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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

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Alright, so I became a vegetarian around 3 yrs ago, and been vegan for about a year. I was turned (from being a voracious carnivore) by an intellectual argument with a friend (which I think, more than anything, just made me face what I already always knew).

The intellectual questions I wrestled with after becoming vegetarian I eventually resolved by becoming vegan -- however the conundrum I am pondering now I am unable to resolve. And I am reminded of it every time I crack open a can of food for my two cats.

Cats, unlike people, have clearly not evolved for a vegan diet. They are carnivores through and through. So to keep them, I must feed them meat, which I am only able to get, really, through industrial agriculture, as all cat food is made through the "byproducts" of this grizzly industry. So I essentially sustain the happiness of my cats through the suffering of other creatures. But what alternative is there, really?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all,


Responses (27)

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    Posted by itsmeagain at 09/19/10 13:46:27

    Just go to google and youtube, type vegan cats into the mix and you`re away.

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    Posted by sunshine7 at 10/19/10 00:40:08

    I feel same way you do.
    It is so disgusting to feed part of factory farmed animals who were tortured for life long and ended their lives in horror of slaughterhouses!
    It is so heartbreaking.
    To be honest I have 4 cats and still feeding canned foods for my cats.
    There is no justification of feeding rendering plant products mixed with questionable toxic mixed by spending high price for pet foods.
    Yes, what is best alternative?
    I tried vegan cat foods but my cats never eat it.
    Sometimes I wish I never had cats because of what they eat.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 10/19/10 08:56:37

    If a house cat lives for 15 years and eats twice daily that is around 11,000 stinky meaty meals!

    Maybe it is best to set them free in the woods i.e. indirectly feed them to another carnivore such as a wolf!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by itsmeagain at 11/04/10 13:20:09

    i want to feed my cat vegan food.I will get there, slow but sure.And can anybody recommend uk vegan cat food?

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    Posted by tenderlumpling at 11/07/10 08:32:56

    There is no alternative. Cats and dogs are carnivores because NATURE made them carnivores. They eat meat, end of story, and to force them to eat a diet nature didn't evolve them to eat is nothing short of abuse and cruelty, no matter how good the intent.

    However, there are alternatives to feeding them commercial pet food. If you have the time and the inclination, what you can do is buy inexpensive cuts of meat from Whole Foods or a local butcher, slice the cuts fine or grind them up in a food processor, and feed it to your cats like that. By doing so, you don't support factory farming or its horrors, but you don't deny your cat its nature-approved diet.

    If you can't do that and still can't reconcile yourself with feeding a carnivorous animal its natural diet, then the alternative is re-homing your cat or dog and buying a guinea pig.

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    Posted by wildfang at 11/08/10 01:23:35

    @tenderlumping: Just a little note - dogs aren't carnivores, they're omnivores as far as I know. I know a 15 year old dog who didn't seem to make it much longer - then he was made vegan and he's as fit as a fiddle now.

    However, with cats I don't know. I suggest you get a book on the topic or look up things on websites such as
    A step in the right diection might be getting organic cat food which is certainly better than the conventional stuff you're feeding them now.
    Good luck!

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    Posted by frenchtoast at 11/08/10 11:03:02

    Cats cannot be fed a vegan diet. Its cruel to feed an animal a certain way because their natural digestive system doesn't fit YOUR lifestyle.

    I used to work with a strict vegan, who had a cat with severe alergies. Because she was unable to feed the cat any commercial cat food, she had to prepare it herself- chicken with peas and carrots all mashed up.. It wasn't what she wanted to do, but after doing the proper research and speaking with vets, she knew that it was the best for her cat and a vegan diet would kill it. To me, thats a real animal lover, rather than someone who would abandon it and let it starve or be mangled to death.

    Though, most commercial cat foods are disgusting when you look at the lable- and most contain large quantities ash. Yuck! I feed my cat Wellness cat food (I don't think its in the UK though), which contains no ash, high quality meats and lots of fruits and veggies as the filler. I just feed her the dry food to avoid nausiating smells, and she's very healthy.

    If you want a pet to suit your lifestyle, Rats are omnivorous and are fine vegan.. I used to keep rats and they never ate meat or commercial foods, just bird seeds and whatever fruits, nuts and veggies I had with my meal. One even lived to be over four, with the natural lifespan being about two!

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    Posted by AndyT at 11/09/10 06:26:56

    Just a comment on the 'rat as pet' suggestion ... when I was still at school, a friend of mine had a white rat as pet, and it was the most adorable creature.

    I remember one occasion when we went to school in the morning with the train and he took his rat with him (it was carnival season and there was some celebration). When it came out of his pullover, some fellow travellers exclaimed 'Oh my god, there is a rat' ... as you would expect.

    What I would NOT have expected, is, that at the end of the journey, there were at least 30 people crowding the area where we were sitting who all wanted to see, stroke, hold the rat because everybody was just so enchanted by it.

