Okay, guys. The vegan pet food post got something like 2.5k notes after the puppy bowl promoted a dog that was fed a homemade and seriously unbalanced vegan diet. I love it, good on y’all for spreading education. However, there was also a huge upswing in the notes of people calling vegans animal abusers for wanting to feed their pets a vegan diet. I cannot stress enough that you need to stop that. I literally just published an essay on how the overuse of the term abuse only pushes people away from being educated because it makes them react viscerally first and think later. So when you share a good, solid, educational link and follow it up with commentary condemning folk before they’ve even had a chance to read it and maybe learn things they were unaware of… you’re shooting yourself and your activism right in the foot.
Most people who feed their pets vegan diets are not doing it because they want to make their animals die of malnutrition. They’re not doing it because they hate their pets or have no regard for their welfare. That is exactly the opposite of why they’re choosing that diet for their pet. The majority of vegans choose that lifestyle for ethical or environmental reasons: to them, it is a moral choice. We all project our morality onto the animals we care for to some degree - it’s why it is so distressing to learn your dog is aggressive or reactive or anything society codifies as “bad.” We are good people, and we love our pets, so how can they be bad if we are able to love them? Everyone does this to some degree, and often folk for whom vegan ideals are strongly moral ones feel like it’s important that the actions of the animals they love also line up with what they view as being good. In the case of vegan pet food, they’re just simply mistaken about the true effects of such a diet and not animal abusers.
The fastest way to alienate someone who thinks they are doing something good is to accuse them of being bad. Their actions align with their moral compass, so obviously they can’t be doing something immoral, so you are automatically wrong and your ability to influence their actions is immediately destroyed. When people are genuinely ignorant of the effects of their actions, kind words and genuinely well-intentioned education go so much farther than abuse allegations. That is the case here, so please stop accusing folk of abuse. They love their pets as much as you do and are often horrified to learn what they’ve been accidentally perpetuating. It’s not easy to learn you’ve done something hurtful to loved ones, so be kind and support them - you’ll help a lot more animals that way.
(In a beautiful example of demonstrative irony, this post is an example of me trying to educate you on why you are doing a well-intentioned thing that is bad and that you need to stop. But in approaching it, I’m not condemning you for doing something you thought would help - I’m (attempting) to communicate that I understand your intentions but that you’re missing some information that undermines your success at your goal, and then trying to provide you some more information to help you achieve it. If I just said “jeez guys, calling vegans animal abusers is a massive fuck-up” you’d be pretty disinclined to listen to what I had to say…)