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Sorry to post all those comments, but I feel strongly about animal cruelty.

Both dogs and cats are carnivores, meaning they need meat and animal products to thrive.

That does not mean they eat only meat or that one needs to buy or use only commercial dog or cat food, but it does mean it is, IMO, immoral to put them on a strictly vegan diet.

See http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/are-dogs-carnivores-heres-what-new-research-says or any similar veterinary research .

Commercial dog / cat food is specifically developed to meet your pets needs and, if one is not going to do the research, should be used.

Alternately you can make your own pet food and feed them most of what we eat as people. You still need to do the research, however, as dogs for example should not eat chocolate.

There are many many many sites which will show you how to make your own dog or cat food .

https://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Cats-Dogs-James-Pedan/dp/0941319024

ALL OF THE REPUTABLE SITES WILL ADVISE SUPPLEMENTING YOUR DOG AND CAT DIETS.

The most popular are vegicat and vegidog

https://www.compassioncircle.com/

NEITHER PRODUCT IF VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN BUT SUPPLEMENTS ARE VITAL TO THESE SPECIES.

I am disturbed by the upvotes and tone of the conversation in the comments in this question

Vegan biscuits/snacks for dogs

Look, I support vegans, but the harsh reality is it is impossible to be a strict vegan in our society as we all use animal products to some extent, there are animal products in plastics and our society is deeply dependent on fossil fuels, so even if you do not directly use them, you are dependent on them for plastics, transportation, power ....

As with those things, as a vegan, you need to accept the fact that your dog or cat is a carnivore. If you can not accept that, get a non carnivore pet. Putting your cat or dog on a strictly vegan diet is nothing more than cruelty to animals.

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    Can you edit your post so that you're asking a question? It currently reads more like a rant against people with different views. – Nic Feb 1 '18 at 0:42
  • @Nic meta posts don't have to be questions - they can be announcements or requests for people to do things (such as stop posting answers as comments or voting to close on-topic questions) – Zanna Feb 1 '18 at 7:18
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    I've closed this because it's really just a bit of a rant (despite my personal agreement) and doesn't belong on meta. Meta is for questions about the site (or announcments about the site). This is neither, and is more of a blog post or forum post. – Riker Apr 1 '18 at 18:05
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For some general thoughts on this, see a conversation about that question in chat.

With regard to the question you mention, I understood that the OP was talking about feeding stray dogs. I wouldn't consider offering such dogs vegan snacks to be forcing a vegan diet on them, because the dogs are free to accept or not. I don't see any serious harm in doing that, as long as the snacks aren't unsuitable for the animal, which may well apply to the sweet biscuits, designed for human consumption (and not very healthy for us either), which the OP was offering before asking the question,or are their only source of food. Dogs and cats can benefit from eating some non-meat foods as far as I know (at least pet foods are marketed as having grains and vegetables added, for example).

Regarding the broader issue...

As a vegan I somewhat object to the keeping of pets/companion animals, unless they are rescued. I don't want to interfere with animals, I just want to let them be. But people have different views on this, and whether pet cats and dogs can and/or should be fed a vegan or vegetarian diet is an active debate and subject of research. If humans feed pet animals meat, we are participating in cruelty to and slaughter of farmed animals. There's no way around that; the pet-keeper has to reconcile themselves to it, and some find that difficult.

As a community, we aren't supposed to promote ethical stances - I don't think that's what Stack Exchange is for. If this site becomes a place for advocacy, that will be a problem. If people ask how to feed their pet a vegan diet, it would be fine to say, you shouldn't do that because it's not healthy according to [studies], for example. If people ask whether it would be consistent with veganism to feed their pet a vegan diet, an answer might say many vegans would say no because the animal can't choose and you are limiting their freedom, which is against the theory of animal liberation as described by...

But it can't really be the case that as a community we agree to subscribe to and uphold a particular view, I think. People have different views, and this is not the place to advocate them, only to give information on them.

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It's not totally clear to me what Panther is looking to achieve from this discussion. Most of the other discussion questions on Meta pose some kind of question. That makes sense after all, because this is a Q&A site. So I'll just make my best guess about what Panther is trying to ask, then I'll answer it.


Q: Should questions about practical care for companion animals be considered off-topic?

There is already a thriving beta Q&A site called Pets. According to their on-topic FAQ they focus specifically on the care of animals in a domestic setting, while excluding discussion of wildlife and livestock. They have a laser-sharp focus, and there's a good chance that experienced professionals (eg. veterinarians) would be frequenting that site. For that reason, perhaps it would make sense to move questions about companion animals to that site instead. Regarding the question about feeding stray puppies, I would argue that stray dogs in urban areas currently fit the idea of domestic animals.

We can take a couple of examples from this site as precedent. One person asked Is it consistent with veganism to own a pet? and the question was closed as opinion-based, rather than off-topic. It seems like questions about the role of companion animals in society could be a good fit here because expertise with animal ethics and moral philosophy does not strongly overlap with animal care. Of course the questions would still need to be precise.

More directly, another person has asked Is it possible to feed a cat or a dog under a vegan diet? and the question remained open with one short answer. One commenter pointed to an identical question on the site for Pets which got significantly more attention.

