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Dog and Cat Food
A normally carnivorous companion animal or "pet" can be converted to a vegetarian or vegan diet. This type of diet can extend the lives of both cats and dogs and save millions of other animals each year.
Can You Feed A Cat (Or Dog) A Vegan Diet?
From Susan Roghair [email protected]
Neither is a vegan by nature -- dogs are omnivores, and cats are carnivores. While both dogs and cats belong to the class carnivora, this doesn't mean a lot, so does the panda bear and they are near vegan. By nature cats and dogs wouldn't eat anything like what is commonly found in a can of pet food either. Special diets must be provided for cats, as they require an amino acid called taurine -- found in the muscles of animals. Synthetic taurine has been developed, and is used in commercial (non vegetarian) cat foods. Vegetarian cats should be fed it as a supplement. Taurine deficiency can result in blindness and even death. Cats also require pre-formed vitamin A and arachidonic acid. All known vegan cat foods contain these essential ingredients. Ask your vet about changing your pet's diet if concerned.
Not only is it possible to feed most cats and dogs a non-meat diet, it is also desirable. Buying "normal" pet food is supporting the same meat industry with its attendant cruelty, exploitation, waste, and environmental damage that veganism is so opposed to. Why should ten horses/cows/chickens/ducks or something have to suffer and die every year just to support your pet cat/dog? This is not a matter of "imposing your beliefs" on your pets (or companion animals, or whatever you call them) since you are not forcing them to eat it and you are not stopping them eating local wildlife on their wanderings round the neighbourhood. Also animals don't have morals or beliefs. They do whatever is necessary to survive, with no preference one way or the other about the impact on anything else. We however can make moral/ethical decisions - like the decision to be vegan. In the wild, surviving may mean "kill something or else starve to death," but if your animal is being fed anyway, this becomes unnecessary. It is also no more unnatural for a pet cat/dog to be eating vegan food than any other food. Firstly, the domesticated cat/dog bears little resemblance to its wild cousins so we're already in an artificial situation. Secondly, the whole act of feeding it from a tin (as opposed to letting it find food for itself) is unnatural, so you might as well make the best of it. Thirdly, the actual contents of the tins of commercial pet food bear no resemblance to what a cat/dog would eat in the wild anyway... Could you imagine your darling moggy killing horses and cows and going deep sea ocean fishing for tuna?
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