’s bushier cousin.

Why is Animal Rebellion standing with UK Farmers

Animal Rebellion is standing in solidarity with UK Farmers against the new Agricultural Bill 2020.

You’re right, this is shocking. Why are we standing with the very farmers who keep the animal agricultural system going?

The Agricultural Bill 2020 is a HUGE step backward for our food system and food security.

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Myths of organic farming

A few years ago Anthony Trewavas, Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Edinburgh University, published, in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, an article entitled Urban Myths of Organic Farming, in which he tried to discredit organic farming on the basis that, according to him, it did not promote any more biodiversity than conventional farming, that it used just as much energy as conventional farming and, most extraordinary of all, that trace quantities of toxic pesticides in our food were actually good for us!

Most people will probably regard these claims as absurd. But at the same time it has to be acknowledged that there really are some myths associated with organic farming

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Tony Martin's  Veganic Gardening Tips for June

  • Knee deep in Courgettes?
    “You may be wondering what to do with, for instance, your courgettes. You’ve given the neighbours some, handed them round to family, friends, passing strangers who give you funny stares and still your plants show no signs of slowing down!"

    Time to check out Heather's article in issue 43 of Growing Green International.

  • Does your fruit tree need thinning? Plums are very vulnerable in wet weather to mould rapidly passing from one to another. Thin them to give them some space to breathe and dry off when they can.

  • Ever been stung by a nettle? Get your own back by harvesting the tender parts for a nutritious food and the rougher bits to make an excellent compost tea to feed your other plants.

  • Sometimes nature needs a little hand with pollination. Get a (non animal hair) paint brush and ensure your tomatoes etc set properly by tickling them during the day (late morning to early afternoon is peak pollen time).

Veganic gardening books

Urgent action is needed nationwide as Japan becomes a hotspot for insect loss.

The Ramsar Convention for Wetland Conservation describes rice paddies as human-made wetlands important for biodiversity, yet drastic action beyond Japan’s few Ramsar-designated sites is likely to be needed to recover disappearing birds and insects.

The most well-known and culturally important species characteristic of Japan’s “satoyama”, or traditional rice-farming landscape, are precarious. Two bird species, the oriental white stork and Japanese crested ibis, are the subject of limited reintroduction programs following their extinction in Japan.

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Growing for health: goji berry 

Goji berries (Lycium) are a powerful, nutrient-rich superfood. They make an excellent tonic and are often eaten in a raw food vegan diet. Containing 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges and over 20 trace minerals, including iron, copper, calcium and zinc, they are also the richest known source of carotenoids (including beta-carotene) in the world. They also supply anti-oxidants, 18 amino acids and other vitamins, including B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E.
Packets of dried goji berries can be purchased by mail order from suppliers such as the Fresh Network. They are also available from some health shops. However, it is now possible to grow a supply of fresh berries in your garden using bareroot plants supplied by Thompson & Morgan, thus reducing food miles.

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European Rewilding Network welcomes its first Irish rewilding initiative

The reserve is pretty much left untouched, with natural processes left to reshape the landscape. There’s no drainage, and areas of grassland are left to be grazed by wild animals, such as deer. At Dunsany we never mass cut anything, but will sometimes trim some of the weaker trees in new plantations to allow room for some of the stronger ones to grow better. 
The vision is wilderness! A mix of habitats with flourishing wild nature.

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Prevent Fresh Water Pollution

Only 17% of England’s rivers are in good ecological condition according to European environmental legislation.

Agriculture, predominantly animal agriculture, contributes up to 60% of nitrate pollution and 30% of phosphate pollution in the UK, making animal farming the biggest factor towards the destruction of freshwater bodies in the UK.

In 2009, the government said it was committed to tackling the impact of agricultural pollution on freshwater bodies in the UK by 2015, yet in 2020, no progress has been made.

These polluted rivers with low oxygen levels have been proven to be more susceptible to the harmful effects of climate warming, creating a catalyst effect of further degradation to the ecosystems both beneath the water and in the surrounding regions.

Equally, it's estimated that if all rivers can be healthy within the next 10-15 years, there would be an estimated 8.5 billion pound benefit to the economy. This is money that can be used to further tackle climate collapse, through subsidising the production of plant-based proteins for example.

We need change!

We need to hold the government responsible for its inaction.

We need to transition to a plant-based food system that is less land and resource-intensive, and will help reduce and reverse the current levels of ecocide and climate collapse.

Use the link in our bio to see what you can do and join us on the 1st of September at the London Rebellion!

#animalrebellion #extinctionrebellion #climatejustice #animaljustice #plantbasedfoodsystem #riverpollution #rebellion #foodsystemchangenow

  • Vegan Organic Network (VON) are an educational charity, founded in 1996, the only U.K based organisation solely dedicated to veganic farming and growing.
  • VON created the first Stockfree Veganic Standards.
  • We network with farms around the world and support veganic farmers and farmers in transition.
  • Encourage vegan companies to source veganic ingredients for their products.
  • VON are co-organising the international conference on Plant-based organic farming, which will be held in the European Parliament in Brussel’s in October of this year, where we hope to influence government policy makers who will be invited to the conference.

Registered charity no. 1080847  
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