And finally, our own on-topic FAQ currently only lists one category of questions as on-topic: How to stay healthy living while living a veg*n. However, we know that this FAQ currently falls short of the breadth of questions on the site, as we also have ethics and environment tags with questions that do not directly impact the health of individual persons.

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I cannot comment so I am answering.

Panther sir, I feed stray dogs. I certainly think they can reject food they don't like. I certainly think I am not forcing them to be vegan.

I did not buy a cat and force it vegan. All I do is feed stray dogs at least a bit so that even if they don't find food a day, they will have some energy to find it next day.

I might not know much about whether a vegan diet will harm/help a cat/dog, but what I am totally sure about is that feeding/forcing a cat/dog vegan is less cruel than killing 300+ animals an year for feeding them.

I think an average cat, who lives 15 years will eat about 4500+ animals, if we feed them.

Forcing 1 organism vegan < Killing 4500 animals for feeding it.

Different people, different opinions. Fighting wont help, debating will. Sir we should debate, suggest alternatives, etc. Do not leave the site please. Thank You.

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I am not asking a question I am starting a discussion with regard to a topic I feel strongly about.

I suppose if I were to phrase the issue as a question or questions it would be:

  1. What is the scope on this site ? Are we talking about human diet only ?

  2. Or do we cross to animal diets as well ?

To me it seemed it was human diet only, not animals.

If it crosses to animal diet, morally and ethically, IMO, it has to be species appropriate. Due to by background, as some may have noticed from my posting style, I stand by science and the scientific method. Not that science has all the answers or is always correct, I just feel it is the best methodology to investigate and try to answer some questions.

  1. Where do we draw the line on vegan ?

As I am sure most if not all of us support vegans, there are hard limits. Although I am sure there is going to be some exception, no one can be a strict vegan in our society due to our dependence on fossil fuels, plastics, etc. Even if one does not directly use such things, there is a long list of non-vegan products and activities entrenched in modern society. steel, rubber, plastics, drinking water, all these things, and more, are non-vegan.

I am sure we all have a personal answer or justification to that question.

Getting to my point of discussion, when it comes to animals, I can completely respect a vegan who chooses not to have a carnivore such as a cat or dog. There are plenty of people who will rescue and care for such animals. I have been involved in animal rescue personally.

However, if one chooses, as a vegan, to have a carnivore as a pet, or to care for such an animal, I feel we are morally obliged to care for such an animal in loving, caring, environment that is species appropriate.

This is backed by every major venue on the topic from Veterinarian literate to PETA

https://pets.webmd.com/features/vegetarian-diet-dogs-cats

Lew Olson, PhD, author of Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, makes this analogy: “Trying to feed a cat a vegan diet would be like me feeding my horses meat. You’re taking a whole species of animal and trying to force it to eat something that it isn’t designed to handle.”

“For cats, it’s really inappropriate. It goes against their physiology and isn’t something I would recommend at all," says Cailin Heinze, VMD, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and assistant professor of nutrition at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

"For dogs, certainly vegetarian and vegan diets can be done, but they need to be done very, very carefully. There is a lot of room for error, and these diets probably are not as appropriate as diets that contain at least some animal protein," Heinze says.

https://www.peta.org/living/animal-companions/vegetarian-cats-dogs/

The peta site gives links to recipes for vegan pet food, discusses supplements, and where to obtain vegan sources.

So you can have a vegetarian cat or dog as you can supplement the diet with animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese, etc or products such a veggipet.

Veggipet claims to be vegan, however, many of the additives are probably not vegan, although they could be as they are commercially available from plants, fungi, or alagi.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachidonic_acid

Some mammals lack the ability to , or have a very limited capacity to convert linoleic acid in to arachidonic acid, making it an essential part of their diets. Since little or no arachidonic acid is found in common plants, such animals are obligate carnivores; the cat is a common example having inability to desaturate essential fatty acids

At any rate, I draw the vegan appropriate line with regards to cats / dogs / and other companion animals here. I am strongly opposed to raising such animals on a strictly vegan diet without supplements either with animal products such as eggs or dairy, or products such as veggipet.

Thus my dilemma with this site. I can not condone vegan ethics as far as feeding cats / dogs a vegan diet without the necessary supplements. While it is certainly possible, it takes a bit of both education and dedication.

  • I am going to react strongly to such question here. I would be willing to write a question / answer detailing how to feed your dog or cat vegan to refer to if the question comes up. I think it would be best to reference the links I posted here as they are more comprehensive and likely, at least with PETA, to be kept up to date.

  • Or, if my personal choices cause too much conflict, I am more than happy to leave this site.

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  • Sorry, I still don't understand your dilemma. Are you demanding that this Q&A site must take a stance against vegan diets for cats and dogs otherwise you'll leave? – Nic Feb 1 '18 at 20:55
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    I think it would be very valuable if you wrote a Q&A about how to feed cats/dogs... you have given a lot of useful information about that and it should be easy to find. I agree with what you've said about animals (hate PETA though!) and I don't think any of the regulars here would find it objectionable. I don't understand why you would want to leave - the OP of that question doesn't represent the community, even if they disagreed with you. I don't think you are arguing that how to ethically feed a pet should be off-topic? I don't think we can have a policy on such an issue though. – Zanna Feb 2 '18 at 6:58

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