Vegans don't believe in using any animal products in their diet, and usually in every other aspect of their life, so no leather bags or beeswax candles. Some do this for the supposed benefits of the diet, but many do it because they believe it's wrong to exploit animals. Fair enough! But it's a bit confusing that many vegans also own pets, who they also force to be vegan, even if that's not their natural diet. In fact, cats will die if they cannot eat meat, which contains important amino acids their bodies need.
A Twitter user named @nocroissant who is themselves a vegan recently questioned her fellow vegans everywhere: if you want a vegan pet, why not get on that doesn't need to eat meat? They're called herbivores.
Stop owning vegan pets if your pet is not vegan by nature. Y’all claim to be vegan but perpetuate animal abuse by depriving ur cats and dogs of nutrition. If u want a vegan pet ADOPT a vegan pet (herbivores: rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, etc) or don’t own pets at all— azul🥑 (@nocroissant) May 20, 2018
An excellent point! Lots of animals don't need meat to be happy and healthy, and it seems much less stressful all around.
But the question sparked a debate about whether or not it's even cool to own an animal if you're vegan. In a way, you're removing their choice and exploiting them for your own purposes—love and affection.
I have a cat but I’ve never considered myself his “owner” or him a “pet” I take on more of a nurturing mom/caretaker role. I don’t train my cat to do anything and respect him as an individual. I try my best to make him feel like a member of my pack (family) as opposed to a “pet”— azul🥑 (@nocroissant) May 22, 2018
It actually is controversial in the vegan community, but some believe that if you're adopting, it's beneficial to animals overall. You just shouldn't be buying animals from breeders or pet shops, because many animals are abused in places like puppy mills.
some vegans find it controversial but if you adopt your animals you’re not really creating more demand so it’s still vegan.— 😈 (@directorava) May 22, 2018
I support adoption and am highly against breeding but I haven’t ever adopted any animals. They have found their way into my life on their own. Most have been strays that were ready to settle down into a home and a few were rescued from abysmal conditions or were injured.— azul🥑 (@nocroissant) May 22, 2018
Some people showed off their own adorable herbivores in the comments:
And others alleged that those little herbivores would for sure be crunching on bug or bones or something if they were in the wild. Animals are guided by instinct, and a guinea pig might not hunt, but if it came across something that looked or smelled good, it would munch:
whispers also there are no true vegans in nature. They make a point of stressing this in animal behavior courses. Animals require minerals and nutrients that cannot be found in herbs - they often do that by consuming dead matter, salt licks/puddling, or insects.— Nikki V (@eternalstrigoii) May 21, 2018
I honestly cannot say I have done any research on this. I’m doubtful but I appreciate you saying that, as a vegan I’m v wary but I do believe that the animal kingdom is so complex we can’t really compartmentalize everything to our definitions or understanding. Thank u ☺️— azul🥑 (@nocroissant) May 21, 2018
Yeah, I think veganism is purely a human thing. The fact that we can decide to live a life such as this is part of what separates us from nature, I think. That we can choose to live apart from the food chain, for decisions that have nothing to do with pure survival.— NihilismMeansNothing (@InkBlotQ) May 22, 2018
Honestly, I believe it. Look into their eyes! The guinea pigs are out for blood!
Of course, lots of people argued against @nocroissant's point, saying dogs are omnivorous like humans, and can do well on a vegan diet.
There are vegan dog food brands that provide quality nutrition. Much better nutritionally than most cheap brands, and better for the environment than expensive but healthier meat based dog foods. Cats are carnivores, but dogs have evolved w us to eat whats available 🤷🏽♂️— plant_based_god (@yeshaiavl) May 21, 2018
Dude seriously... dogs are omnivorous and have differenr kind of teeth for that purpose. They like eating grass ans fresh vegetables. They are simply very atracted by meat because it's very rich just like we are very attracted by junk food, but we don't eat only junk food— Chaussette impaire (@Biaise) May 21, 2018
this analogy is terrible lmao dogs eating meat =/= humans eating junk food, the fuck.— 🌺 fara (@exolefirstclass) May 21, 2018
Lmao dogs eat grass whenever they don’t feel good. It’s their way of making themselves throw up Bc they probably ate something that’s not sitting well with their tummies. Happens to my dogs sometimes. Usually not a good sign 😒— 🌺 fara (@exolefirstclass) May 22, 2018
She agreed that they can live, but don't do as well as when there is meat in their diet as well:
They can be but why would u feed them a plant based diet when they thrive more on a raw meat diet? I wouldn’t feed my pet a processed commercial vegan kibble when ideally they should be eating meat they hunted, next best choice is raw beef, chicken, turkey, etc.— azul🥑 (@nocroissant) May 21, 2018
Highly recommend using a pet foods service like Darwin’s pets or ReelRaw/We Feed Raw they come fortified with all the nutrients/vitamins necessary. But you can always make your own (it’s typically cheaper) you just have to be v careful I prefer to leave it to the professionals— azul🥑 (@nocroissant) May 21, 2018
And someone who says they're in veterinary school jumped in to add that dogs can live, unlike cats, but they're still not as good at processing a vegan diet as humans. They also need some of those key amino acids and can only get them through meat.
You said it yourself, Taurine. Dogs, just like cats, lack the ability to synthesis sustainable levels of Taurine so they have to get it from their diet. Meat is the main natural source of Taurine.— Iggy (@KayRose101) May 22, 2018
People will likely continue to call themselves vegan and insist they're being good to their puppy by feeding it greens, but if you don't want to confront this ethical dilemma, remember these good boys:
Just don't let them loose while you're sleeping. Who knows what they'll do....