Support Your Cat’s Meat-Eating Ethically - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 12-21-2015, 06:29 AM
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Support Your Cat’s Meat-Eating Ethically



Vegetarian and vegan diets are favored by some people: they offer health benefits, a greater sense of control over what goes into your body and the knowledge that you aren’t killing an innocent being for your next meal.

It can be really tempting to want to share those benefits with your cat, but unfortunately biology just isn’t in favor of that. The news is filled with horror story after horror story of well-meaning owners who try to feed their cat a diet exclusively of vegetable protein, only to later be charged with animal cruelty or neglect when the cat dies of malnutrition.

Just because Fluffy requires animal-based protein doesn’t mean you have to be unethical about serving it to her, though. It’s entirely possible to be a vegetarian or vegan and give your cat the nutrition she needs without compromising your ethics.

Why Cats Need Meat

Obligate carnivores are the exact opposite of vegans: they could exist perfectly fine without a vegetable or speck of grain in their diets. And biologically speaking, it’s about more than just dentition. Not only has feline biology evolved to use meat as its primary fuel source, but it’s also phased out many of the processes that allow humans and even dogs to extract vitamins, minerals and essential nutrition from plant-based sources.

Cat biology is complex enough that it could warrant an article all on its own, but simply put: cats have evolved over eons to function best when on a high meat-based protein diet. Their bodies require none of the essential nutrients found in plants (like vitamin C) because they manufacture all of them internally.

By contrast, there are essential amino acids found only in meat that a cat cannot manufacture and must consume to stay healthy. Taurine, for instance, is absolutely crucial in a cat’s diet. Taurine isn’t found in plant cells – without it cats can quickly succumb to blindness, weakness and death.

So Why Can’t I Just Supplement a Plant-Based Diet for My Cat?

Putting it plainly: Feeding your cat a plant-based diet is dangerous for your cat. They’ll eat it, but they can’t process it well and it lacks many, many compounds found only in meat that are essential to not just their health, but their lives.

Feeding a plant-based diet and offering supplementation of essential nutrients found only in meat offers up a couple different problems, the least of which is that those supplements are still made from animal-derived ingredients, thus defeating one of the main purposes of attempting to feed your cat a veggie diet to begin with.

Supplementation is meant to be “in addition to” rather than “instead of” getting nutrition from dietary sources. Think about how you’d feel living on just water and vitamins: you might survive, but you would feel pretty weak and you wouldn’t be too happy about it. Getting the dosage correct also requires some hefty math and nutritional needs change based on age, weight, activity level, sex and reproductive status. You’d constantly be changing your cat’s supplements to meet their needs.

Finally, it’s costly. Even though a good, protein-packed cat food can run you upwards of $30 a month, you’d be spending more on supplements than you ever would on a nutritionally sound, ethically-sourced cat food.

Feeding Your Cat Ethically

Since your cat needs meat, make peace with that fact and try to find a way to support him or her in a way that that best benefits your pet. Your dining preferences are not theirs. One way to do that is to buy ethically sourced pet food. It’s more expensive than national brands, but doing your research pays off. There are pet food brands that don’t use factory farmed animals, avoid needless antibiotics and even have organic certification.

Beyond the sourcing of the meat in the cat food itself, ethically sourced pet foods don’t conduct animal testing on captive animals: they only conduct palatability tests on pets in their own homes. The Ethical Consumer maintains a list of approved cat foods Consulting such a list is a great start, but it’s always prudent to do your own research, too.

Feeding Your Cat Homemade Cat Food

A second option that is about on the same price point as feeding your cat an ethical, mass-produced pet food is to create your own cat food using raw ingredients. Known as raw feeding in pet care circles, this method involves sourcing the necessary ingredients yourself and processing them in your own home.

This method, while somewhat hands-on, isn’t for everyone as it involves processing and handling raw meat. But if you want to know exactly what you're feeding your cat and where it came from and how it lived, you’ll benefit from feeding your cat a raw food diet. Raw food requires a lot of research to get the ingredients and ratios right – and to put it bluntly, you may struggle at first. Don’t fret: there are plenty of resources on raw feeding your cat. Your veterinarian can provide further guidance should you need it.

The Hard Truth

Don’t feed your cat a vegan diet: It’s animal cruelty, the exact thing you’re probably seeking to avoid as a compassionate, caring steward of the natural world. Your cat needs meat to survive. She won’t die instantly on a plant-based diet, but her systems will suffer and eventually her vital processes will slow down in a long, drawn-out, painful death. It could take months or it could take years, but your cat will be miserable and ill the entire time.

