Veggie Pets

vegi pet:

I am not a pet-owner. But I often speak with vegetarian pet-owners who struggle with the issues discussed below. After years of blogging, I pretty much know which topics will stimulate loads of letters; this is one of them, I am sure. Anyway, here goes:

Friederike from Australia writes:

“We have two dogs and a cat. I feed them tinned meat and kangaroo bones, because the kangaroos are killed anyway in Australia. But I do not like it. Do you think it is OK to feed meat to pet animals? I know that dogs can live without meat, but cats are said to die without it. What are the alternatives, apart from very expensive special vegetarian pet food?”

My reply: Big subject! The animals do not incur any karma for eating flesh. It is their natural condition. In fact, animals incur no karmic result for anything they do. Humans however do. So if you feed your pets meat (which involves buying it and thus supporting the meat industry) you do incur involvement in the complex and strict karmic chain of killing.

I know many vegan/veg pet-owners who have so-called vegetarian dogs. And yes, the concept of a vegetarian cat is indeed a challenge. Best I can suggest is that you visit the numerous discussion groups and internet sites for vegan/veg pet owners. There are many. Or wait and read the readers’ letters this blog generates.

If I had a cat (never have, never will) I would feed it veg food and if it wants meat it will go and kill some itself. Hence I would incur no part in the nasty business of mass slaughter of animals for food.

Ok all you vegetarian pet-owners out there, tell me what you do (see comments below). And please, dear vegans, no roasting me for using dairy products today, please. Keep to the topic.

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Comments

Ah! It pains me to have to feed them dead animals. If we lived in a rural location I would probably do as Kurma suggests, but then I would feel bad about the cats being a menace to native wildlife. Still, that would be better than me supporting the meat industry.I think cats have served a real purpose as companions for humans in the past and in some circumstances by keeping their domiciles free from rodents and insects (and by giving affection and entertainment of course), but I couldn’t justify having one for that purpose in my situation.

Although I love having cats more than I can say, and can’t even imagine living without one, I have come to the conclusion that it would be best not to get another one when my current two pass away, because I really don’t want to be hooked into supporting the meat industry. It really is insanity to be a vegan who wont even kill an insect and then be paying money to corporations to keep on torturing and killing other sentient beings just so that I can satisfy my desire for a furry friend. While they are still here they are my responsibility, so it seems I have no choice.

There’s also the issue of parasites that are unavoidable with pets, and parasites cause major health problems. With all the environmental pollution, degradation of food and stress in today’s world, it’s a real challenge to stay healthy without adding another load on the body in the form of parasites. I have just been checked for parasites recently with electro-magnetic scanning and sure enough, am carrying an impressive array of them. I do a parasite cleanse about twice a year and stay on a maintenance dose of the herbs, but even with that, I don’t think you can ever really keep on top of them when you have animals cuddling up to you every day. I would really prefer not to have parasites excreting inside me!

At this point my husband, although also a vegan, is intent on always having cats, so maybe I’ll have to compromise, but with the condition that he buys the food and does the feeding! He can incur the negative karma if he likes but I certainly don’t want to.

Linda • 10/5/09; 11:20:23 AM #
I’m vegetarian, not vegan and I have 2 cats and a turtle. I feed all 3 meat and am not terribly uncomfortable with it only because I know that there are many issues regarding cats health and not eating meat. The turtle is the same. He will only eat fish. I did however have all these animals in my care long before I even thought about vegetarianism.I also have 3 meat eating children and 1 meat eating husband though so perhaps I am more okay with it than others.

Amy • 10/5/09; 8:14:04 PM #
Hi there,I have a Vegan cat whose fur is the shiniest i have ever seen & iam vegetarian myself & i haven’t had a problem as far as my cat Satchi & her health are concerned. There are plenty of alternatives thet we can find & cats mainly need Taurine in their diets with a few other added ingredients which are in the vegan pet food below.. She can be quite fussy but seems to like this… justnaturewise.com.au/_product_28224/Cat_Food_Dry

& she likes this which i try to minimize how much i give her … Sanitarium Casserole Mince, which is vegetarian.

I strongly believe the foods that pet owners feed there pets are actually destroying there health & making them obese & lifeless. My cat has more energy than any meat eating cat could ever have.

