Dear Porky and Buddy,
I have just decided to switch from a mostly vegetarian diet to a strict vegan diet. It is a big change for me. But, after much research and thought, I have decided that it is both a political and an ethical imperative. So that is fine for me, but what about my best friend, Oscar, my ten-year-old cat? Do you think it’s hypocritical for me to take this step for me but keep feeding him regular cat food which has a lot of meat in it? Is it even possible to switch him to a vegan diet, too?
Cats are what is known as obligate carnivores. That means that they are strict carnivores that rely on nutrients in meats to fulfill their specific nutritional needs.
Think about their cousins, the big cats in the wild. They do not eat salads, or nuts or grass or fruit. They hunt. For meat.
So feeding Oscar otherwise, especially because the nutrient content of meats cannot be replicated in purely vegetable form, is unwise and we think also unkind.
Think of his teeth. He does not have huge molars for munching on hay. Think of him playing for hours with little toy mice that he pretends to kill.
He is built to consume meat.
If you want to talk ethics, is it ethical to impose your political or religious or ethical views on your poor cat’s diet?
If you really want a vegan pet, find one that is naturally vegan, a rabbit, or a guinea pig or a horse.
They need homes, too.
We’re not being facetious here. We understand the environmental and economic problems that result from our human meat-based diet, and we applaud your desire to take a stand with your own diet.
But Oscar does not have an ethical bone in his body and it’s not his fault what humans have done to the planet.
Don’t force him to be the solution.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.