7

Walk, bicycle, drive or ride public transportation. Each has limitations on how effective it can be depending on distance and location.

When choosing transportation are there any vegan considerations? If so what would they be?

  • Cars often hit animals, so it is more vegan to avoid them I guess. – djechlin Feb 3 '17 at 22:14
7

The only one I can think of is fuel. A very small fraction of the world's biodiesel production comes from the refine of animal fats, although there is industry pressure to increase its share.

From a chemical standpoint, however, there is little to no advantage in using what they call "animal waste" as input to manufacture biodiesel. Animal fats are mostly solid (thus, harder to pour and carry around) and prone to putrefaction. The only reason why they are being pushed by some organizations is the low cost of acquisition, when compared to vegetable oils, but that's because no one else is interested in buying them. Their destination, otherwise, would be the waste bin.

So, answering your question: if you want to be on the extremely safe side, you can avoid means of transportation that make use of biodiesel. But bear in mind that only 3% of all biodiesel has actually made contact with animal waste.

  • It seems like a big leap from "a very small fraction of biodiesel comes from animal waste" to "avoid it." – djechlin Feb 3 '17 at 18:36
  • 2
    @djechlin That's why there's a "if you want to be on the safe side" between them. – Ramon Melo Feb 3 '17 at 18:47
  • No, it's a poor answer. Just make the actual, correct conclusion. "Even if you want to be on the safe side, don't worry about it." – djechlin Feb 3 '17 at 22:08
  • @djechlin This is just your conclusion, not "the actual, correct" one. Information was given impartially, it's up to the readers to derive their own conclusions. – Ramon Melo Feb 3 '17 at 22:23
  • But I disagree with the conclusion you added in your answer. You included a recommendation, so you own the recommendation. If you don't want to own a recommendation, then don't add one. I don't think adding "to be on the safe side" is any better than saying "This may be incorrect, but." If so then just don't say the thing at all. It's worse than useless; now the reader thinks that since they have heard an argument about how bio fuels have a 10^-n animal impact they should avoid it. – djechlin Feb 3 '17 at 22:26
6

There's a few things to consider besides the source of your vehicle's fuel, which was covered in Ramon's answer. While these may not be as specifically "vegan" concerns, from the standpoint of not consuming animal products, these do fall into the mindset of trying to lessen or prevent harm towards animals.

  1. Environmental Impact: Most people that live a vegan lifestyle aren't doing it just to prevent direct harm/suffering/death of animals. As a whole, we would want to prevent any negative impact we'd have on animals, both direct and indirect. Using an automobile that expels harmful byproducts such as greenhouse gases, have a negative impact on everything around us. Whenever possible, it would be best to try to avoid contributing to climate change and pollution, which would lead to considering more eco-friendly transportation such as bicycles or walking when possible.

  2. Animal Deaths: While it is virtually impossible to avoid killing any animals (think about all the insects you potentially injure or kill just by walking in grass), it would be prudent to try to minimize those deaths. Driving a car can lead to many insect deaths. It can also lead to the deaths of larger animals that find their way onto the road, such as squirrels, rabbits, or deer. By using a mass-transit system such as a bus or train, you can help minimize this potential by having less motor vehicles on the road. Walking or biking can also help lessen the chances of animal deaths.

4

From the other answers the obvious elephant in the room is missing: Don't use animals as a transport system!

To be avoided are:

  • Riding elephants (in the room or not) ;-)
  • Dog sleds
  • Horse carriages / horseback
  • Moose sleds
  • ...

Note: Above is a none-exhaustive list

3
  • Firstly there's the incredibly obvious leather seats and shoes which I only include for completeness.

  • Somewhat less obviously car and bicycle tyres can be made with animal-based stearic acid, which helps the rubber hold its shape as the tyre rotates. Not all are so you can check with the manufacturer whether this is the case.

  • If you're driving, be aware that some biodiesels are made from chicken and beef.

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