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From: Keith (d207-216-60-167.bchsia.telus.net -207.216.60.167)
Subject: Re: Vegan Cats
Date: August 17, 2007 at 8:22 am PST

In Reply to: Vegan Cats posted by Jan on August 12, 2007 at 1:01 pm:

You have to ask yourself why you are vegan. Is it about maintaining an arbitrary standard of purity or is it about treating all sentient beings with compassion and trying to reduce their suffering as much as possible?

If, as I assume, your motivation is compassion, then you have to ask what diet is the best for your cat. The preconception that vegan is preferred cannot be a part of that consideration if you are truly looking out for the cat's needs. An animal needs whatever it needs, whether the idea is comfortable to you or not.

Cats are much more carnivorous than dogs. While most dogs are omnivorous enough to thrive on a well-planned vegan or vegetarian diet, it is much more difficult for cats to do so. Making a cat vegan is only possible with extremely careful supplementation. You have to wonder about the long-term effects of such an un-natural diet on them. Are they doing fine or are they slowly accumulating chronic nalnutrition? The effects may not be obvious until permanent damage has been done.

As long as there are carnivorous animals in the world, some animals are going to be killed for food. If you have taken custody of such an animal, you have a responsibility to provide for its nutritional and other needs.

Intellectually, when nothing is at stake, it can be stimulating to argue whether the life of a cat or the life of a cow is more important. But morally, those arguments mean nothing. Morally, the creature whose life and health you must protect is the one whom you have adopted, the one who looks to you for support and protection.

I would strongly recommend feeding your cats nutritious meat-based food. It is the price that we pay for having these wonderful animals in our lives.

Keith




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