Vegetarian homesteading …is that a thing? When people think homesteading, raising livestock for meat consumption is one of the first things to come to mind. However, the definition of a modern day homesteader is ever expanding…it can look like many different things for different people. But at it’s core it remains based on the principle of becoming more self-sufficient and sustainable. And that is something everyone can do, even vegetarians.
There are so many reasons that someone might choose to live a plant-based lifestyle. For me, it’s deeply rooted in my ethical beliefs and my own intuitive eating journey. You can learn a little more about that here through my conversation with the amazing females over at the Diet Riot Podcast. I encourage everyone to set aside preconceived food rules, diet culture influence, and popular documentaries based on biased research when it comes to this polarizing topic. Have understanding and compassion for those who do not agree with your choices. Refrain from judging others who’s lifestyle is not the same as your own.
So for whatever reason you’ve chosen to follow a plant-based lifestyle, don’t worry, you can still homestead with the best of them without raising or consuming animals and animal products.
Focus on your garden
For a lot of homesteaders, vegetarian or otherwise, the garden is the main focus of the operation. There is nothing like growing your own produce to give you that rewarding sense of providing for yourself.
Learn how to preserve food
Food preservation is hugely useful skill to develop as a homesteader whether thats freezing, dehydrating, or canning. Making your own or purchased produce last longer allows you to consume it when it’s no longer in season.
Bake from scratch
Learning to bake from scratch is a great step in the direction of self-reliance. It may seem intimidating at first but once you learn the basic principles and techniques, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be. Start with this very simple no-knead crusty bread recipe.
Keep animals for other purposes
If you really want to have animals on your homestead for the companionship but don’t consume animals products, you always have the option of housing unwanted livestock and animals as a rescue or sanctuary. Many people choose to farm as a hobby, purely for the enjoyment of it.
In the end, vegetarian homesteading may save you money. Animals require an elaborate infrastructure. There are housing, feed, and vet costs to consider, and a large amount of space needed. Choosing not to raise animals for meat consumption can be a less expensive venture.
Find your own version
Some vegetarians (like myself) do consume eggs and dairy products. Keeping chickens for eggs and goats for milk are great options. There are many different subgroups within the broad label that is “plant-based”, with a little planning, you can make your homestead fit your needs, ideal, and lifestyle.