Veganism is the way of living that seeks to support animals as far as possible and practicable. Human and nonhuman. Treating them as beings with their own interests and desires separate from ours. It follows to not support exploitation of animals and the products and services that need it. Such as animal-derived food, clothing, entertainment, or animal testing.
- More love.
- More compassion
- Expand the circle of compassion. Beyond humans and some animals to all sentient beings.
- Less suffering.
- Less exploitation.
- Capture Emissions and Lower Temperature. We can do this by capturing carbon in plants and soil. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of near term global warming.
- More Biodiversity. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of biodiversity loss.
- Less Land Use. Reduce Global farmland by more than 75% while still feeding the world delicious meals. That's an area the size of the US, China, European Union and Australia combined.
- Less Energy Use. Animals are consumers. Plants are primary producers. Plants will always be more efficient.
- Health and Sustainability Benefits. Better global and national food based dietary guidelines. The healthiness and sustainability of national and global food based dietary guidelines: modelling study
- More holistic Design
- More Symbiotic
Compassion and empathy are important. When we lose them we can't relate as well to other people and other feeling creatures. We treat animals like objects rather than understanding them as their own being.
Cows, pigs, sharks, fish, chickens, and other animals that wind up on plates have emotions, like you and me. They experience love, grief, and fear. They may not verbalize their emotions — but then again, not all humans can either.
Imagine growing up in a steel cage with hundreds of other people. You're crammed so you can't even turn around. You're denied sunlight, affection, a kind word. Your plight only ends when you and everyone around you gets slaughtered for someone else to eat. That is not a humane existence for a thinking being, yet billions of animals experience it every day.
Here's the problem: When we live non-vegan, we are hurting animals unnecessarily! Please let that sink in. When we live non-vegan, we are hurting more animals. We are not respecting animals.
Is a vegetarian diet (with dairy products, honey and eggs) the solution?
Some think the way to respect animals is to adopt a vegetarian diet (no flesh). This is because they do not realize the violence inherent in animal exploitation.
For example, cows get bred at dairy farms. There calves that they consider unprofitable for dairy production get killed. Some get raised and then killed for their flesh (“beef” or “veal”). The calves can't drink their mothers' milk, because then the milk can't get sold as dairy products. They get separated until they are old enough to get impregnated. And the devastating cycle begins again.
The same happens with chickens. They get bred and all the ones they consider unprofitable get killed. This is part of the reason exploiting “backyard” chickens for their eggs can't be a part of the solution.
Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.
The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.
The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.
Conclusion: This analysis suggests that national guidelines could be both healthier and more sustainable. Providing clearer advice on limiting in most contexts the consumption of animal source foods, in particular beef and dairy, was found to have the greatest potential for increasing the environmental sustainability of dietary guidelines, whereas increasing the intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes, reducing the intake of red and processed meat, and highlighting the importance of attaining balanced energy intake and weight levels were associated with most of the additional health benefits. The health results were based on observational data and assuming a causal relation between dietary risk factors and health outcomes. The certainty of evidence for these relations is mostly graded as moderate in existing meta-analyses.
Veganism and OSE
I noticed that there are parallels between the vegan and OSE communities. Both are ethically motivated, they try to create a better world and are considered to be weird by the mainstream. Statistically, at least in OSE Germany, vegetarianism is over represented compared to the Germany average.
We can learn a lot from vegan movement, especially from its the pragmatic branch. A very good book is "How to create a vegan world" by Tobias Leenaert. There you will find many practical advises which can be applied also to OSE. It also contains an important critical part which helps to better understand ourselves and the "other side". This helps to lower frustration when talking with others and to develop efficient strategies.
Not "True Open source"
There is some tensions between vegans and vegetarians, anti-vegans. The vegans are subset of vegetarians who are more consistent. For example a vegan will not eat eggs and dairy products. This tensions can be much higher compared to non-vegetarians. This behavior has a psychological explanation but is irrational. The problem here is, that we lose our allies. Can we have similar problems in Open Source? I think - yes: These are CC-BY-NC licenses, companies which publish their sources with time delay, former Open Source projects.
In this topic it is very important to distinguish between product and the person. For a product we must be rigorous: if it has "Open Source" label, it must be open source. But if a company or a person is not more open source or not open source enough we can be just thankful for their contribution, keep good relationship and move on.
Differences and Opportunities
OSE has been primarily human-centric. Some OSE projects enable or facilitate the exploitation of sentient beings, these would require further iterations to find a more holistic design:
- Dairy_Milker Lactation device. Requires further work for animal sanctuaries, health care, and emergencies such as looking at veterinary equipment standards, different sizes and adjustable nozzles to accommodate different animals.
- Aquaponics Requires further work for animal sanctuaries, health care, and emergencies such as looking at veterinary equipment standards. Can also be adapted to grow duckweed, other ferns and algae.
It is possible to be vegan without open source technology.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). It is usually produced by Bacteria. Is there an easy to produce it?
veganhealth.org summarises it as:
In the published research, one plant food, chlorella, has been shown to have vitamin B12 activity in humans; there are caveats that you should be aware of before relying on it (see below). The only other plant food that has been tested is nori, which did not have B12 activity.
A number of foods, arguably, warrant further attention. Mankai, a type of duckweed, has shown promise for containing active B12 due to synergistic bacteria living inside the plant. But unless these foods are shown to consistently improve B12 status, vegans should not rely on them for vitamin B12.
It cannot be emphasized enough that until a particular food, obtained from multiple regions, consistently improves vitamin B12 status (by lowering MMA levels) in humans, it should not be relied upon as a source of vitamin B12.
Some researchers have found that bioactive Vitamin B12 can be produced during grain fermentation - In situ fortification of vitamin B12 in grain materials by fermentation with Propionibacterium freudenreichii, Chong Xie (PDF)
Other researchers have concluded that Mankai plant (a variety of Duckweed) contains bioactive B12 compounds and could serve as a B12 plant-based food source. Wolffia globosa-Mankai Plant-Based Protein Contains Bioactive Vitamin B 12 and Is Well Absorbed in Humans. Nutrients. 2020