Ethically sourced cat foods are costly and occasionally tough to source, but they do exist and are an option for vegetarians and vegans wanting to feed their cat as responsibly as possible without adding to animal cruelty issues or engaging in shady business practices.

Finally, if you just can’t stomach the fact that your cat needs meat, there are plenty of other ways to avoid compromising your ethics and still get your pet-loving fix. Volunteering at a shelter will allow you to spend quality time with cats without actually having to feed them.

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#2 Old 12-21-2015, 06:29 AM
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Follow-up: There has been some research that indicates that some cats have been able to follow a Veg*n lifestyle without health issues.

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"The vegetarian pet debate is a contentious one among vegetarian pet owners and veterinarians and is one not likely to go away anytime soon. The best approach may well be to give some of the non-meat supplements and/or foods a try. If your cat won’t eat them, or does not do well on them—take kitty to a veterinarian for a check-up to see—you can always go back to what you were feeding her before." Veggie Cat Food? Why Not All Cats Need Meat
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Some veterinarians vehemently caution against vegetarian and vegan diets for all carnivorous companion animals. Others concede that dogs can be healthy on vegetarian fare. But whether or not cats should be given solely vegetarian food, under any circumstances, continues to be a topic of much controversy. Grassroots Veganism with Jo Stepaniak
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Whereas Jed Gillen used to say that prescription pH control food was a sham, he now feeds his large orange kitty Jude a small amount of meaty prescription food in addition to vegan wet food to “keep his urinary tract problem symptoms at bay.” I think the lesson to be learned is a reduction in suffering. There are still thousands of healthy vegan cats living today, yet, as vegans we have to always accept what is the least amount of suffering, make the most ethical decisions, and protect lives. When looking at the conditions of “humanely raised” cat and dog food we have to see faces, the same as the ones we reject for our own consumption. Because cats can live without an entirely meat based diet, we must be more deliberate in weighing our choices and help our furry friends do the same. Make the compromise. SATYA
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#3 Old 12-22-2015, 03:02 PM
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Thank you for posting this article, I've struggled with this issue, but cats need meat. We choose to shelter cats and provide them with love and care, and not to take any chances with their health.
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#4 Old 12-22-2015, 03:25 PM
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Is Veggieboards trying to start an argument?
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#5 Old 12-22-2015, 08:12 PM
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Its Possible to feed a cat a vegan diet but it takes effort. You need supplements and the cat does thrive.
So you need to look that up first.
Second the argument that you can't feed your cat or dog what you want is MOOT a cat or a dog does not want to be locked up all day in a house but a lot of people do it. Due to safety reasons.
The natural argument is moot when it comes to specifically cats and dogs as they don't have any place to go.

Here in India we have a lot of stray cats living in 100% vegetarian communities and they don't even have access to milk. They live reproduce and are thriving they solely live on hunting mice. They can't go through the garbage because we got a lot of stray dogs doing that.

Whats interesting is the stray dogs in living in non-veg communities are diseased and look horrible while the ones living in veg communities are healthy. For the first time in veg communities I have seen dogs eat corn from the cob.

I was generally speaking yes cats are different that i agree but I don't think its about feeding what your cat likes in this unatural living arrangement. You have to take care of its health.
If you can't afford it or you don't have access then I agree its better to feed it meat.
But somehow this article the way its written would discourage anyone who was willing to make that extra effort to feed their cat a healthy vegan diet.

Being vegan is all about effort. When you make an effort then more option will be available.
If we had given up on many things like shoes and tyres we would have never had vegan shoes or tyres.
If we gave excuses like we can't afford it.
Like in the case of tyres we kept using our cars but we kept voicing it out that its not vegan and that led to Michellen making the first vegan tyres.
Now Moshi made its first vegan leather case for the Iphone 6s/6s Plus

Its very easy to make a cat food that is complete in all nutrients and easily digest by cats. Its not rocket science. Seaweed and mushrooms can be used to make such catfood.
So lets not give up or discourage anyone but lets not also demonize anyone who can't do it due to their own limitations.
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#6 Old 12-23-2015, 02:09 AM
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Don't betray one animal friend for another

Supporting Your Cat’s Meat-Eating Ethically

To say that feeding a cat a vegan diet is cruel seems preposterous given the alternative. Okay Mrs. Cow and Mister Tuna and Mister Chicken, we must now kill you all out of compassion for our human cat breeding culture. Yep, you heard us right. We are killing all three of you and others by the millions out of "compassion" for our preferential carnivorous animal pets.

I think the article pays lip service to a meat eating point of view. Sure cat's may need dead kill to survive if you accept that hypothesis. But I never donate money to feed free turkey dinners to the freezing homeless and I will never feed a cat some meat or fish or poultry. It's just wrong to cause suffering as a way to alleviate suffering.

