Modern society is very attached to its monitors. It’s hard to find an electronic device these days that doesn’t have some kind of display attached to it. Certainly, if you use a personal computer of any sort, you’re sure to have one. But what goes into making these visions tools, and can our PC monitors be considered vegan products?
Are PC Monitors Vegan?
PC Monitors are not considered vegan. If being vegan were an exercise in perfection, then existing in the modern world would be virtually impossible. This is because animal by-products and the discarded bits of the meat and leather industries have found their way into manufacturing every kind of electronic product available.
Many vegans accept this as fact and, rather than boycotting items such as PC monitors, choose instead to focus on making the most ethical choices possible.
Why Aren’t PC Monitors Vegan?
Unlike some food or beauty products, you will never see a certified vegan label on a PC monitor box. You’ll also not find a list of ingredients. While it’s definite that there are traces of animal by-products somewhere in your PC monitor, determining exactly what these are and in what concentrations is a difficult task.
Computer monitors are manufactured from a complex arrangement of raw materials, chemicals, substances, and processes. All may have had some contact with animal products at some point. It’s often claimed that the liquid crystals in LCD screens, which are commonly used in PC monitors, contain cholesterol from animals, most likely cows.
Your PC monitor’s metallic and plastic structure is likely to include gelatin derived from the discarded bones, tendons, skin, and ligaments of cows and pigs. The glues used in binding together various components of your monitor may have non-vegan substances in them.
The packaging used to enclose new monitors, the protective wrapping, the inks and dyes used, and the machinery on which the monitors are manufactured can all also have traces of animal products in them.
Are Some Monitors More Vegan Than Others?
While it’s difficult to claim some monitors to be more vegan than others, there are definitely some PC screens that are made in a more environmentally sustainable and ethical manner. As what’s good for the planet is also indirectly positive for all of its living creatures, choosing a more eco-friendly monitor is also, in fact also a better vegan choice.
For many vegans, making good choices in terms of the environment is inextricably linked with caring about the welfare of animals. There are no PC monitors that do not have some degree of negative impact on the environment regarding the harvesting of raw materials and the emissions pollution from their manufacture. However, some types appear to be better than others.
What Monitor Is an Eco-Friendlier Choice?
It could be argued that an OLED monitor is a better eco-conscious choice than an LCD monitor. OLEDs use far less plastic to manufacture. On average, for a 65-inch screen, an OLED uses 0.43 kg of plastic compared with an LCD that uses 5.2kg.
Less plastic consumption equates to a reduction in harmful emissions, in this case about 50% less than are produced with LCD production. OLED panels are also easier to recycle, resulting in less potential waste. Shopping for an OLED monitor may result in fewer choices as they are not yet a common option in many computer brands.
Why Don’t Most PC’s Come With OLED Monitors?
Price is one large factor governing why PCs don’t come with OLED monitors. OLEDs are a more recent innovation and are still expensive to produce. They are beginning to be used extensively in the production of television screens but as yet are only available in a select range of laptops on the market.
One option is to take an OLED TV monitor and repurpose it as your PC monitor. You could also check out the Dell XPS 13 and Samsung Galaxy Book laptops, which both have OLED monitors. HP and Asus are two other brands offering OLED options. The price of OLED monitors should come down as demand increases.
Expressing your support for the increased production of OLEDs over LCDs and other monitor options is one way you can support companies to take positive environmental action, thus protecting the habitats of both animals and humans.
Another issue with OLEDs is called burn-in, which can occur when images are left static on the screen for too long. While once thought to be a significant issue, Burn-in is probably less of a concern these days where TV and computer use rarely relies on images being held still on screens for long periods.
Will PC Monitors Ever Be Vegan?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult for many vegans to imagine a world where the meat, dairy, and leather industries do not hold considerable influence and where the bountiful availability of their animal discards is not repurposed to other industries such as electronics.
Major manufacturers will point out that, to date, there have been no comparably effective replacements for certain animal substances such as gelatin. Although this may be true, it’s also the readiness of societies to persist with the harming of animals for their own good that rests at the core of the issue. Investigations into plant-derived gelatin substitutes have been ongoing since the 50s.
However, it’s also important to note that there are also scientific studies into the further application of gelatin, such as in powering our wearable technology devices. Let’s hope that we can combine our ever-extending mental and scientific powers with those of our hearts to produce more humane ways of making technological goods that do not require any animal exploitation in future years.
While your PC monitor is not strictly speaking a vegan item, that doesn’t mean you’re abandoning all your principles by owning or operating one. Make conscious PC screen choices by researching brands and their environmental and animal liberation policies, reusing via second-hand purchasing, recycling where possible, and lobbying manufacturers to push for fairer tech solutions in the future.