Due to the domestication of once wild animals – the by society so-called livestock animals and pets – we put great responsibility in the present to our actions of the past. Society has always been telling us through traditions, that we’re supposed to eat one and love the other. This post is about the ones we (at least in Western society) love and care about.
ARE PETS CONSISTENT TO A VEGAN LIFESTYLE?
The pet/companion animal topic has been quite a big topic for us to wrap our minds around lately, as we once got asked – out of a conversation – if we are for or against having pets as a vegan. And it is a fair question to ask. Therefore we would like to share our opinions and views on this ‘grey area’ for vegans with you.
As said before, pets are domesticated wild animals. They’ve been kept and raised and bred into what they are today. A companion, a friend and a family member and not a wild non-human animal anymore. We take from them, in a way they give us joy and comfort, and often more than another human can give us. They understand us, they react to our actions, they feel like we do.
Unfortunately, some people see them as property and a fashion statement. Animals are overbred into poor beings, only so they look cute and what is considered beautiful. Humans see themselves superior to the animals and treat them very poorly. Some even leave behind domesticated animals, on the side of the highway or ‘set them free’ in the wild as they are too overwhelmed with the responsibility of looking after their companion and caring for their companion – or they expected it to be easier and cheaper. Those animals are NOT able to make it on their own in nature. We as humans bred most of their instincts away over time, so they’re literally not able to survive by themselves anymore and is considered animal cruelty by law, by abandoning them. When abandoned, if they are ‘lucky’, someone finds them, adopts them or bring them to an animal shelter. But with the unfortunate little space they have, they are often stressed out to the fullest and depressed, as they’re not given enough time, attention and love individually out of possibility, time and resources. They often wait for a home for many many years and most will be at the shelter, all their life long only because they were unwanted and a burden to a human.
WHY DO HUMANS DO THIS TO THE ANIMALS OR LET IT EVEN HAPPEN?
The human species does most things out of self-interest but often is not able to take responsibility for their own actions. It often thinks it is superior to any other living being and therefore has the right to might. That’s why we needlessly breed certain species into existence when they get popular to ‘own’. Humans make money off the animal, put them through pregnancy after pregnancy to make them purebred, take away their babies from them, sell them, as we see other living beings as objects. Some people might even give them away after ‘owning them’ for a while because they are not capable for the task of putting up with the mistakes they made while this growing non-human being was or is still schooling. Some humans are not aware of the huge responsibility and don’t want to spend enough time with animals and put the effort of proper care in it. We, as humans, are not committed to possible though times and high costs when a companion animal gets sick. If they’re not how we want them to be, if they are not who we expect them to be, we put them away or get them killed.
We need to stop seeing animals as a property – pets as well as farm animals – but a lifetime companion, like a child of ours and a friend.
ARE PETS CONSISTENT TO A VEGAN LIFESTYLE?
The so-called companion animals, are definitely compatible with a vegan lifestyle, if cared of just like a child and treated species-appropriate. Meaning love, care, enough space, attention and proper food.
Please note: species-appropriate doesn’t mean treating every species of a dog as a wolf. Dogs’ characteristics are not very close to wolves’ characteristic anymore. They couldn’t be more different – at least most species. Over decades they’ve been domesticated to companions – depending on the species.
PETS OR NO PETS?
The pet topic actually has two points of views among vegans:
- Not having a pet at all – as pets are as well enslaved animals – spares you the decision if having to care about vegan pet food, castration and putting them out of their natural habitat.
- Adopting an animal – as there are already so many animals bred I to existence the golden rule is to adopt and not to shop.
In order to be sure of stopping reproduction, so no more animals are bred we can’t take care of and would end up in shelters, and to prevent cancer and illnesses, the decision of taking the right of choice by castrating your companion has to be made. An animal seen as a companion is seen just like your child and therefore decisions have to be made. Of course, this is not an easy one.
It’s to say, that companion animals play a huge role in connecting humans to animals. Therefore our personal opinion is, that companion animals are definitely consistent within a vegan lifestyle.
CAN I FEED MY DOG VEGAN FOOD?
