Thursday, October 8, 2009

Random Thoughts About Veganism

It occurred to me today that, according to Star Trek, everyone travelling through space in or after the 24th century would essentially be a vegan. All food aboard the Enterprise, or any Federation craft for that matter, is created via a replicator. Therefore, all food is synthetic and does not come from the dead flesh of an animal. Therefore, the whole issue of to be or not to be vegan is pretty much a non-issue in the years to come - as long as everything that we see in Star Trek today does, in fact, come true.

I am a fan of the franchise, especially Next Generation, but I am no Trekkie. I ventured out into the world of the Trekkies in cyberspace today and found that there is still meat consumed on the Enterprise. Captain Picard, despite his greatness, had an issue with replicated caviar and always kept his personal supply of real, dead fish eggs on board. I seem to also recall that the crew were periodically given certain delicacies from strange planets and at times it was the flesh of a dead being.

All in all, the crews of the many Enterprise ships can pretty much be classified as vegan.

This got me thinking about space exploration in reality. There is a push on to explore beyond our planet. The logical next steps would be manned missions to Mars and beyond. If Earthlings were to colonize Mars or some other planet, moon, asteroid, I don't believe it would make any sense to take farm animals along for the ride and have them luxuriously feed on the limited food supplies available.

It seems to me that the only way we are going to leave this planet is by moving to a plant based diet. Think about it: just the extra antibiotics and veterinarian supplies alone would take up a massive amount of space. Not to mention, one or two crew would have to be veterinarians. Plants might easily adapt to an environment unlike our own whereas farm animals are as fragile as us. Plants are definitely the key to interstellar travel. Hell, maybe even when we try to plant our plants in some distant alien soil, the plants will interact with the new soil and become something more powerful than us and become the new 'masters of the universe'.

Back to Earth for a moment. I've just been reading a few articles (more like debates) about whether cigarettes are vegan. The reasoning behind it is that a number of cigarette companies test their product on animals. The sickest thing I read was that they sometimes cut holes into animals' throats and force the smoke in.

I'm by no means a 'smoker'. However, on the rarest of occasions, when drinking a few vegan-friendly beers with friends who do smoke, I have been know to light up a cigarette or on the best of occasions, light up a Cuban. At these times, I don't feel that I've betrayed my vegan commitment. I do, however, feel that I've betrayed my good-health commitment to myself - especially the next morning.

I am going to continue to look into this one. If anyone has any information or opinion on this topic or the science fiction ideas above, I would love to hear from you!


  1. Cigars and cigarettes? TMI
    But interstellar plants? Have you seen Wall-E? What was the sign that humans were waiting for to return to Earth? A PLANT!

  2. I've had the DVD for many months but have yet to watch it! Now I'm going to have to...