Ethics, Nutrition, and Not Killing Your Pets

This is a story that has been circulating for years. Why? Because it happens every damn year, that’s why. Vegans picking carnivorous pets and trying to raise them on a vegan diet.

 

Long, long ago in the 90’s when I was working for Greenpeace there were of course several vegans and vegetarians there, and one of their favourite topics of conversation was why all of their cats and dogs were throwing up. I suggested it might be because they were only feeding them vegetable matter, and they scoffed, saying all life forms, ALL LIFE FORMS could live on vegetables alone. A couple even mentioned breathearianism, the belief you can live off of air. I reminded them that if the state put them on a breatharian diet, it would be called starving them and would be illegal torture. I also pointed out that none of the omnivorous Greenpeace people ever discussed why all of their cats and dogs were throwing up constantly.

Oh, sure, everyone scowled at me (especially when I yelled out as they were leaving on smoke breaks “cigarettes are tested on animals!” I was a bit of a jerk back then) but two of them switched to actual you know, CAT food and actual DOG food for their actual cats and dogs, and the barfing and failing to thrive stopped immediately. A week later, everyone else switched as well, although some had crises of conscience about it.

Of course if part of the reason you’re vegetarian is ethical, you will want to ensure that the meat you feed your pets was harvested in a cruelty-free or at least reduced-cruelty way. But if you are going to have a carnivore like a cat as a pet, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have made a choice in which, in order to avoid cruelty to a living being, you are going to have to bring meat in to your house in some form. Omnivores like dogs enjoy meat as well, but can survive on a plant-based diet if it is an informed one. Their needs are not the same as humans. And the existence of a wide variety of commercially prepared vegan foods and websites claiming otherwise shouldn’t persuade you; after all, there are a wide variety of commercially prepared Trump products and Trump websites, and you would get sick on a diet of those, too.

If you’re looking for a pet-sitter, house-sitter, farm-sitter, check out our Services page and use the contact form there to get in touch. If you’d like to be a real pal, download and print our Flyer and put it up at your local vet, groomer, or pet food store.

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