Although I'm vegan, I fed some feral cats with Horizon organic cheese from 2004 to 2009 out of caring pity in frigid winter months. I mixed it with grains and the cats ate it every day. They still went out hunting birds but at least probably killed fewer of them due to the cheese. I realize feeding them dairy violates my own vegan principles since I do not consume dairy myself and dairy farming is usually oppressive to cows and calves, but at least it does not require anything to die directly, including the cats. If I were faced with the same hungry feral cats today, I would try giving them a vegan alternative instead of cheese because I'm now more aware of dairy's harm.

Saying that we need to bash cow's heads in and chop off chicken heads and strangle tuna fish in vast morbid suffocating ocean dragnets just to keep cats feeling good, is pure hypocrisy. Getting slaughtered to become cat meat is not fun either. Yes, cats are sensual and cats are smart and I care about cats but they will still never get an ounce of dead flesh from me. Also consider this fact: A vast percentage of the meat bought by meat eaters ends up in dumpsters and garbage cans instead of going to any purpose. That wasted meat that makes every alley stink in warm season, accounts for a stupendously huge animal population killed for nothing

If the vegan cat food currently on the market online is not good enough for cats, then we vegans should do our best to spay, neuter and minimize cat breeding so that we need not betray one animal friend as food for another. Making war on animals to feed the human culture of cats is pure himsa (harm), not ahimsa. It's just easy for novice vegans to call their cat food harmless meat but it's actually dead cadavers and we humans are the killers. Carnivores, including cats, should do their own killing as nature devised and if they can't, then we should not breed them at all.

Last edited by Vincent Vegan; 12-23-2015 at 02:38 AM. Reason: spit and polish
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#7 Old 12-23-2015, 02:22 AM
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I agree with many of the above posters. We keep cats in unnatural conditions as it is, shut up in houses and apartments all day for many of them. Pets don't have the same rights as humans, and often are considered little more than property. Often they are deprived of their natural instincts. Why is that ok but not attempting to feed them a plant based diet that is not only possible with some effort, but takes into consideration other animals who would otherwise be slaughtered to support our human desire for pets?

I too don't think a person should be demonized for making an attempt to feed their cat a vegan diet. If you look at some of the common commercial cat foods on the market out there, I wouldn't say they are all that healthy either. Some are rather disturbing what they put in there actually. It may not work for all cats but it HAS worked for some.

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#8 Old 12-23-2015, 06:04 AM
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Leedsveg having philosophical discussion with felix catus, Mr Tibbles, about the possibilty of Mr Tibbles going vegan:

Leedsveg: "I know there'd be a lot of ramifications Mr Tibbles but have you ever thought of going vegan?"

Mr Tibbles: "Me? How?"


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#9 Old 12-23-2015, 06:44 AM
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@creeem -- thank you for making such perfect sense to this discussion!
I now have 9 cats due to years of working with rescues and fosters that never left. I justify the food I buy for them as the best i can afford for animals that people have changed to fit their domestic needs. I feel as much attached to them as my own kids. I can't afford to try vegan foods for them, but do feel there's hope for vegan cat foods, or lab created meats.
In most places here catching mice is dangerous with all the poisons people use. Symbiotic relations with animals are shattered in human civilizations.

I'm pretty appalled that VB's administrators would start a thread this biased
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#10 Old 12-23-2015, 07:59 AM
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Hi,

While I do understand the point of the article, sadly the author comes across as dishonest at times and clearly hasn’t researched the issue well enough. An example of the author’s dishonesty is in claiming “buy ethically sourced pet food”. There is no such thing as ethical exploitation and killing of innocent others and it’s very troubling to see that the author uses the rhetoric of the exploiters. Another example of the author’s dishonesty is in claiming “Think about how you’d feel living on just water and vitamins: you might survive, but you would feel pretty weak and you wouldn’t be too happy about it.” This is a complete false analogy and the author is guilty of fear mongering here.


About twenty years ago (reflecting back now), I raised my 3 cats vegan for about 3 years with no noticeable health problems for any of them. I would take them in for normal check-ups and the vet did not see any problems.

It isn't quick or necessarily easy to help them transition because of course the tastes and textures are new to them. So every week for months it was a process of replacing small portions of veg food for their normal meat food and spending a week observing them carefully as they eat and in all aspects of their behavior. The veg kibble was easier to exchange for their regular kibble. In time, the entirety of what they were provided was plant-based foods. It’s too much to go into detail about what types of foods and all of that but I do have some video I’d taken back then of the kitties. In the video they readily eat their vegan food and they look healthy. One of the kitties growled if you tried to take away his favorite food, cantaloupe. He did that with no other food including the regular commercial or even the “premium” quality (expensive) meat based foods he was given for a period of time. Another kitty often, though not always, eschewed meat based food altogether when a dish of each was put in front of her side-by-side.

