Why Infovegan
Jun 18, 2010 Clay Johnson

Vegans eat only plants and stay low on the bottom of the food chain. They’re people that, for either ethical or health reasons, have chosen to forego eating any form of animal product. They stay at level one on the trophic scale. They’ve made a conscious choice with their diets to consume only this stuff for a variety of environmental, ethical, and health reasons. Veganism is about subtraction— a deliberate decision to remove a vast number of energy sources from one’s diet, and sticking to a well constrained allowable set of foods.

As we consume food, we also consume information. Yet few of us make deliberate decisions on what kind of information to consume or how much. We do make unconscious, non-deliberate decisions though— we’re naturally drawn towards the opinions we agree with, whether it be through following our friends on twitter or the mass media we consume. We naturally avoid diversity in the news we consume— you won’t find many conservatives watching MSNBC or being fans of Keith Olbermann, and you’re not going to make any liberal friends happy turning on Glenn Beck in their living rooms.

Information consumption also has a consumption chain, just like food does. Most news, for instance, comes from a set of facts on the ground, that get processed, and processed and processed again before it ends up on your television set boiled down into chunks for you to consume. But it also gets filled with additives— expert opinion, analysis, visualizations, you name it— before it gets to you. If this was food, a vegan would want none of it. They’d head straight to the data, to the source, to the facts, and try and get as much of that additive business out of their way.

Hence, Infovegan.com— a deliberately provocative word I made up. It’s Someone who makes a deliberate decision to remove a vast amount of news and information sources from one’s diet, sticking to a well constrained allowable set of consumption inputs for their own health’s sake.

Information Diet © 2011 Clay Johnson