PETA recently sent out a press release about rocket producer SpaceX and their plans to send flights to Mars to create a colony. According to the animal rights organization, “the Martian colony is an opportunity to make a kind civilization in which humans don’t exploit other beings. And since the animal agriculture industry is toxic to human health and to the environment, an all-vegan civilization would ensure that the new Martian citizens would have long and healthy futures.”
The letter from PETA president Ingrid Newkirk to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk was also included. Newkirk said, “We can get off on the right foot on our new biosphere by ensuring that SpaceX crafts traveling to Mars are stocked only with vegan food and that Mars’ colonists commit to enjoying an animal-free diet once they’ve arrived. Colonizing Mars can give us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes on one planet and create a just civilization on another. Ensuring that Mars is a vegan planet (rather than importing animal products from Earth or creating factory farms on our new home) would protect animals from the horrors that they endure in the meat, egg, and dairy industries.” She also pointed out the cruelty of factory farms, such as animals being “crammed by the thousands into filthy sheds and cages so small that many can’t even turn around or spread their limbs.”
Musk’s response to PETA’s letter was somewhat supportive of the idea. He told Space.com, “”I’m a big fan of free choice for any future Martian colony. That said, it is likely that early Mars colonists would have a mostly vegetable diet, because of the energy and space needed to raise farm animals.” Space.com also points out that feeding the Mars colony will be difficult, as food will either need to be transported from Earth or grown on Mars itself. Musk hopes to fly people to Mars within 10-20 years.
Meanwhile, Newkirk and PETA say going vegan is the best solution for people on Earth too. “If Elon Musk’s vision of a colony on Mars comes true, the last thing those people will need is the disease and destruction that results from eating animals…Whether you’re settling into your new Martian home or staying here on Earth, going vegan is the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to enjoy the world around you for as long as possible.”