Non-vegan status of soylent & refunds


#1

The only reason I backed soylent (with a 3 month supply even!) is because you had announced that the finalized formula would be vegan. I don’t even want my soylent shipped to me if it is going to include fish oil because it defeats the entire reason I was backing it in the first place. Fish Oil is also a very inefficient source of fats.

You can’t announce that your formula is vegan and then backstep on it a few months later.

Please watch this video and let me know why you want this in your soylent.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNQfRfrq7Wo

If the final formula is non-vegan is there an option for vegans who would like refunds?


#2

From what I understand. The fish oil will be on the side for people who don’t want to consume it. You can go to their blog that they are updating about once a week to find out probably everything you need to know.


#3

The issue is that most vegans do it for moral reasons and even if they didn’t use the fish oil, they still purchased a product including it. However, fish oil is not a poor source of fats. It is by far the best source of omega-3 EFAs. Study upon study has demonstrated the benefit of fish oil. If anyone disagrees, I can provide many links. Of course, rancid fish oil is very unhealthy, but the same goes for any other PUFA source.


#4

See my thoughts here. I’d like it to be vegan too, but sometimes the perfect is very much the enemy of the good.


#5

Yeah, I realize that. I was just stating what I knew of the situation. I find vegans to be rediculous myself. Many quite irrational. But, opinions are like a holes. We all have one and they all stink, including mine. lol


#6

I used to think the same, but now I understand that you can’t be an inherently good person without being a vegan. I originally started vegetarianism explicitly for personal and self centered reasons; but now I understand that everything with a nervous system experiences pain and death. Eating animal byproducts contributes to an industry perpetuated by relentless suffering and I don’t want to so much as put my money towards anything involving animal products anymore.

The problem with fish oil is multi-faceted.

Where are these fishes coming from? Is it pure fish oil or is it going to be 45% soy oil? Are the fish raised in a reasonable and agriculturally sustainable (the point of soylent!) manner? If they’re wild: are these the same fishermen who are responsible for the slaughter of 20,000 some dolphins each and every year? What are the diets of the fish (probably more animal byproducts) ? Is it going to have non-fish ingredients - akin to when burgerking sold horsemeat as hamburgers? What kind of fish, salmon, tuna … ? How long have the fish been “oil” and what is the probability of unforeseen contaminants such as mercury or industrial solvents that would be used to separate the oil? Is it refined? What kind of process is used to press the oil? Are the fish pressed alive?

I can’t support a company whose ideal solution to world hunger involves a completely unsustainable and unreliable source of fats, the only worse choice than fish would be palm oil or lard.

I don’t even know half of the questions to ask, but fish definitely do feel pain even if they don’t have the vocal ability to express it.

And this is coming from someone who used to record himself on YouTube eating giant blocks of mozzarella while drinking whiskey. I loved sushi for the longest time but now I’m aware that anything with lifeblood should be treated with some degree of respect.


#7

The human species was and is meant to be omnivores. We are supposed to eat what is available. Be it vegetable, fruit, grain, meat, what have you. This is fact. Your holier than thou attitude is what makes me have no use for most vegans. Because most if not all speak the way you do. Like your way is the only right way. There is nothing wrong with being a vegan in and of itself. There is also nothing wrong with being an omnivore the way nature intended it. And guess what? I hate to break it to you. But living breathing creatures die because of vegans too.


#8

Don’t start on off-topic debate on ethical issues. All these arguments and counter-arguments have been mentioned millions of times, not helpful in any way.

I hope all of you realize that fish oil doesn’t just make Soylent non-vegan, it makes it non-vegetarian. That’s around 3% of the US population. And in countries like India different surveys say 20% to 40% of the population is. That’s a lot of people.

This should really be reconsidered.


#9

Once the initial soylent is shipped it has been stated there will be multiple options to choose from. It has been stated before that they got more than 10x the orders they initially thought they would. That is a significant amount and a game changer in most peoples eyes. 97%> 3% for the time being


#10

The problem with vegans is that they draw an arbitrary line and then are utterly radical about said line. Worrying about animal affairs is very noble, but you have to realize that animal suffering caused by humanity is pervasive. No matter what you do, always are going to be indirectly responsible for some of it. Be it the usurpation of natural ecosistems for farming and urban expansion, or the pollution generated by the industry to manufacture all sorts of consumer goods, or just any other thing.

One has to consider the whole picture and make compromises, be radical about a single thing (consumtion of animal products) is irrational. As said before, Soylent has the ability of turn omnivores into nearly vegans. In my book is worth enough to support it.

But I know that I’m not going to convince you, so whatever. /rant

PS: The fish oil issue can be solved using algae oil with a minimal impact in price (I gladly pay it so that vegans stop whining), but most surely the actual production of algae oil is insufficient for Soylent needs, so for now there is no alternative.


#11

well it definitely doesn’t help their stance that instead of capping their orders to a limited amount that they’re now advertising it on facebook and continuing to take orders.


