Vegans and vegetarians (like me) may save animals, but we’ve got nothing on this odd little life form in terms of cruelty-free living. This type of bacteria subsists on pure electricity — so it doesn’t kill a thing to eat, not even a plant or fungus.

Obviously, humans can’t survive without killing something, no matter how we may strive to cause as little suffering as possible. Maybe someday technology will allow us to be as “compassionate” as these bacteria. (Could those Star Trek replicators be churning out tasty meals made of nothing but energy itself)?

For now, we can only watch in wonder as these bacterial marvels eat and breathe electrons, and even work together to form a supply chain delivering the precious energy to their kin.

Scientists at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles are studying these creatures, growing them on electrodes that provide all the nourishment they need. It’s like sci-fi come to life.