Animal Writes
30 September 2001 Issue
My Cats Are Now Vegans

by Park [email protected] 

Think back. Way back to when you were an omnivore, if you ever were. Did you think people of the vegetarian persuasion were nutcases? How about them vegans? How about them vegans that made their pets go vegetarian, didn't that just boil your meateating blood that someone could be so uncaring about a house cat's natural need for salmon and cow? Actually, if one argues for a natural diet for cats, it would not be commercial pet food, it would be live mice and bugs. Cats don't stalk and bring down cows in the wild.

The year before I became a vegetarian, one of my coworkers was a fruitarian, he ate only foods that didn't result in the death of the plant. Back in 1977 this guy seemed to me to be a profound nutcase, most bizarre in his philosophy of ahimsa extended to plants. Embedded forever in my memory is the day he danced into the office and proudly announced he had just had a solid movement. Apparently it had been a while.

Nevertheless, he watched me go vegetarian, and he probably played some part in it. As did my first cat, who about that same time, taught me the valuable lesson that all lifeforms wish to maximize pleasure and minimize pain.

And now, from an imaginary perspective of when I was young, I have become one of those vegan nutcase activists and my cats are vegans. Nowadays, I believe in Government conspiracies to promote deadly poisons like animal flesh, eggs and milk. And that leads me to believe it could even be possible that the recent cattle mutilations in New Mexico and the human abductions which regularly take place in the same area, are not of alien origin, but instead a project by the National Dairy Board to study the implantation of human embryos in cows to make a more digestible milk product. But I am only speculating here.

One of the real ethical and aesthetic problems we vegans face is feeding our companion animals an animal based commercial pet food diet. In the last couple of years, the list of unsavory ingredients which go into pet food has become more well known. It has always been obvious that Dog Food and Cat Food were less wholesome than the feces contaminated, possibly prion contaminated meat which IS approved for Human consumption. But after I read the news reports about what is in most commercial pet food (slaughterhouse waste, downer cows and possibly road kill, euthanized cats and dogs, etc.) I had to find an alternative pet food.

Two years ago I did a web search for vegan cat food and all I found was VegeCat, a wonderful supplement that gives cats all the special nutrients they need in a diet you prepare of rice, oats, soy and other ingredients. A friend of mine had tried to switch his cats to this blend, but he was unsuccessful. I still think it may be a good product for some cats and they also make vegetarian dog food. You can check them out at 
Feed Cats & Dogs Without Animal Products

They also have a relatively new product, a make your own cat kibble which is worth reading about.

Early last summer I saw a link at the PETA website for vegan pet food and I was directed to, home of Evolution brand pet food, makers of vegan dog, cat and ferret food. I was pleased by what I read at their website and ordered a ten pound bag of vegan cat kibble. My cats were easier to switch to a dry vegan kibble because they were used to dry food. Evolution also makes two different vegan moist cat foods in cans, but I have found that my cats prefer the kibble. I talked to Lynn Crandall, President of Evolution for over a half hour about their product. One of the things she suggested was using tuna or the vegan product Tuno mixed into the Evolution wet food during the change-over period.

It is recommended that you start by adding small amounts of vegan cat food into the food they are used to, and over a two week period add more and more of the vegan food until they make the transition. My cats made the transition a bit faster. Adding a bit minced vegetables or sauce makes it a more interesting dining experience and is recommended by the veterinarian who developed these pet formulas, Dr. Eric Weisman. My cats love a tablespoon or two of fresh grated yellow or zucchini squash with their kibble. They also love a teaspoon of Tofutti Sour Supreme as a garnish, or a tablespoon of tomato sauce.

Evolution feline dry formula is a kibble prepared from whole wheat flour, corn, carrots, soy and other human quality food ingredients. It has been scientifically formulated to be a complete and balanced food for cats including the amino acid taurine and all the other specific amino acids, vitamins and minerals that cats need, and all from vegan sources. Evolution Dog and Cat foods have been tested on dogs and cats for over a decade and have been found to be a superior food, adding years to their lives.

My cats love it, and I enjoy finding new vegetables to use as a garnish to add excitement to my cat's meals. Why should we feed our animal friends nastier stuff than we would ever consider in our diets? We don't have to any longer.
Check out Evolution for answers to your questions about vegetarianism for dogs and cats. - Health food for Dogs, Cat, and Ferretss.

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