#12

Thanks for that by the way, it’s nice to know I’ve been judged as immoral by a total stranger. That’s definitely a thing an inherently good person does.
The PETA video you linked (PETA being their own brand of fanatical crazy) is about Indian fishing practices, it doesn’t reflect the farming practices of standard US fisheries or of the source of fish oil that first gen Soylent will include.

Saying you can’'t support a company that includes fish oil in its first generation product is ridiculous, I have little doubt that once the preorders are behind them in December they’ll add a vegan option at the checkout that doesn’t include the fish oil or will include a vegan alternative. But for a such a huge blowout of preorders it’s not worth pandering to the 3% and delaying the product even more to contact all the original buyers to find out their preference and then customise 3% of a $1m worth of shipments.

I don’t remember Soylent ever claiming to be vegan, possibly that it had the potential to be vegan but I don’t remember them saying even that much and I certainly doubt it was a product launch guarantee.

Personally I don’t like the idea of supporting cruel animal farms because I think they’re inhumane (especially poultry farms) but Soylent has the potential, even with the fish oil included, to reduce our dependency on those places by ridiculous factors. For every few omnivores that swap out to Soylent it’s one less chicken raised and killed every week, a cow every other week. For hundreds and thousands of people to use Soylent would be fantastic for exactly the goals you want and in time vegetarian/vegan options are a guarantee simply based on demand. If vegans make it clear they won’t support Soylent at all, they lose any developmental input like a shareholder who sells his stocks.


#13

Stop it with the insults and overused arguments from both sides which are irrelevant to the topic.

https://campaign.soylent.me/soylent-free-your-body

From the website: “The main Soylent mix will be vegan, but will also include a separate oil blend (2oz) that is composed of canola and fish oils. We are hoping to be able to offer shipments of Soylent without the oil blend included, and will be posting an update on blog.soylent.me when we have an update…”.

Before, though, it said: “We’re pretty sure it will be Vegan! We’ll be publishing the final ingredients in a few weeks.”

This is from an archived version of the site from August: http://web.archive.org/web/20130822095149/https://campaign.soylent.me/soylent-free-your-body

I don’t know what it said before that, the archiving website fails to load older dates.

Sure, the website didn’t say “Yes!”. But still, I personally think saying “pretty sure it will be” and then not having it that way is unprofessional. They tried to solve this issue by making the animal part separate from the rest of the mix. But this doesn’t help vegans (and vegetarians, y u ignore us? :frowning: ) since buying an animal product is a moral problem for them in itself, not just consumption.

So in summary, you can understand the frustration vegans experience right now caused by confusion from vague text and possibly quotes from other articles or videos which I’m not aware of, but vegans can’t demand a refund because they knew or had to know there was a possibility, even though a small one like the website claimed, that it wouldn’t be vegan.

And if anyone’s interested, human body doesn’t need fish oil to survive or stay healthy. This was probably used to lower the cost. I’m pretty sure one day there will be multiple versions of Soylent and one of them will be vegan friendly. But for now, it’s nothing you vegans or vegetarians like me can do.


#21

Valid points being made:

  • The soylent team expressed an expectation that the product would be 100% vegan
  • The current planned run of the product is not 100% vegan by all definitions
  • Vegan soylent was (and still is) a goal, and not an ironclad promise
  • Even if shipped separately (or left out per-order), this is still a reasonable personal concern for vegans who wish not to support production of fish oil
  • Morality is not binary. Soylent is still far less supportive of many negative animal practices than most things
  • Being the lesser of two evils is possible. It is also not the same as being good.
  • A future 100% vegan mix is a desired thing to have
  • An immediate 100% vegan mix may or may not be reasonably possible, due to many factors which will probably be posted later today
  • “I would like you to understand my point of view, even if you don’t follow it yourself.”
  • People have the right to their own opinions, either way

Not valid points which are not helping constructive discourse:

  • Being non-vegan makes you automatically a bad person
  • Being vegan makes you automatically a bad person
  • Thinking X makes you automatically a bad person
  • “No, your view is wrong” [end of post]
  • “I don’t understand how you people ___” [end of post]
  • “numbersnumbersnumbers and that means only I’m right
  • “this video/link/blog/color means only I’m right
  • “I know you are but what am I”
  • “I know I am but so are you”
  • “You need to think the thing I think because my opinion is the only opinion and you are clearly a poor lost sheep. I will help you.”

As a note, if you are reading my post and thinking “yeah, someone supporting my side and telling off that other group”, please read it again because you have direly misunderstood my point.
And for what it’s worth, a useful pyramid :smiley:


#22

Wow, I went to bed and woke up to this lol
For the record I wasn’t badmouthing vegans, I just don’t like being arbitrarily judged by strangers, the rest of my post was mostly on topic :stuck_out_tongue:


#23

Yes, they totally can. We are happy to make refunds.


#24

^ I love good customer relations. Being obstinate over a refund costs a lot more than just the refund.


#25

All violence is important to address, and it’s really not a zero-sum, and/or situation.


#26

Eating meat isnt violence. Its nature.


#27

Just to clear things up, I’m pretty sure the violence many vegans/vegetarians refer to is the conditions/treatment of the animals in many places, not the literal act of eating meat.