I suppose when it comes down to it, I’m biased, but I would like to point something out.
Soylent is literally one ingredient away from being Vegan. I find it rather hard to believe that the cost of one ingredient could taint the overall price in any sort of dramatic way… I mean what are we talking here, $10 more for a months supply tops? Perhaps it’s more dramatic than I can imagine. If we could see the details, and maybe have poll on this issue as to what should be done, I think that’d be pretty neat.
In the mean time however, regardless of the fact that Soylent wasn’t intended to be Vegan from the get-go, it was intended to be a boon for society and the earth in general. As such, I think there’s some real credence to the idea of their being a single Soylent that is Vegan by default.
Allow me to elaborate…
I assume there’s some costs added to splitting inventory (Labor to separate stock and shipments for instance, and less bulk product purchase from both sources - assuming Vegan oil will be included at some point no matter what), which would be mitigated by sticking to the single-SKU model(Apparently not enoughso that it’s more cost-effective to go the alternative route, but it seems to me this would further decrease the impact of Vegan oil in the long-term). This would also be better for the environment, as they’d only be getting truck shipments from a single source location.
In addition, eliminating the remaining reliance on livestock in favor of renewable blue-green algae crop sources would certainly be an ideal, especially in light of recent discoveries: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/03/ocean-acidification-carbon-dioxide-emissions-levels And I don’t think anyone will disagree that we are heavily overfishing all over the world. So adding one more thing to the list of stuff that needs fish product in our society doesn’t seem like a great of an idea to me.
Finally, Jungroth does of course make an excellent point from a business standpoint in that this can be taken down to math-like simplicity. And Muhd does well to point out that regardless of the vocality, it is unlikely that Vegetarians and Vegans are a majority customer base(Although this assessment could certainly be wrong, after all, as soon as I heard about Soylent the implications of a healthier Vegan lifestyle rushed straight to my head, who knows how many in the community have been and could still be smitten with the concept?)…
But basing the final decision purely on these factors seems irresponsible to me, considering the opportunity posed here. Nor does it seem Rob’s style, based on his Blog posts and videos… That opportunity - the possibility, simplicity, and branding that goes along with the ideal idea of a single Soylent product that fits the needs of virtually all diet forms and violates none or the bare minimum of ethical dilemmas - seems to me to be a serious thing to think about. If not a more serious thing than a few more drops in peoples pocketbooks.