Here's a debate i have with myself quite often, I was wondering if other vegans generally care about this.
So far as I can tell, vegans can't get B12 from anything that isn't fortified with B12 or a straight up pill/injection.
But we need it. It seems to me that I get quite bad effects from low B12 levels, and it's a bit scary since it's not clear to me what effects are permanent.
The core element of B12 is Cobalt, though. And, so far as I can tell any fortified food or pill or whatever is going to be getting it's B12 from a lab process. This brings a lot of capitalism and mediation into the picture.
Much worse than that, however, is that most Cobalt, so far as I know, comes from Congo. The remaining most of it comes from the Central African Republic and Zambia.
If you don't know what mining is like in Congo, I recommend as an introduction you watch [this documentary]. It appears to me to be a truly terrible situation.
So; so far I've pointed out that there's a tension between a person's veganism, their health, and the terrible suffering of formerly colonised and continually brutalised peoples.
Separately, but related:
Mussels and Oysters have both B12, vitamin D, and essental oils Omega-3 DHA and EPA that vegans can only synthesize from other oils and do not get from their diet.
It's not clear how much they suffer, if at all, but since (I'm assuming) they have very little by way of a nervous system, and since they also have very little by way of a capacity to dodge and avoid pain (they just close based on touch, afaik), it seems unlikely that it would have been evolutionarily helpful for them to have developed significant capacity to feel pain.
These are also farmed, so far as I know, and quite possibly do not so much harm to the ocean generally when farmed. I don't know how it works.
This all said, if you're vegan, have you thought about this? What does it say about us if we have not? And does this change anything?