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

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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

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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@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 true veganism is living in a society so alienated from nature that i dont even know what a mussel is


@RobinHood imagine reaching the point where your ostensibly pro-nature diet becomes so 21st Century faux-rationalist that you can't even drink water

@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

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