You absolutely can feed your dog a vegan dog food and it’s been proven that dogs are able to live off a vegan diet just fine, as they’re omnivores and not carnivores, who need meat to survive. Some dogs even prefer a vegan diet over flesh. There are many heated discussions whether dogs should and can be on a vegan diet and if it is healthy. There are many dogs fed a vegan diet and they live well and a healthy life.
Our personal opinion is, that they’ll be just fine, because there can’t be anything wrong by feeding healthy and well digestible food to your companion, rather than canned and boxed food sold by the industry.
What is that industrial food anyways? It’s absolute trash. It’s flesh from tortured and brutally killed farm animals, which is not good enough for the human species to eat, and sea animals full of microplastic and mercury. It’s everything of remaining carcasses: noses, bones, guts, blood, beaks, unborn babies, nerve tissue, brain tissue, you name it. And, there is nothing ‘natural’ about it anymore. There is nothing ‘natural’ about your companion animal anymore as well, in a way you might think it is if thinking you need to feed him/her other animals’ processed flesh. The meat dog food is as well full of medication, hormones, and unnatural substances, just like the ones sold to humans.
AM I VEGAN WHEN I NEED TO BUY MY CAT MEAT?
It’s definitely a tough thing to define, and we don’t have made up our mind yet and also don’t have to as we’re in the position not having a cat as a companion and won’t be rescuing one out if that matter on decision making. Never say never, in case we find an abandoned one right?
Cats are obligate carnivores, they require a certain nutrient (taurine). It’s not a choice, they need meat to survive. When outside they would hunt only animals like rodents, mice, squirrels, rabbits, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects, and small fish. It may be possible to feed your cat vegan food, but it’s not recommended. BUT cats can easily live off artificial taurine. Is ‘you have to feed your cat meat, there’s no other way’ just another myth to keep people buying meat? Maybe, because as of research many supermarket cat foods also contain artificial synthetical taurine.
How do vegans feel about buying meat for their cats? Vegans definitely face this tough decision, especially when turning vegan after rescuing a cat and not thinking about this topic at all. It is definitely a big topic even among vegans and a grey area for those taking care of their companion, who often find themselves in a dilemma. It is definitely not an easy decision to be made. The pet meat industry is such as cruel as the meat industry for human consumption. It also means the same for the farm animals: forcefully impregnated, children stolen for profit, constantly reproducing, kicked, abused and in the end getting killed.
There are two types of vegans here as well.
- The one saying that cats need meat and that’s the compromise they make, buying meat for their companion, but are directly supporting the suffering and killing of other animals with their money.
- And then there are the ones feeding their cats vegan cat food and ideally letting them be and hunt outside, as they believe that feeding their cat unnatural meat (processed foods out of cans) is a form of speciesism by favoring their cats life over the life of an innocent farm animal – and therefore feed them vegan cat food. Some might say this is cruel and not species-appropriate, but the only nutrients cats need from meat is actually taurine – often also synthetical taurine in meat cat food. So why not feed your cat vegan food if he/she is doing well with it, accepts the food and gets all the nutrients at the same time?
Both sides are though understandable and a decision to make by an individual. Always remember: You know your companion best.
What some vegans also do is find a commitment with a local restaurant to get meat for their companion for free, which otherwise would have been wasted anyways in order not to directly support the industry by buying it at a store.
This is to remind ourselves: Our goal must be one of total liberation. Until then, and for as long as there are cats, dogs and other animal victims of domestication to be rescued, we must do our best.
Please note: All definitions of words and/or stated facts are based on the correct terminology and are carefully research and the sources taken are linked here or directly in the blog post. This blog post is also stating a personal opinion and views on certain topics.
All shown illustrations and graphics are our own and are highly restricted to be copied and used freely, without any permission.
Vegan Dogs? / Vegan ist Ungesund – Tierquälerei: Vegane Hundeernährung! Tierarzt erklärt
Facts on Cats and Vegan Cat Food / Bite Size Vegan / https://youtu.be/zDpksTlEAyI
Vegan Cat Food / Rehana Sara – Can cats be vegan?!
Research on Cat Food / Livekindly – 5 cat food considerations for the vegan who love (and feed) them
Cat Diets Research / Feline Nutrition – Answers: Raw Diets and Cats, What About Eating Bones?
Can You Feed Cats and Dogs Vegan Food? / Freefromharm – Should Vegans Have Vegan Dogs and Cats?