Ivan • 10/5/09; 9:07:16 PM #
Ivan, it’s interesting that your cat is doing well on Veganpet. I have heard good reports about this product before. It’s a pity that at AUS$22 for a 1 kg bag (if you live outside NSW) it’s unaffordable for many people, and becomes particularly expensive if you have more than one cat. It’s my understanding that it is more affordable in the US to feed your pets vegan food, presumably because of the bigger market there.You said “there are plenty of alternatives that we can find”. What are they? Are they available in Australia?

Linda • 11/5/09; 10:39:03 AM #
First of all, Dandavat to Kurma das. I recall when he visited our home in Santa Cruz, California a number of years ago while writing a book about Srila Prabhupad in Australia. We have had 2 children (both in college and professional school, life-long vegetarians) and my wife, Daru Brahma dd (loves to have pets), and I (tolerate the pets). Four peacocks raised from chicks (fed bagged pheasant crumble), a blue-ring neck parrot (a veggie bird), cats that ate dry foot that cats eat, a desert tortoises (Kurma, Speedy, and Doc) which are easy to feet vegetarian food in the form of certain plants and salads, and several dogs that ate dry food and canned vegetarian dog food. It is definitely both a joy and an austerity for vegetarians to have pets. Children loved the pets and learned alot from having them. People are often not nearly as nice as our pets have been! So, it is both a joy and an austerity. If you want to vegetarian pets, get a hand-fed raised bird like a small parrot, or a tortoise. If you live in the country, cats and dogs also play a practical role in both keeping the rodent population down and alerting you of intruders including deer that can eat your garden quickly. Good-day, mate, and Hare Krishna. Pusta Krishna das

Pusta Krishna das • 11/5/09; 1:53:13 PM #
We had stray cats that made themselves comfy in our home, from kittenhood. After milk, they refused to eat vegetarian things, like roti etc. So we would feed them cat food. If they killed anything (very rarely) they never ate it. Lol. So i dont know, animal food is generally made from the remnants of animals, the meatier bits going to humans, maybe i did incur karma, but at least i did some seva to some animals.

sudika • 11/5/09; 4:53:24 PM #
We have a cat to keep the mice population down.We have never fed her meat. She eats what we eat. She loves vegies and pizza and cake and pasta and muesli with yogurt. We buy sanitariam casserole mince which she also loves. If she wants to eat meat she has to find it herself. A couple of years ago we had a small dog and he also was a vegetarian – except for the flies he loved catching.

Jaleyu • 11/5/09; 6:51:25 PM #
New comment posted on Kurma. Commenter’s name: Linda Commenting on: Vegie Pets As a vegan cat-owner I have found no solution to this dilemma and don’t think I will find one. I simply can’t afford the vegan pet food and don’t know if the cats would take to it even if I could. It pains me to have to feed them dead animals. If we lived in a rural location I would probably do as Kurma suggests, but then I would feel bad about the cats being a menace to native wildlife. Still, that would be better than me supporting the meat industry. I think cats have served a real purpose as companions for humans in the past and in some circumstances by keeping their domiciles free from rodents and insects (and by giving affection and entertainment of course), but I couldn’t justify having one for that purpose in my situation. Although I love having cats more than I can say, and can’t even imagine living without one, I have come to the conclusion that it would be best not to get another one when my current two pass away, because I really don’t want to be hooked into supporting the meat industry. It really is insanity to be a vegan who wont even kill an insect and then be paying money to corporations to keep on torturing and killing other sentient beings just so that I can satisfy my desire for a furry friend. While they are still here they are my responsibility, so it seems I have no choice. There’s also the issue of parasites that are unavoidable with pets, and parasites cause major health problems. With all the environmental pollution, degradation of food and stress in today’s world, it’s a real challenge to stay healthy without adding another load on the body in the form of parasites. I have just been checked for parasites recently with electro-magnetic scanning and sure enough, am carrying an impressive array of them. I do a parasite cleanse about twice a year and stay on a maintenance dose of the herbs, but even with that, I don’t think you can ever really keep on top of them when you have animals cuddling up to you every day. I would really prefer not to have parasites excreting inside me! At this point my husband, although also a vegan, is intent on always having cats, so maybe I’ll have to compromise, but with the condition that he buys the food and does the feeding! He can incur the negative karma if he likes but I certainly don’t want to. # Kurma • 12/5/09; 7:45:56 AM #

