the first martians will be vegan out of necessity and there is no other way to do it

FOOD IS A MARTIAN PRIORITY

It might sound strange that an ethical movement on Earth could transcend the boundaries of our planet, but it is true. At some point in the (hopefully) not so distant future, humans will travel to and colonize Mars, and perhaps even further afield in our galactic neighborhood. After all, exploration and discovery are in our genes, we're a curious species by our very nature, and in the past hundred years alone, we have gone from being a flightless species to one that can travel from one side of the planet to the other in less than a day. Neil Armstrong once said "'We're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being", and he was right.

Humans have climbed the highest mountains, dove to the deepest parts of our oceans, and even walked on the surface of the moon. We are explorers, but we're also a practical species. Think about it logically, we cannot transport a cow to Mars, nor a chicken or any other live animal, it simply isn't feasible. Space food as it exists right now is packaged here on Earth in a special facility; the food is freeze-dried and irradiated, packaged, and launched into space. This works well for the crew aboard the International Space Station, just as it did for the Apollo astronauts in the 60s. But Mars is a different ballgame altogether.

growing vegetables on mars in a greenhouse will be the only way to surviveEach crew of three Apollo astronauts traveled to the moon onboard the Command/Service Module, which had enough space for the food and equipment they would need for their 7-14 day journey. To reach Mars, however, would take anywhere from 150 to 300 days, depending on the time of launch. Even if launching within the optimum window for a 150-day journey, and with the expected crew consisting of six people, the crew would need over 20 times more food (and space to store that food) to simply reach Mars. That isn't factoring in the time they remain on the red planet or their return journey. Assuming the crew remained on Mars for 12 months, a suitable amount of time to set up a base, and then return on another optimum 150-day journey, they would still need over 104 times the amount of food consumed on Apollo. That is a lot of food even in a best-case scenario, the logistics of which just isn't possible.

So what is the alternative? Astronauts need to be able to grow their food. This limits them to vegetables, fruits, and legumes, the very foundation of a plant-based diet. This is the diet that vegans follow for a variety of reasons; environmental, health, their love of animals, or all of the above. The first colonists on Mars will be vegan out of necessity. They will grow their own food, recycle water, materials, and nothing will go to waste. They will live in harmony with their environment, and this is a lesson we must learn on Earth.

As we look to the future and see how our future Martian cousins will live and coexist with their home, we should follow their example here on Earth. It is possible to live in harmony with nature, in fact, it is vital for our survival. We as humans must advance technologically, but we must also advance morally in equal measure, for one without the other has no meaning.

For a better tomorrow, we start today.