The thing I will highlight is that it’s quite a bit of extra work to transition and maintain cats on a nutritionally supportive veg diet over just popping open cans and bags of commercial meat-based cat food.

I supplemented for the nutrients that they required (taurine, arachadonic acid (spelling?), vit A, etc, …I don’t remember this many years later the specifics). Eventually, since I then got myself into rescuing cats, and the new rescues had to be fed meat based foods (because that’s what they are used to being given by well meaning feeders and it’s because they just naturally prefer the smelly commercial meat based foods) the chore of separating the cats and the foods and the process of transitioning and etc, I ended up feeding them all inexpensive commercial meat based food. I chose to stop the veg food because of all that work and the fact that I had the rest of my busy life to keep in order.

I have known other people who have successfully raised vegan cats. One couple, for many years raised 7 vegan cats for as long as I kept in touch with them.

I also know people who have tried to raise vegan cats but who were unsuccessful. Apparently their kitties tastebuds were never quite able to acclimate to the veg foods they replaced their commercial meat-based foods with.

Finally, if you really want to learn about an eye opening true story, read up on Tyke, the lioness who naturally preferred vegetarian food.

Thanks for taking the time to read my comments.

Last edited by Sexy_Vegan; 12-23-2015 at 08:56 AM.
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#11 Old 12-23-2015, 08:26 AM
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Arrow Is it a meat eating forum?

Promotion of meat consumption on a vegetarian forum? That's something new. I guess soon we might see topics such as "Support your kid's meat-eating ethically" or even "Support yours meat-eating ethically".

Thousands of healthy cats around the world, including my cats, who have been vegan since I adopted them when they were kittens, are a living proof of the fact that vegan diet is healthy for cats. Not to mention a study http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs...javma.229.1.70

No being requires special food, we all require nutrients, and they are all presented in commercial vegan kibbles. As Andrew Knight, a veterinarian, well put it,

"animals need specific nutrients, not ingredients. There is no scientific reason why a diet comprised only of plant, mineral and synthetically-based ingredients cannot be formulated to meet all of the palatability, nutritional and bioavailability needs of the species for which it is intended. In fact, several commercially-available vegan diets for cats and dogs aim to do so, and have jointly supported thousands of healthy vegan cats, dogs and ferrets (who are also naturally carnivorous) for many years" [https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-n...cts-and-myths]

I feel like I am explaining basics of vegetarian nutrition to omnivore humans who think that vegetarians substitute meat with lettuce.
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#12 Old 12-26-2015, 08:50 AM
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Although I'm vegan, I fed some feral cats with Horizon organic cheese from 2004 to 2009 out of caring pity in frigid winter months. I mixed it with grains and the cats ate it every day. They still went out hunting birds but at least probably killed fewer of them due to the cheese.
Sorry, but this sounds just plain wrong to me. There are reasons for humans being vegan, but there are zero reasons for a feral cat to be vegan : They are creatures who hunt and kill, and it's just the way it has been since they exist.

I don't like the way we humans try to change animals in any way. I am a cat lover (perhaps you would say I'm crazy about them), and I don't think I need to educate or change such a beautiful creature. I can understand you feeding them with what you had at hand, but the fact that you expected the cats to kill fewer birds is plain wrong. Cats do kill birds, mice and whatever they can kill, and then they eat what they killed, and there is nothing wrong with that.

We humans have the choice, but that doesn't turn us into superior beings. My cats were able to jump from A to B, and to do amazing acrobatics I'll never be able to do myself. I don't think I can call myself superior, or that I have any right to educate or try to change any feline. And I don't keep cats anymore for that very reason, even if I miss their company.

I wish I could do the stunts they do, and look so damned well... I also envy them for having all the time in the world to take neverending naps!

I am a vegan, but I wouldn't want my cat to be one, if that means to risk in any way the furry friend's health... Also my cat used to bring me gifts you'd call disgusting... But I know the kitty meant it well, and concepts like vegetarianism were not on the feline's dictionary.

The hell she needed such a thing..............
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#13 Old 12-26-2015, 05:41 PM
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We are omnivores, you can eat a vegetarian diet as an omnivore and remain healthy. Our ancestors would have went weeks maybe even months between a kill and would have been fine.