    Best regards,

  • Wyrdnight's avatar
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    Posted by Wyrdnight at 02/07/11 07:58:04

    Cats are obligate carnivores, they require certian nutrients that they can not synthesize from plant materials. I think the only "vegan" cats that survive are good hunters.

    Dogs on the other hand are not obligate carnivores, you can easily feed them a vegetarian diet just as long as you take as much care with their diet as your own. My dog loves blueberrys, red grapes and various veg. We don't know enough about nutrition yet to have him on a fully vegetarian diet though.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 02/07/11 11:41:54

    Wyrdnight - My vet gave me a list of no no foods for dogs and grapes and raisins were both on the list. You can definitely feed a dog a vegan diet but it might be good to check that list. My dog loves grapes, too, and I used to feed them to her all the time until my vet found out and told me to stop.

  • Wyrdnight's avatar
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    Posted by Wyrdnight at 02/07/11 12:28:44

    Tatiana- Thank you for telling me. Is there an online list of safe foods for dogs? Also, are blueberrys on the no-no list?

    He also likes carrots, peas, lettuce and spinach (raw) (are these ok?).

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 02/07/11 14:46:58

    Here are a couple good ones:

    This one just has some no no foods:

    This one is a neat slide show but also includes some things you can feed your dog (although it does include some meat, but I thought the other information was good):

    And if you're not sure about anything I'd doublecheck with your veterinarian.

  • Wyrdnight's avatar
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    Posted by Wyrdnight at 02/09/11 07:32:16

    I was looking into vegetarian cat food and found this. I didn't want to foo foo something without some research.

    I'm still not 100% sure that it's a good idea to feed a cat a totally vegetarian diet but the information here seems well researched. Although, be sure to look at number eight (Quality control).

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by sunshine7 at 02/11/11 10:11:31

    frenchtoast, I get your idea of true cat lover is to feed farm animal flesh, because that is what cat supposedly eat when we speak about perfect nutrition for cat.
    I have mixed feeling about your idea knowing over 90% of farm animal flesh come from factory farmed animals.
    People think feeding organic chicken is less cruel but not all supposedly organic chickens are raised humanely and killed humanely. Is there such thing call humane slaughter of farm animals?
    Answer is of course NOT!
    Unlike most cats and dogs who are put to sleep, farm animals are killed by bullets or knives while they are still in full conscious.
    Please think about terrified trembling animals with petrified eyes in slaughterhouses before they are brutally killed.
    God knows I still feed can food to my cats but I acknowledge what I am doing is not something I can speak proudly.
    To be honest, I feel ashamed of what I am doing.
    Is there difference between farm animals and our companion cats and dogs when we speak about degree of pain and suffering?
    My ansswer is NO, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. Farm animals suffer as much as cats and dogs suffer, maybe more.
    There is difference between people who love only pet(cats and dogs) and others who love all animals.
    Many pet lovers eat meat, dairy, eggs but vegans don't eat farm animal products.
    Please don't be fooled by 'organic chicken' or 'free roaming chicken' etc knowing reality is not so.
    Do you know Whole Food has chicken processing mobil?
    I am sure if you go in mobile to watch how chickens are slaughtered, maybe you understand what I mean.
    I have problem of justfying slaughtering other species of animals to sustain lives of our companion animals.
    My guess is, there are many people who feel same way I do but don't find solution.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 02/11/11 12:02:57

    Sunshine - I agree. I don't have a cat, but I can see your frustration when it comes to feeding your cat. I'm sure it feels like you are putting your cat's life above other animals, which is not how you actually feel at all.

    Your post also made me think of the movie Food Inc. There is a heartbreaking scene where you see all these male chicks getting thrown into a grinder, 100% alive and chirping, but useless to the farmers because they don't need all those male chicks. That is the kind of stuff that gets turned into animal food.

    For any of you who haven't seen it, it's a great documentary that shows where a lot of our food comes from that can be quite an eye opener if you don't already know about some of the horrors in our food supply.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by sunshine7 at 02/11/11 16:28:07

    Tatiana, thank you for your understanding.
    I just couldn't watch
    presented by Mercy for Animals.
    Yes, is also wonderful organization and deserve our support.

    I seriously believe that until we start showing love and compassion toward farm animals, we never can call ourselves civilized people.
    Somebody said to me on other forum "stupid bitch, most people eat meat."
    Needless to say, I don't argue with people like this person on forum and ignore them, but knowing how heartless or ignorant some people are about horror of turning farm animals to pieces of meats, I am deeply sadden and angered.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Julanar at 02/12/11 17:12:31

    Yes, millions of animals suffer when they are killed for food, whether by humans or carnivorous animals. But do millions of dogs and cats really suffer less if they starve to death? This happens all the time for those who are unwanted, neglected, and/or homeless.

    There are no easy answers to these ethical questions, and I think we should stop pretending that there are.

