Originally Posted by stanie
Oh dear, here we go again.
Cats do NOT have to eat other animals to survive and be healthy.
This is getting very boring.
Which vegan food did you feed your cat(s) and how did they become ill/die?
I would actually argue that most
indoor, well cared for cats become ill and die as a result of the vegan ingredients in the foods they consume. Because they have to eat more of the food to make up for the fillers and gain weight, and because their digestive track becomes complicated with attempting to digest both at once, I think it has a negative impact on them. Cats require no vegetables at all, ever, to live. If it kills them, it might be a slow process, just as if we were eating something that just didn't quite have what we needed to be healthy. It isn't a quick death, and it might not even be too uncomfortable until the true illness that is fatal kicks in. I suppose a good question is it worth taking a few years off the life of your cat due to nutrient defficiency to not have them consume animals? That is actually a tough question for vegans. In the long run you're contributing to far less deaths, but the one that you love is dying sooner. That's definitiely a test of where your morality lies.
Cats and people just aren't comparable in the regard of consuming a vegan diet, though. We are omnivores and as long as we meet our nutritional needs we can get by, and perhaps even live longer. The way an obligate carnivores (cats and ferrets are the most common pets in this category) digest is very different, and vegetable products are too complex for them to fully digest in their short digestion tract, thus even if these vegetables have been infused with the necessary ingredients, you can't be fully sure that they're getting the nutrition they need. And frankly, they aren't, or else they would not have evolved in such a specific way. The very fact that an animal doesn't eat a specific thing in the wild means that they are not meant to eat it, and their species hasn't taken the evolutionary steps to handle it.
I understand the moral problems with having cats that are fed animals as a vegan. I am a vegan, and I have cats, and it does bother me. I do not think I will continue to have them after these die, in fact, because I would feel more comfortable with adopting some of the many animals that can thrive on a vegan diet that are in need of someone to care for them.
It can really be argued that it might not be completely irresponsible to take an obligate carnivore into your home if you really can give them a well manufactured vegan diet that is infused with synthetic taurine (if you're not doing this you are causing them serious health problems!!!!!), because while you may be shortening their life, you are still giving them a longer life than they would have in an animal shelter, most likely.