What Losing Aaron Swartz Means to Veganism

By Amanda Crow, Guest Contributor

In case you missed it, the extraordinary internet activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide Friday, January 11, 2013.  It’s never easy to hear an activist has died, but it doesn’t always resonate as deep when the death is outside of your community so to speak.  For many vegans, we may not think there is a direct significance of Aaron’s activism to the vegan fight, but I assure you that we should all mourn Aaron’s death and use his life as a motivation for our own activism.

Much has been written and reported on the life and death of Aaron Swartz.  Two of my favorite sources are:

–       Democracy Now does a wonderful job telling his story, including an incredible speech Aaron gave.

–       Glenn Greenwald explicitly covers the federal case against Aaron and why he was a hero.

One of the major things Aaron fought for was the freedom of information.  Accessibility and freedom of knowledge are what fuels the spread of veganism.

We must appreciate that our voices would be among the censored if the internet became controlled by governmental law enforcement.

This has been a serious threat over the last year with the introduction of SOPA and its sister bill PIPA, which grant such power to the government.  Aaron orchestrated a public crackdown of SOPA, which is thoroughly covered (in Aaron’s own words) in the Democracy Now episode linked above.  It doesn’t take much research to understand that he was truly an incredible person and activist, and the freedom of information wasn’t his only passionate fight.  His life is an inspiration that we should cherish and use to continue fighting all the injustice in this world.