Cats are carnivores, they are made to eat meat. I think its a good idea to try to feed them ethically raised meat versus the alternative at least its something. I do not agree with feeding them a plant based diet. If you want a herbavoir get a bunny, a guinea pig etc, they all make great pets.

Simply put ask a vet if a cat can eat a vegetarian diet and remain healthy. We can research online all we like but at the end of the only person you can trust to give you a real answer is the vet you trust.
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#14 Old 12-27-2015, 09:34 AM
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For what it's worth I've heard really great reviews for Ami's vegan cat food. Vegancats.com also has some good FAQS on the subject. I really hope that those who choose to feed their cats vegan do so responsibly and with the most knowledge on how to on hand, because ultimately you will be the examples or leaders in regards to vegan pet food. There simply hasn't been enough examples to prove that it's generally safe, hell some people still believe dogs need meat even though vegan dog food has been around for much longer and thousands of people use it because their dog has meat sensitivities, so any person that tries this and shares their experience will be the examples for others to follow or to have others scorn them for.
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#15 Old 12-27-2015, 01:12 PM
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.................
Saying that we need to bash cow's heads in and chop off chicken heads and strangle tuna fish in vast morbid suffocating ocean dragnets just to keep cats feeling good, is pure hypocrisy. Getting slaughtered to become cat meat is not fun either. Yes, cats are sensual and cats are smart and I care about cats but they will still never get an ounce of dead flesh from me. Also consider this fact: A vast percentage of the meat bought by meat eaters ends up in dumpsters and garbage cans instead of going to any purpose. That wasted meat that makes every alley stink in warm season, accounts for a stupendously huge animal population killed for nothing.
On solution: what about salvaging meat which would go to waste and feed it to carnivorous pets such as cats (before it becomes spoiled, of course- food stores normally get rid of food before it's actually unsafe to eat)?

EDITED TO ADD: oops- I see you were referring to meat which had already been bought, and was thrown out. That would be harder to do because it's more decentralized... not taking place at the market where it's being sold. It still would be doable though.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.

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#16 Old 12-27-2015, 02:27 PM
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I checked out Vegancats.com. I'd be afraid to give their vegan cat food to my cats. Corn appears to be the main ingredient.


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#17 Old 12-27-2015, 03:00 PM
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aren't cats susceptible to diabetes if they eat too many carbs?

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#18 Old 12-30-2015, 09:19 AM
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I'm catless at the moment, but the cats I had would usually go on hunger strike whenever I'd try to get them to eat anything they weren't used to. One that was used to kibble would leave pricey wet food to rot in the bowl, and would grow thinner and thinner until I caved and brought back the exact same kibble he was used to. And if I tried mixing in a little bit of a different brand (prescribed for cats with bad kidneys) with the old brand, the new stuff would end up untouched at the bottom of the bowl. They can wait us out easier than we can stand to see them drop weight in that game of emotional terrorism, if your cats are anything like mine were. Maybe kittens are a lot more adaptable than adult cats as a rule.

Also, and I'm sure there are exceptions, people I know who use vegan cat food say their cats supplement on any living thing they manage to find and kill: mice, moles, shrews, cardinals, mockingbirds, etc. Even the indoor-only cats out here eat mice that blunder into our lairs. I know Beyond Meat and some other companies are working on meatlike plant-based foods that are supposed to be dead ringers for the appearance, aroma, texture, taste, and nutritional profile of animal-based meats. That's aspirational, but they might get there at some point. Anything's possible, but they aren't there yet. I've heard that the meat in pet foods is pretty much rated "unfit for human consumption," being made from the parts that would be discarded or rendered into a non-food product if it weren't going into pet food. Don't know if that's completely accurate, or if the truth of it is a moving target. But if it's made from slaughterhouse detritus, I don't think it's accurate to say that its use in pet food is getting animals killed for it.
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#19 Old 12-30-2015, 10:33 AM
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aren't cats susceptible to diabetes if they eat too many carbs?
Diabetes, yes, among a number of other debilitating and/or fatal diseases. The most common one, and the one that proves fatal to so many male cats (because they are easily blocked) is urinary tract infections.

The problem isn't that a carb based diet can't be supplemented; carbs themselves, and the way obligate carnivores process them, are the issue.

I'm sure that there are a few cats who can be fed a vegan diet and live a long time, just like there are some human beings who can get drunk every day of their lives, smoke two packs a day, and eat nothing but junk food, and still live to be ninety. But that's not recommended, since the odds are stacked against you.
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#20 Old 12-30-2015, 04:27 PM
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Diabetes, yes, among a number of other debilitating and/or fatal diseases. The most common one, and the one that proves fatal to so many male cats (because they are easily blocked) is urinary tract infections.

