I’m Vegan and I’m Moving to Mars


Mars could soon have a colony of 80,000 vegetarians. I’ve already started packing.

As any vegan or vegetarian likely knows, it can often feel like we’re from another planet. And that may soon be a reality, well, sort of. PayPal co-founder Elon Musk has made plans to develop a vegetarian colony on Mars.

Billionaire and private space entrepreneur (Musk also founded SpaceX, which created the Falcon 9 rocket NASA uses to deliver cargo to the International Space Station), Musk has detailed plans to accommodate 80,000 former earthling vegetarians on Mars, once scientists have figured out how to sustain human life on the red planet. And while it may seem as though it’s still the stuff of sci-fi movies, the technology is getting closer every day. Eric Anderson, a leading entrepreneur in the industry and chairman of Space Adventures, told RT, “I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that there will be a space hotel within the next ten years, in orbit around the Earth.”

Musk’s plans for the city include a roster of sustainable technologies beyond just the low-impact vegetarian diet, even for the journey to Mars, which would feature rockets powered by methane and liquid oxygen. “On Mars you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,” Musk said. But it won’t be cheap. Musk estimates tickets to make the move to Mars will cost new colony members around $500,000.

While I don’t have anything close to $500,000 saved up, yet, there are actually quite a few reasons I’d consider making this move to Mars, even despite the increased radiation risk (among other threats):

  1. Living with 80,000 vegetarians could be pretty cool. Sure, I could move to India…but the entire country’s not vegetarian, so it’s more challenging to be completely surrounded by “my people.”
  2. Maybe a new planet devoted to vegetarian ethics could also help our species reduce some of our other propensities towards violence.
  3. Two moons!
  4. Even if we never made it. Even if immediately upon landing evil Martians attacked us, the trip there would certainly be the most incredible experience of my life.
  5. Best Twitter hashtags ever: #iliveonmarsforreal #justsawmyfirstmartian
  6. No GMOs: While Musk hasn’t yet revealed how we’d procure food on Mars, I’m hoping he’s going to leave genetically modified seeds for earth…and leaving this planet is probably the only way to truly avoid them at this point, anyway.
  7. While only slightly, days on Mars are longer than Earth days.
  8. Vegetarian space sex. ‘Nuff said.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: kevin dooley

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.