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