Dog and Cat FoodThe No Kill Controversy: Are We Being Hypocritical?
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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.


Frank L. Hoffman,

Millions of unwanted and stray cats and dogs are put to death each year by animal shelters.   Spay and neuter programs have cut down on the number killed, but the number is still in excess of 10,000,000 per year.  Many "no kill" sanctuaries have been established to save as many of these cats and dogs as possible, and it is here that the controversy and question of hypocrisy arises.

The vast majority of commercial cat and dog food contains animal flesh and by-products.  This means that when we feed our cats and dogs this kind of food, we are contributing to the death of other innocent animals.  At the same time we are contributing to the profits of the animal agriculture industry by paying for a waste product (something not fit for human consumption, but "acceptable" for "pet" food).  This in turn holds down the price of meat which leads to its greater consumption by humans, and more suffering and death for the farm animals.

This haunting and soul searching question gnaws at our conscience:  Is it more humane to euthanize an unwanted cat or dog than to save his or her life and contribute to the suffering and death of another animal?  Our emotions run to our usual companion animals, cats and dogs; but if we stop there, we believe that we are being hypocritical.  Cattle, chickens, pigs and sheep have just as much right to live and enjoy their lives as do cats and dogs.

So what do we do?

The only truly ethical and non-hypocritical way to approach the no kill philosophy of carnivorous animals is to commit ourselves to converting these animals to true vegetarians (vegans). 

Many animal rights people with companion cats and dogs say that they don't have the time to prepare vegan food, and while we can understand their time constraint problem, their excuse is still a hypocritical one, which we all need to recognize.  Our mission in presenting this series of articles and references is to help us eliminate our collective hypocrisy of feeding one animal to another from our intended desire to save all animals from suffering and death.

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