Space colonization and livestock farming is a difficult combination, as livestock will require a significant amount of scarce food and space. Either of these will be limited in supply, in particular in the first space settlements. Hence (the first) space settlers will have to adopt a primarily vegan diet, as animal products will be quite expensive.
On a side note, space settlements should use this opportunity to implement far-reaching animal welfare legislation. The absence of animal products from spacer diet, will help to further popular support for stringent protection of animal welfare.
Alternatives should be found for meat, dairy products and eggs. Pant-based meat analogues are becoming better and better each year and no doubt that such products will become an important part of spacer diet.
Eggs appear the most easy product to be replaced, as most eggs are used as a binding agent. This function could easily be substituted by other products without notice. Even in regard of omelets and scrambled eggs, there are suitable poultry-free alternatives.
We have found two companies that develop chicken-free egg replacements. Follow Your Heart uses algae flower to imitate egg products. Algae are easy to cultivate and are fast growing and hence suitable for space settlements. Competitor Clara Foods uses modified yeast to a make a similar product.
Genetically engineered yeast can be used to produce cow-free milk and dairy products. According to San Fransico based company Muufri milk consists of twenty components such as water, proteins, fats and sugar. Their idea is to use modified yeast to produce milk proteins. The company’s founders state that other types than cow milk could also be produced.
These alternatives to egg and dairy products will, provided that they are safe, eliminate the animal welfare issues related with egg and dairy-farming. No more “superfluous” roosters and bulls, for instance.
Space settlements should take the lead in animal-friendly products, not only because they are more efficient than traditional live-stock farming, but also those new communities will not have to face the resistance from “established interests*”.
*Of course, such interests will emerge over time, but in the short-term that will not be our concern.