While it is easy to imagine how you could choose vegan-friendly clothing, it is more difficult to imagine that it would be possible or even necessary to consider whether your electronic devices have this same philosophy. This is partly due to the ever-changing nature of the movement as the electronics industry is notoriously complex and often unethical when it comes to environmental friendliness.
What is vegan hardware?
Veganism is a movement based on compassion for animals. Followers believe that animals should not be treated as merchandise for our consumption or enjoyment, so they defend the protection of the impact that humanity has on the environment. For many years this was expressed as a desire to eliminate animal products from the diet, but it was also seen as a fringe movement and even ridiculed.
However, today popular opinion has begun to change. Increasingly, people are changing their lifestyle and health habits, reducing dependence on products of animal origin; Beyond food, this has been particularly noticeable in the fashion industry, where previous staples like fur, feathers, and leather have been gradually replaced by synthetic alternatives.
Mind you, it’s harder to imagine the existence or need for vegan hardware, right? After all, these products are almost always made of metal or plastic, they do not have leather or fur and are produced in industrial factories that seem far removed from animal exploitation. However, there is a growing awareness of the ethical issues involved in electronics production, and while supply chains are notoriously opaque, materials such as glue often contain animal products.
Then there are the raw materials. Most suppliers and end brands cannot trace where the metals or plastics they use in their products originate from, but most are mined or produced in poor working condition; Metal mining or production is particularly problematic, with labor abuses and some in unsafe work environments and even illegal practices.
Consequently, the concept of vegan hardware or vegan electronics would be one that is not the product of actions, supply chains, or commodification of unethical or immoral animals (whether these ideals are realistic or not is up for debate). Of course, hardware that is produced in environmentally friendly factories is also sought out where possible.
An approach to vegan electronics
Unfortunately, these problems will not be solved in the short term. Consumer electronics production is global and each individual product relies on components and services from a vast number of suppliers. Some activists claim that this is the direct result of globalization, an argument put forward by former US President Obama, although this is not necessarily the case.
In terms of the devices themselves, although they cannot be evaluated component by component, there is potentially the possibility of purchasing them from “ethical companies”. We are constantly encouraged to update our equipment hardware, change smartphones, or purchase new headphones; Before rushing to buy the latest device to hit the market, we can always consider if we really need it, and although the forces of marketing are always against us in that regard, it is also essential to reduce the impact of electronic waste, that yes It causes a huge impact on the environment.
Although this is not exactly “vegan hardware” it does come into the concept to consider investing in devices sold by these “ethical companies”, think twice before switching devices, properly recycle old hardware in clean points (never throw it away). normal trash) and always try to fix malfunctioning devices before swapping them out for a new one.
For now, there are no hardware manufacturers that have openly expressed their ethics or their commitment to the environment in their manufacturing processes, but this trend is becoming stronger and stronger and proof of this is that large technology companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple o Microsoft is already in the spotlight on how they obtain, design and manufacture their products with the aim of verifying whether or not they are respectful with the environment.