Why vegan gardeners are ditching bird feeders in favour of slug-friendly vegetable patches

Vegan Matthew Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil but to avoid fertilisers sold at garden centres

Vegan Matthew Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil but to avoid fertilisers sold at garden centres

Vegan Matthew Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil but to avoid fertilisers sold at garden centres

A garden where birdbaths and feeders are banned, the only compost uses human waste and the owner says we should ‘hug a slug’.

Even the rights of the humble worm matter in a vision of vegan gardening laid out in a controversial book by Matthew Appleby.

The deputy editor of Horticulture Week says bird feeders and baths are not compatible with his vegan ideals. 

He adds: ‘These are treating birds as pets. They also attract animals like squirrels and foxes as well as cats.

‘If you use bird feeders and baths you are sentimentalising your garden as your own zoo.

‘Best of all is to create garden habitats and grow food the birds and wild animals like to eat.’

Most fertilisers sold at garden centres are also out, because they are made from slaughterhouse scraps such as bone, blood and horn and even fish. Instead, Appleby urges gardeners to use ‘humanure’.

Banned: Slugs are OK, but no bird feeders, baths, chickens or wormeries are allowed in Matthew Appleby’s garden

Banned: Slugs are OK, but no bird feeders, baths, chickens or wormeries are allowed in Matthew Appleby’s garden

Banned: Slugs are OK, but no bird feeders, baths, chickens or wormeries are allowed in Matthew Appleby’s garden

Keeping bees, worms, fish and chickens are also taboo for the author, who said it was ‘effectively keeping creatures caged in an unnatural environment’. Appleby’s manifesto promises to continue the vegan revolution that is sweeping through Britain

Keeping bees, worms, fish and chickens are also taboo for the author, who said it was ‘effectively keeping creatures caged in an unnatural environment’. Appleby’s manifesto promises to continue the vegan revolution that is sweeping through Britain

Keeping bees, worms, fish and chickens are also taboo for the author, who said it was ‘effectively keeping creatures caged in an unnatural environment’. Appleby’s manifesto promises to continue the vegan revolution that is sweeping through Britain

He said: ‘Vegans would not want to use [fertilisers]. But they can make their own compost and fertiliser using vegetable scraps, leaves, clippings and straw. No animal manure, but there’s no reason not to use nitrogen-rich human urine and composted human manure if it is from someone who eats a vegan diet.’

Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil.

The deputy editor of Horticulture Week says bird feeders and baths are not compatible with his vegan ideals. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds hit back, saying: ‘Feeding birds is a fantastic and important thing to do'

The deputy editor of Horticulture Week says bird feeders and baths are not compatible with his vegan ideals. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds hit back, saying: ‘Feeding birds is a fantastic and important thing to do'

The deputy editor of Horticulture Week says bird feeders and baths are not compatible with his vegan ideals. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds hit back, saying: ‘Feeding birds is a fantastic and important thing to do’

Keeping bees, worms, fish and chickens are also taboo for the author, who said it was ‘effectively keeping creatures caged in an unnatural environment’.

Even the rights of the humble worm matter in a vision of vegan gardening laid out in a controversial book by Matthew Appleby

Even the rights of the humble worm matter in a vision of vegan gardening laid out in a controversial book by Matthew Appleby

Even the rights of the humble worm matter in a vision of vegan gardening laid out in a controversial book by Matthew Appleby

‘I would say a wormery, for example, exploits worms.’

As for ‘hugging a slug’, he said: ‘Vegans would rather see plants wilt than kill a slug. I think creating an eco-system where there are predators such as birds to control slugs is the best idea.’

Appleby’s manifesto promises to continue the vegan revolution that is sweeping through Britain.

He said: ‘If you are vegan and interested in what you eat, you will also wish to grow your own food and do so without harming the planet or the environment.’

But the pioneer of wildlife gardening in Britain, author Professor Chris Baines, took issue with Appleby for trying to ‘set up a conflict between vegan gardeners and the rest of us’. 

He added: ‘Gardens and gardeners have had a profound beneficial effect on wildlife that is struggling in the wider countryside. Birds that people enjoy in their gardens have a rough time outside suburbia.

Appleby urges gardeners to use ‘humanure’ as most fertilisers sold at garden centres are made from slaughterhouse scraps. Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil

Appleby urges gardeners to use ‘humanure’ as most fertilisers sold at garden centres are made from slaughterhouse scraps. Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil

Appleby urges gardeners to use ‘humanure’ as most fertilisers sold at garden centres are made from slaughterhouse scraps. Appleby, who has a West London public allotment, advises fellow vegans against putting ‘humanure’ directly on to soil

‘Goldfinches almost disappeared 25 years ago and are now thriving because of the way people feed birds. Bird feeders and birdbaths are not having a private zoo.

‘As for hugging slugs, that is just a sensationalist slogan. If the author has a way of dealing with slugs without the usual predators of toads and hedgehogs then he may be on to a winner, but I don’t believe he has.’

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds also hit back, saying: ‘Feeding birds is a fantastic and important thing to do. Not only does it help birds that might struggle to find food in the wider countryside, it brings joy to a lot of people and is a brilliant way of getting children interested in nature.’

‘The Super Organic Gardener- Everything You Need To Know About A Vegan Garden’ by Matthew Appleby is out now. Pen & Sword Books, £16.99

Link hienalouca.com

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