Kurma • 12/5/09; 7:48:53 AM #
New comment posted on Kurma. Commenter’s name: Ivan Hi there, I have a Vegan cat whose fur is the shiniest i have ever seen & iam vegetarian myself & i haven’t had a problem as far as my cat Satchi & her health are concerned. There are plenty of alternatives thet we can find & cats mainly need Taurine in their diets with a few other added ingredients which are in the vegan pet food below.. She can be quite fussy but seems to like this… justnaturewise.com.au/_product_28224/Cat_Food_Dry & she likes this which i try to minimize how much i give her … Sanitarium Casserole Mince, which is vegetarian. I strongly believe the foods that pet owners feed there pets are actually destroying there health & making them obese & lifeless. My cat has more energy than any meat eating cat could ever have. #

Kurma • 12/5/09; 7:53:06 AM #
New comment posted on Kurma. Commenter’s name: LindaCommenting on: Vegie Pets Ivan, it’s interesting that your cat is doing well on Veganpet. I have heard good reports about this product before. It’s a pity that at AUS$22 for a 1 kg bag (if you live outside NSW) it’s unaffordable for many people, and becomes particularly expensive if you have more than one cat. It’s my understanding that it is more affordable in the US to feed your pets vegan food, presumably because of the bigger market there. You said “there are plenty of alternatives that we can find”. What are they? Are they available in Australia? #

Kurma • 12/5/09; 7:54:12 AM #
Ah my constant dilemma .. I have one cat and two dogs. We’ve always had pets and feeding them is always an issue for me. I agree that the cost of vegan catfood for me is out of the question. My cat was once a stray who lived off the scraps from the local bowling club and she seems to have a residual love of salt and vinegar chips or any other crunchy crisp. It’s fun to feed her vita weets because she’s in such ecstasy that she purrs while she’s crunching into them but she can’t live on crisps alone. It then becomes a compromise for me. I buy dry food with fish instead of beef or lamb and I bulk up their food with rice cooked in whey or pasta which sits marginally better with me but not much. I can leave the cat to fend for herself as we have a steady supply of mice hanging around the compost but the dogs are unable to do that so a little thought, some consciousness about the decisions I make and an understanding of the consequences is sometimes all I can do.

toldi@bigpnd.com • 12/5/09; 11:29:55 AM #
New comment posted on Kurma. Commenter’s name: Pusta Krishna das Commenting on: Vegie Pets First of all, Dandavat to Kurma das. I recall when he visited our home in Santa Cruz, California a number of years ago while writing a book about Srila Prabhupad in Australia. We have had 2 children (both in college and professional school, life-long vegetarians) and my wife, Daru Brahma dd (loves to have pets), and I (tolerate the pets). Four peacocks raised from chicks (fed bagged pheasant crumble), a blue-ring neck parrot (a veggie bird), cats that ate dry foot that cats eat, a desert tortoises (Kurma, Speedy, and Doc) which are easy to feet vegetarian food in the form of certain plants and salads, and several dogs that ate dry food and canned vegetarian dog food. It is definitely both a joy and an austerity for vegetarians to have pets. Children loved the pets and learned alot from having them. People are often not nearly as nice as our pets have been! So, it is both a joy and an austerity. If you want to vegetarian pets, get a hand-fed raised bird like a small parrot, or a tortoise. If you live in the country, cats and dogs also play a practical role in both keeping the rodent population down and alerting you of intruders including deer that can eat your garden quickly. Good-day, mate, and Hare Krishna. Pusta Krishna das #

Kurma • 12/5/09; 12:14:19 PM #
New comment posted on Kurma. Commenter’s name: Jaleyu Commenting on: Vegie PetsWe have a cat to keep the mice population down.We have never fed her meat. She eats what we eat. She loves vegies and pizza and cake and pasta and muesli with yogurt. We buy sanitariam casserole mince which she also loves. If she wants to eat meat she has to find it herself. A couple of years ago we had a small dog and he also was a vegetarian – except for the flies he loved catching. #

Kurma • 12/5/09; 12:15:34 PM #
Hi Linda,Yeah i understand the price issue but for me health is more of a concern than money. So whether it’s you or your pet i think it’s worth it, maybe if you have more than one pet you could buy it in bulk. I recommend you contact Sandy Anderson(veganpet@bigpond.com), she has many cats & can provide you with more information.

Ivan • 16/5/09; 1:22:25 PM #

 

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