The problem isn't that a carb based diet can't be supplemented; carbs themselves, and the way obligate carnivores process them, are the issue.

I'm sure that there are a few cats who can be fed a vegan diet and live a long time, just like there are some human beings who can get drunk every day of their lives, smoke two packs a day, and eat nothing but junk food, and still live to be ninety. But that's not recommended, since the odds are stacked against you.
That is a good analogy!
I'm not going to completely discount the possibility of vegan cat foods, after all we've managed to make 'cats' domestic gods and goddesses, but they've got a long way to go. Corn? Soy? Wheat?No way!
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#21 Old 12-31-2015, 03:47 PM
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Many animals are killed each year by cars, so what if there was some sort of network to process these animals for people/animals who "must" eat meat? These animals die anyways and are normally thrown away, so having such a network would perhaps eliminate the problem of needing to buy meat for cats. While many of us are disgusted by the idea of eating (or feeding our pets) roadkill, I'm almost positive that it would be less disgusting (and healthier) that what is in typical cat food.

Of course, buying pets is not vegan. A real vegan cares about the wellbeing of the animal that they ADOPT. Cats cause a monumental amount of problems, species extinction is incredibly common as a result of feral cats. Cat bites also can carry a variety of diseases. A single bite of my friend's cat was so toxic, that it caused my rabbit to develop an infection which stripped his flesh to the bone. He died last year as a result of the complications.

IMO house cats should be spayed and neutered until they have gone extinct. Rabbits, chinchillas, pigs, dogs, and rodents all make really nice pets, and do not have as bad an effect on the environment that house cats do. All of these animals do well on a vegan diet (except dogs, that's disputed).
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#22 Old 01-02-2016, 06:49 AM
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Many animals are killed each year by cars, so what if there was some sort of network to process these animals for people/animals who "must" eat meat?
Princess, there are many reasons against it :

1. Moral reason - If you wouldn't use your dead grandmother's body as a cat food, why should you use a cat's? In theory, you'd get way more meat if you used dead people's bodies, also that network would work way better. But it would be incredibly wrong from a moral point of view, wouldn't it?
2. Cats killed on roads might carry diseases, including worms.
3. Just reason 1...

I wouldn't be against cat food made from a lab, if it got all the needed elements. The day I see some start up asking for funds, I'll be the first one to donate. I hated to feed my cat on cat food, and I used to gladly share my sausages/fish/etc. He ate on the table and got his dish. Quite funny to have dinner with a cat, we even had our 'conversations'
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#23 Old 01-03-2016, 12:18 PM
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Princess, there are many reasons against it :

1. Moral reason - If you wouldn't use your dead grandmother's body as a cat food, why should you use a cat's?
I know that I am going to incur a great amount of disgust for saying this, but I see no moral objection to using a human cadaver as food (provided they weren't murdered for that purpose). The reason we treat the dead in a ceremonial matter is due to the subjective "rules" imposed on us by our society. I do believe there are cultures which eat their dead for funerary purposes, just as we would bury or cremate ours. In fact, I find that the was we treat our dead by burying is abhorrent and wasteful.

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Cats killed on roads might carry diseases, including worms.
Firstly, I was talking about mainly large animals such as deer, which are a very common roadkill in MN (it happens to be so common here that hunters justify hunting by saying "but if we don't hunt the deer will get hit by cars!!! We wanna be HUMANE!!!"). If cats ate dead cats, they would probably get a lot of diseases, not because the dead cats are unclean, but because there would be a risk of contracting a prion, especially if the organs are recycled. (Like when cows are cannibalized in factory farms they get mad cow disease, or humans when they cannibalize on the brain)

It is very interesting that you mention this: while there are several food dangers present in roadkill, a subculture has been devoted to "recycling" animals killed in motor accidents. Through trial and error, they have devised a system in which they can decide if meat is safe for human (and animal) consumption. In addition, we have advanced technology to sample meat to check for worms. There is also pasteurization.

As disgusting as this sounds, the technology to create safe lab-grown meat is far from becoming publicly available, and this would be the option that has the fewest intentional deaths. If the first priority in this matter is animal liberation, rather than the illogical societal expectations of purity imposed on us, then this would be the best option.
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#24 Old 01-03-2016, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by princessarachne View Post
I know that I am going to incur a great amount of disgust for saying this, but I see no moral objection to using a human cadaver as food (provided they weren't murdered for that purpose). The reason we treat the dead in a ceremonial matter is due to the subjective "rules" imposed on us by our society. I do believe there are cultures which eat their dead for funerary purposes, just as we would bury or cremate ours. In fact, I find that the was we treat our dead by burying is abhorrent and wasteful.