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    Posted by Andria87 at 02/24/11 00:25:02

    ahh some of this is scary to read!Please do not under any circumstances feed your cat a vegan/Vegetarian diet!!!!Cats require Taurine and high contents of vit a, (sources found in meat) Tuarine can not be synthetic it must be from an animal. I am a vegetarian with very strong views and opinions and i would never stop my cat from eating meat.For those with access to Kangaroo it is a great meat to feed to your pet if you use the right company to purchase it from.Also just trying a kosher butcher, may put your mind at ease more so? at5 the end of the day if you cant feed your cat meat, dont have a cat!As for Dogs, my dog does eat small quantities of meat.But mainly has a vegetable diet.Taking it back to nature in my opinion is the best way to feed your Pet.Game meats are a better choice. Kangaroo, rabbit, venison ect. (i know its awful!)but as for vegies and fruits, I give my dog Zuchini, Carrot, Apple, Sweet potato, Beans, snow peas ectZuchini i think is wonderful for dogs, high water content so it hydrates and Jager Adores the taste.I work in the Pet Industry, and deal with alot of super premium foods, and its my job to sell them, but i am alwaysbrutally honest with people.RAW IS BETTER weather it vegies or meat.And for the lazy people, if they want to use pet food,go for a food that preferably is made locally or atleast in the country your in.and has no filler like meat by products, Corn (corn is hard to digest and can cause skin irritations (as do wheat,beef and chicken)and if you can find a brand of food that has strong ethics.I.e stay away from companies who use tesing facilities for animals (most of there are similar to puppy farms without the breeding) the dogs are kept in containment and not should human compassion or attention and only socialised with when being fed and weighed ect.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by sunshine7 at 03/01/11 02:06:17

    People, I am sure most people on this forum and many other Animal Rights/Animal Welfare are knowlegeable about truth about pet foods but just a case some people don't know, here is reality of pet foods.After reading all about commercial pet foods, nobody with right mind will feel proud of feeding commercial pet foods to companion animals.If vegan pet foods meet nutritional requirement and our pet can enjoy, what is wrong with feeding vegan pet foods to our companion animals?Some people say cats and dogs live longer by eating vegan pet food and they are perfectly healthy.I know some of you disagree but knowing truth about commercial pet foods, I am so sicken!

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    Posted by sophieperdriau at 07/15/17 19:27:08

    Hi guys.. any one know about feeding cats with bananas? there is a bit of information here but I need to confirm if this is the best advice or not?

  • Carisa's avatar
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    Posted by Carisa at 07/16/17 02:12:45

    Commercialised pet foods quite likely are jeopardising your cat's health because the ground up parts of animals are definitely far from natural.. however you'd have to see what suits your cat

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    Posted by Mountainmystic at 07/17/17 10:17:21

    Good luck getting a cat to try to eat bananas. My cat sniffed it and walked away. Maybe dried bananas ground up with other food? Cats like to eat fresh blades of grass for digestion.

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    Posted by ILuvMyPetz at 08/30/17 14:57:57

    There is absolutely no alternative, cats and dogs are omnivores / carnivores, that's just how God made them.

    I raise a BP if I never fed him rats or mice and I tried to feed him tofu, fruits, or veggies, he would die, and I'm not willing to let him die.

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    Posted by Grace21 at 04/11/18 22:00:27

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    Posted by Tia83 at 04/13/18 06:19:47

    Cats are obligate carnivores. I have 5 and I feed them meat. They were strays that showed up. Don't try to feed them vegan. It will harm them. No domestic animal should be bred. The solution would be to take care of the domestic animals here now but breed no more. Cats and dogs as much as I love them should go extinct. Only wild animals should remain then we wouldn't be in this situation. To the person who suggested you release them in the woods, that's stupid. Take care of your cat, fees it cat food, love it. Just make sure you spay or neuter it.

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    Posted by miyalys at 04/13/18 08:57:48

    Our responsibility to the cat is no bigger than our responsibility to those animals our cats may or may not eat. It seems there's a common bias in favouring the cat over even 10s or 100s of other animals, perhaps because the victims are invisible, or because cats look cuter to those people or something.
    To me the fact is that if a cat could not be fed vegan it's much, much better to kill the cat than it is to kill x number of animals per year to feed the cat. The cat is worth 1 life to me - so if one needs to kill more than one to keep it alive it's less harmful overall to kill the cat.

    So this is fortunately where vegan cat food comes in and saves the day, by allowing both the animals the cat would eat and the cat itself to live. I think it's a pretty perfect solution, until we have lab grown meat at least. Some talk about essential nutrients like taurine, of course those are added to the vegan cat food.. Taurine is often even added to non-vegan cat food.

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    Posted by verbosity at 04/15/18 06:37:18

    Carnivores require bioavailable nutrients. There are quite a few well established and successful companies who are able to provide this completely cruelty free and accredited by AAFCO to meet or exceed the minimum dietary requirements.

    Anyone arguing against a cruelty free diet, is arguing for cruelty to animals.

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