In the Dune universe, Spice is organic in origin. It is extracted from the ground on Arrakis and therefore there is no direct contact between the humans and the sandworms involved in attaining the Spice.

While the worms are incapable of intentionally giving the spice to the humans, I think spice mining can be hardly qualified as exploitation. I also think that the process is ethical given that humans are not harming the worms in any way in the process of spice extraction.

With this in mind, could vegans consume Spice? Would it align with the vegan way?

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    uhhhhhhhhhhhh i dont think its vegan. – Himarm Dec 20 '16 at 15:18
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    @Radhil If I read the book correctly, it comesfrom the "fungusoid wild growth achieved when water is flooded into the excretions" of the larva. The fungus generates gas and that causes the explosion. I don't know, it's a stretch, but I think eating poop fungus could still be vegan, right? – kdojeteri Dec 20 '16 at 15:22
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    I'm thinking human's did indeed play a major role in the ecosystem. For example, Fremen functioned as environmental caretakers until there was enough H2o to water the lawn. – Major Stackings Dec 20 '16 at 15:58
  • @MajorStackings That's a good point, maybe I should edit the question. What I mainly meant to convey is that humans are not doing any harm to the worms and that the extraction is done ethically towards the worms in a way that event endangers the miners more than the animals. – kdojeteri Dec 20 '16 at 16:01
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    Voting to leave open: this isn't a question asking for a SFF concept to be translated to real world science, but the reverse, asking if an non-science ideal can be applied in-universe. Wonky, but I think's it in-bounds. – Radhil Dec 20 '16 at 16:15

From Wikipeida article on vegan, we have:

Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet

Also from Wikipedia, entry on Melange:

Herbert notes in Dune that a pre-spice mass is "the stage of fungusoid wild growth achieved when water is flooded into the excretions of Little Makers,"

This makes spice a product of the sandworms, even if it's not some kind of piece of one, and therefore, not vegan.

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    But under that logic, isn't eating plants that are fertilized by animals then non-vegan? – starpilotsix Dec 20 '16 at 15:27
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    Weird. Seems to me that if you slice it that finely, virtually everything's arguably an animal product. If plants need pollination, even if the insects are free and not like captive bees, the plants could be argued as animal products. But if that's truly the vegan belief system, then I guess this is a correct answer. – starpilotsix Dec 20 '16 at 15:33
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    @starpilotsix - I might agree that it makes it one step removed from the animal, but so is cheese. Maybe an actual vegan will chime in? I don't pretend to understand how this ideal versus reality plays out, but I don't think pollination "counts", and I have pizza on my menu tonight, so I'm on the outside looking in. Questions like this give me a headache anyway. – Radhil Dec 20 '16 at 15:38
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    For something to be vegan, it must not exploit animals. Harvesting honey exploits bees, and the same with wool and silk (the animals need it for themselves), even if it's harvested from wild animals and not farmed. Eating plants that are pollinated by wild bees is fine – it's a by-product, and consuming it does not exploit the bees. However, isn't melange a by-product, as far as we know? – tobiasvl Dec 20 '16 at 16:23
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    I'm a Class 4 vegan, I don't eat anything that casts a shadow – Paul Dec 20 '16 at 16:40

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