Firstly, I was talking about mainly large animals such as deer, which are a very common roadkill in MN (it happens to be so common here that hunters justify hunting by saying "but if we don't hunt the deer will get hit by cars!!! We wanna be HUMANE!!!"). If cats ate dead cats, they would probably get a lot of diseases, not because the dead cats are unclean, but because there would be a risk of contracting a prion, especially if the organs are recycled. (Like when cows are cannibalized in factory farms they get mad cow disease, or humans when they cannibalize on the brain)

It is very interesting that you mention this: while there are several food dangers present in roadkill, a subculture has been devoted to "recycling" animals killed in motor accidents. Through trial and error, they have devised a system in which they can decide if meat is safe for human (and animal) consumption. In addition, we have advanced technology to sample meat to check for worms. There is also pasteurization.

As disgusting as this sounds, the technology to create safe lab-grown meat is far from becoming publicly available, and this would be the option that has the fewest intentional deaths. If the first priority in this matter is animal liberation, rather than the illogical societal expectations of purity imposed on us, then this would be the best option.
Diseases like kuru can be contracted by eating human flesh.
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#25 Old 01-03-2016, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by princessarachne View Post
I know that I am going to incur a great amount of disgust for saying this, but I see no moral objection to using a human cadaver as food (provided they weren't murdered for that purpose). The reason we treat the dead in a ceremonial matter is due to the subjective "rules" imposed on us by our society. I do believe there are cultures which eat their dead for funerary purposes, just as we would bury or cremate ours. In fact, I find that the was we treat our dead by burying is abhorrent and wasteful.


Firstly, I was talking about mainly large animals such as deer, which are a very common roadkill in MN (it happens to be so common here that hunters justify hunting by saying "but if we don't hunt the deer will get hit by cars!!! We wanna be HUMANE!!!"). If cats ate dead cats, they would probably get a lot of diseases, not because the dead cats are unclean, but because there would be a risk of contracting a prion, especially if the organs are recycled. (Like when cows are cannibalized in factory farms they get mad cow disease, or humans when they cannibalize on the brain)

It is very interesting that you mention this: while there are several food dangers present in roadkill, a subculture has been devoted to "recycling" animals killed in motor accidents. Through trial and error, they have devised a system in which they can decide if meat is safe for human (and animal) consumption. In addition, we have advanced technology to sample meat to check for worms. There is also pasteurization.

As disgusting as this sounds, the technology to create safe lab-grown meat is far from becoming publicly available, and this would be the option that has the fewest intentional deaths. If the first priority in this matter is animal liberation, rather than the illogical societal expectations of purity imposed on us, then this would be the best option.
In some ways I agree with you. I know for a fact in Minnesota that deer carcasses found on the road from being hit by cars ARE used to feed the wolves at the International Wolf Center in Ely. I also know that some colleges, including the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, use human cadavers in their advanced anatomy and physiology lab courses. Those humans always gave permission ahead before they died. Animals do not have that option.

On the other hand, there is still nothing humane about hunters killing deer, and they almost never go for the weak or injured. They go for the 8 + point bucks and the biggest healthiest animal, often leaving behind the families and young ones that belonged to those deer they killed. Also, there are humane ways to work out coexisting with wildlife besides hunting them down. We could start by decreasing our own population. We could build up instead of out and stop tearing down natural areas. Deer in many parts of Minnesota are often misplaced from patches of woods where they live by increasing urban sprawl, new roadways, new cell phone towers, and more agricultural land needed to feed ever more farm animals that will be eaten by humans. Where else are deer supposed to go when they are forced and crowded out of their homes? We need to also limit the number of vehicles on the roads. More people need to cycle, walk, carpool, bus...it isn't that there is an over abundance of deer. And also, the deer have less natural predators since wolves, barely off the endangered list for a few years, were suddenly able to be legally hunted in states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. Predators in Minnesota are nowhere near what they once naturally were (aside from humans). And that is due to human activity.

That said, I would be for using deer and other wild animal carcasses (not intentionally killed but by accident) to feed rescue cats and other carnivorous adopted animals... If of course there was a suitable method to ensure the animal carcass was cleaned and prepared thoroughly first (which costs a lot of money in labor, equipment etc). It can't be any worse than the horrible animal ingredients in common commercial cat food, and the conditions farmed animals lived in before being slaugtered and their byproducts being used for cat food. It can't be worse than cats running around neighborhoods unchecked killing native birds, mice, moles etc. Indeed a dead carcass not purposely hunted down would be a better solution if there was a way to make it work. It is sad though that this option even exists due to the nature and tragedy of wildlife being killed by deadly vehicles and other means. :/ Also, many wild animals such as crows, wolves, bear, wolverines, fox, coyotes etc rely on those dead carcasses to survive as well, so we have to remember we would be taking away a food source for them to feed carnivorous "pets".

