In Warsaw and Katowice, the water treatment pipes are guarded by eight freshwater mussels.

They stand as silent sentinels against contamination


Each is fitted with an electromagnet, similar to a guitar pickup. If the mussels sense bad water, they close.

This signal triggers an alarm in the water treatment plant and the human operators have to decide if they need to shut down the water supply to the entire city, or just do further testing.

Each mussel gets a vote, if all eight agree, it is considered dire indeed

These mussels guard the water supply for 8 million people in Poland

After passing three months of water across their discerning palates, the mussels are retired, to the body of water from whence they came

Rest easy you gallant bivalves, you’ve earned your peace

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Some have argued that is means the water in Warsaw is not vegan

I can't even begin to respond to that

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“In bed above, we’re deep asleep,
While greater love lies further deep.
This dream must end, the world must know,
We all depend on the beast below”

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It's about time we put some muscle behind assuring we all have safe fresh water
Well mussels.

@witchfynder_finder @RobinHood Meanwhile I've been looking up if animal pee is vegan and...

apparently estradiol is made from horse urine?

I did not know this

@faho @witchfynder_finder @RobinHood estradiol isn't. conjugated estrogens, like premarin, are, but they are becoming less and less used

@witchfynder_finder @RobinHood water's already not vegan in some places because of microscopic crustaceans called copepods, but iirc people have just agreed to be chill about it

@RobinHood Was that non-vegans going "haha you cant drink water! gotcha!" or vegans going "dont drink water from warsaw, it's not vegan!!"

@RobinHood Similarly, particularly hardcore Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews in NYC (and likely elsewhere) use filters on their water so they don't accidentally consume the microscopic insects that can sometimes be found in our tap water.

@RobinHood wouldnt that mean that all water isnt vegan because fish or animals have touched it at some point
and i think thatd also make all water consumption cannibalism too

@moonybun @RobinHood I think it's more forcing animals be part of our "culture" without real "opt-in" is the gripe
@moonybun @RobinHood I'm no vegan, so it's hard for me to have real heart behind any response, but I could see an argument saying brains aren't necessary because brains aren't necessary for consciousness in certain ontologies (say, Native Americans would say rocks have a consciousness, etc) but it's all reall blah blah blah monkey fight kinda stuff from my perspective

@RobinHood it honestly makes sense to me. I'm not vegan but I can see how it could be argued that the mussels are involuntarily enslaved for the purpose of providing the water that they're testing. Not unlike the definition of veganism when it comes to cosmetics.



@RobinHood thank you so much for putting this on my timeline


Scientist: “Gah! It’s really hard and expensive to make detectors sensitive enough to monitor this water”

Mussel: *excitedly nudging the scientist’s foot*

Scientist: “Not now, Horatio! Can’t you see I’m busy?”

@RobinHood waiting eagerly for the punchline before i realize this is a real story, and a neat one at that

@RobinHood the council of mussels will determine whether the city receives its lifeblood

@RobinHood Wow, wat? Do you have a link to an article to read more? Sounds like a way cooler version of "minority report" ;)

@RobinHood @meejah

TBH I was wondering at first if this was going to be some elaborate joke, but that's the Polish equivalent of Anglian Water (the water company where I live) and the whole project is on multiple proper scientific papers too...

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