pets are not vegans

There are so many animals waiting in shelters and rescue stations to be adopted! 

Don’t neglect the old ones or the weird looking ones, they need a loving home too! 

Don’t buy from breeders or pet shops, there is no need to obsess over one particular dog breed, you’re doing so much good by adopting the animals that already exist and are in need of your help. A strong bond or a companionship is never determined by breed anyway. :)

For Inktober Day 26

instagram

PEA FISHING.
I recently taught my #ratties the art of pea fishing! Initially they were horrified of the water, but #Miwa my brave little one, decided to go for it and the others finally followed. #Cute little grabby hands!!! I’m so in #love 💖

Made with Instagram
instagram

ME & TEDDY.
I swear she’s human. I woke up this morning to find #Miwa sleeping with her #teddybear ! I just can’t. It took every bit of me to keep from kissing her and waking her up. She is the #sweetest #rattie I’ve ever had. Miwa you melt my #heart ! 💖🐻🐭

Made with Instagram

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…)

In my experience there are two kinds of vegans: the ones who for various personal or health reasons have elected to live a vegan lifestyle but understand that it’s not for everyone, and the lunatics who want to fuck up the entire ecosystem and starve carnivorous animals and ignore the fact that the human race has spent literally THOUSANDS of years domesticating animals for consumption purposes and many of these animals could not survive on their own and would grossly overpopulate if we did not use them for such purposes and there are many species who CANNOT LIVE on a diet without meat.

Omnis: Veganism is white imperialism/classist/ableist because food prices, poor people can’t afford it, not everyone can be vegan and you don’t even care about the exploited immigrants working in fields!

Also Omnis: *Ignoring the indigenous people in the Amazon who lose their fucking home because of meat consumption. Ignoring all the people starving in West African countries because they can barely catch fish anymore thanks to the huge ass factory ships from China/Europe etc that empty the oceans. Ignoring all the indigenous people dependent on clean water, when raising livestock is the number one polluter of water. And of course ignoring the exploited immigrants and working poor with no alternatives working in slaughterhouses, one of the most dangerous jobs in the western world. Many losing body parts and, because they’re often illegal immigrants, wont get any form of health support once ending up disabled.*

No your cat cannot be fed a vegan diet.

This is a biological fact not an opinion. Not an agenda or bias. It is pure scientific fact. You cannot feed your carnivorous pets a vegetarian or vegan diet.  Especially cats. Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they live on a solely meat based diet that is biologically essential for their survival. 

Not only does the meat contain enzymes, amino acids, nutrients and other essential minerals, cats can’t utilize plant-based proteins at all. Cats require high levels of amino acids like taurine and arginine that plants do not provide and require vitamin D (D3) that is only found in meat. So while eating a vegetarian / vegan based diet might “fill” their stomachs they cannot get any nutrients from it as they are unable to break down plant matter. 

This is because of a number of reasons. Firstly plant matter if hard to digest and herbivores require special biological systems to be able to live on a plant-only diet. Such as an enzyme called cellulose that that breaks down the cell wall of plant matter and bacteria that live in their gut, that herbivores cannot do themselves. Cats instead have an enzyme called amylase that can be used to break down small amounts of plant matter. But it is only produced in small amounts and therefore cannot handle high levels of plant matter. 

There is also the fact their digestive tracts are vastly different from that of herbivores. 

As you can see, carnivores have a rather short digestive tract. This because the nutrients and energy in meat is easier to absorb then an animal eating a herbivorous diet.  

Herbivores therefore have long digestive tracts in order to lengthen the time the plant matter is in their body and therefore have a chance to absorb more of the energy. In fact ruminant herbivores have a hour chamber stomach and ruminant (regurgitate) their food in order to better break down the plant matter and absorb more of the nutrients.

The dental structure of a carnivore such as a cat and a herbivore is also vastly different as they are adapted for their different diets. Cats have teeth (incisors and canine) that are used for tearing flesh and holding onto prey. They have only one set of molars as shown and three sets of pre-molars. These teeth are used for grinding / chewing. Compared to that of a herbivore, it’s hardly enough to break down and chew a plant based diet.

A herbivore’s dental structure (horse) contain of mostly molars rather then teeth used for tearing / holding onto prey. As shown below, a horse has many sets of large molars and a large mandible. That allows for long periods of chewing and grinding down on tough plant-matter / grains ect. 


Your cat cannot live on a meatless diet  Any good vet will tell you this and if they don’t they are either not properly qualified or pushing an agenda. If you are uncomfortable with feeding meat to a cat or dog or any other carnivorous pet. Then don’t get that pet. Get an animal that lives on grains or plant matter because you should not own a cat if you’d rather put your own agenda / “morals” over that of an animals life and well being.