I don't believe there is a black and white answer. I am still very disturbed by the use of animal agriculture to feed the pet trade. :/ But I do understand that these "pets" that are already here need to eat to survive and some can not thrive on only plant based food.

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#26 Old 01-03-2016, 07:05 PM
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Diseases like kuru can be contracted by eating human flesh.
Kuru is a prion contracted from eating the brain of a deceased human. It can only be contracted by eating someone who has Kuru, which is an extremely isolated disease that is endemic to the regions practicing mortuary cannibalism that I mentioned earlier.
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#27 Old 01-03-2016, 07:07 PM
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Princess, there are many reasons against it :

1. Moral reason - If you wouldn't use your dead grandmother's body as a cat food, why should you use a cat's? In theory, you'd get way more meat if you used dead people's bodies, also that network would work way better. But it would be incredibly wrong from a moral point of view, wouldn't it?
2. Cats killed on roads might carry diseases, including worms.
3. Just reason 1...

I wouldn't be against cat food made from a lab, if it got all the needed elements. The day I see some start up asking for funds, I'll be the first one to donate. I hated to feed my cat on cat food, and I used to gladly share my sausages/fish/etc. He ate on the table and got his dish. Quite funny to have dinner with a cat, we even had our 'conversations'
1. I wouldn't care if my dead body was used as cat food, but then I can't speak for anyone's grandma.
2. Properly cooking or freezing roadkill would kill just about any bacteria/parasites, though I wouldn't feed a cat another cat, as cannibalism tends to spread more disease.

Personally I'm not going to fret over meat-eating cats until every human stops eating meat. The harm cats cause is minuscule compared to the harm humans cause.
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#28 Old 01-03-2016, 07:09 PM
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Animals do not have that option.
[^^Of giving consent]

On the other hand, there is still nothing humane about hunters killing deer, and they almost never go for the weak or injured.
I doubt that Animals care much about how their carcasses will be used: they're probably more concerned about getting food, shelter, etc. Don't you think? Besides, even if they could talk and said "Don't use my corpse like that" they're well.... dead. Consent is irrelevant.


It's about the attitude that humans have towards nonhuman animals, that humans are worthy of dying peacefully with as many amenities as possible, and put to rest in the ground or cremated and remembered, wheeras nonhuman animals are nothing more than food/commodities to be used for clothing, food etc, regardless of how that animal lived and died. Almost always, animals used for these purposes were intentionally killed for them, even in anatomy and physiology classes.

Last edited by Naturebound; 01-04-2016 at 02:20 AM.
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#29 Old 01-03-2016, 07:37 PM
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I don't think(from observing my local roads) that there would be enough roadkill to feed the pet population.
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#30 Old 02-29-2016, 06:08 AM
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Pet food, like food for people, isn't a matter of how the eater evolved but what that eater needs for good health. We're always dealing with omnivore remarks about how we "were designed to eat meat" and there's too much wrong with that phrase to deal with it all here. For food it's not a matter of what are the ingredients but what are the nutrients. Not about where they come from but about how well they work. The animal agriculture industry is well aware of this, as it has been feeding meat products to herbivorous animals for quite some time, and the pet food industry has been filling out its ingredients for quite some time with grains.

The food in canned or bagged cat food bears no resemblance to what a cat might eat in the wild. A cat's teeth and claws do enable her to catch and get to the meat of wild game, and her enzymes help her digest it raw. But that's not what she's getting from Purina or Iams. That meat is already processed, the fibers already broken down, plus kibble contains quite a bit of grain wild predators don't eat. We could eat pet food ourselves if we had to. So, no, a cat's digestive system is absolutely not the exact opposite of a human's. Vegan pet foods have a lot more in common with conventional processed pet foods than conventional processed pet foods have in common with a diet of mice and birds.

The vegan pet foods on the market were designed to give dogs and cats the nutrients they need, with the ingredients vegans can feel good about providing. How well this works is a question whose answer is evidence-based. A pet either will or won't accept this food (mine wouldn't, but others have and do), and if yes, either will or won't thrive on it. Whether it works is the important thing, not whether it comes from ingredients traditionally used in pet foods. It doesn't make sense to put down a pet food company for putting in the work to develop vegan foods, or to criticize owners for offering it to their companion animals.
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Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 02-29-2016 at 08:06 AM.
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