Vegan Ethics and Carnivorous Pets

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Vegan Ethics and Carnviorous Meat Eating Pets

Fruit Based Athlete Vegan Ethics and Carnivorous Pets

This is a topic that I’m sure pops up from time to time in the vegan community. Whether it’s a human or other animal doing the dirty work, an animal dying is not a pleasant scene or thought.

With the variety of food choices these days, humans have a plethora of calorie sources to mash their molars together with.

When it comes to animals in the wild, choice is rarely an option though.

A cheetah’s prey for example, the gazelle, is pretty good at holding its own when it comes to holding off a 60 mph fur bullet, equipped with knives.

A cheetah actually only catches prey 1 out of every 5 attempts. If he fails 5 times in a row, his energy depleted muscles cause him to starve to death.

Cheetah’s, bears, and wolves must eat other animals. It’s what nature designed them to do. It’s usually the old, sick or young ones though, who weren’t smart and fast enough to escape death. Natural selection allows only the most successful genes to pass on.

Enter the pet world.

Just about every person owns a cat or a dog. Sadly we only give them the bottom on the barrel food. Bagged sawdust bacon num nums infused with the lowest quality meats and chemicals, in replacement of the raw, heart beating, whole animals they were meant to eat.

Is it wrong for a vegan to contribute to their meat eating instincts?

Should we feed our cats and dogs mangoes and bananas instead to make us feel better?

Or are we providing a disservice feeding an animal a food source it was not meant to process, digest and assimilate properly, resulting in poor health?

I own two ball pythons and I know for a fact that if I fed them blueberries and kiwis, they would stare at it long enough to join them with their last breath.

We are very visual creatures.

We can pinpoint and navigate an orange tree forest, and remember very precisely, which trees were ripe, which were ripening and judge their color accordingly.

Colorful fruits stand out vividly and our eyes can see more shades of green than any other color due to this evolutionary trait.

There was an instance where a vegan friend saw a picture of myself holding my two ball python pets.

He was very offended and just could not see how myself, a vegan, could condone such behavior. If I do not feed my pythons their warm blooded rat and mice every month or two, they will die.

I love my pythons just like any other person would love their dog, iguana, fish, hamster, tarantula, parakeet or cat.

It’s not that I don’t care about the mouse and rat’s lives, I do.

A wave of remorse always covers me when it comes to feeding. It breaks my heart every time, but it would break my heart more to deprive them of the food that they require to survive.

I can’t help but wonder the mindset of these individuals who are not fond of me being a python owning vegan.

How can I be so wrong to contribute to the death of these rodents, when there are more dog and cat owners in this world? They consume millions if not billions of animals annually. Snakes owners are a drop in the bucket compared to them.

I understand though. Snakes are associated with the monsters in movies (although my pythons have the personalities of a curious puppy). Also, somehow their smooth, dry, scales became perceived as slimy.

We care more about the fuzzy little squeaky mice, the adorable eyed dogs, the nuzzling purring cats, the baby cotton fluff ball seals, and the majestic stallions.

And we ignore the ugly pigs, the dumb cows, the annoying chickens and anything else that is feared or packaged into food.

I feel that the thousands of animal’s lives that I have saved in my lifetime, overpowers significantly in relation to mice and rats I have fed to my pythons.

Their noble death provided life.

It provided oxygenated, hydrated, nutrient rich blood that my python requires for it’s existance.

Even enough calories to keep him well fed once every 2 months!

This is the circle of life that nature has created for us since the birth of our planet. Providing a species with the food that it is anatomically and biologically designed for is the best thing you can do for them. It would be unethical and wrong any other way.

There is a bigger picture.

The small things that you may decide unethical about a person, does not overshadow what they have done for the greater good of our species, planet and existence here on earth.

Be more respectful to the vegans who have carnivorous pets. They have nothing but good intentions.

Fruit Based Athlete with Aiko and Korra

Fruit Based Athlete With Aiko and Korra

Aiko and Korra

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Comments

  1. kat wheeler says

    Carnivorous animals eat other animals. That is the role they are intended to play as Earthlings (which their anatomical and biological design supports). Carnivores don’t keep their prey in tight cages to live their sad, short lives in their own feces. They make the kill and eat them. Only humans are capable of the twisted torture of meat factories. Humans make it unethical when they mass murder and torture the animals for their own selfish gluttony and sense of entitlement because of our “place on the food chain”. Especially since these animals they are killing arent even getting to experience life! Humans certainly aren’t starving or in a time of famine. I think feeding a snake live mice is actually better ethically than feeding dogs and cats overly processed canned/dried food (as well as a fruit and veggie diet) … because at least the snakes are doing as nature intended. We can still stop what goes on in slaughter houses without depriving our pets of optimal health. Either dont own a carnivorous pet, and let them do as nature intended on their own; or be the helping hand that allows them to live the healthiest possible life (which they would do if you were to just let them run free)

  2. Matthew says

    Perhaps we should also be mindful that a vegan should not buy a carnivorous animal simply to have as a pet. I understand if we adopt an animal, it is another story. However, going to a snake breeder, and buying one simply to have, is a farce. It is placing your own emotional needs over those of the animals you need to kill to feed your pet. There is no real way to get around this other than adopting pets that are in need of a home.

    • Michael Conaway says

      I agree with you, I received my two ball pythons a long time ago as they were in need of a home and I was the best owner available.

  3. says

    I have two cats (one adopted, the other rescued) and I feed them prescription dry food (urinary tract care) and some kinf of fish. I’m aware I’m contributing to animal consumption and therefore, suffering, overfishing, etc. I do have a moral issue with feeding my cats other animals. But as Michael stated very well in this post, we as guardians of these animals, are responsible to give them the best nutrition they naturally need.
    I don’t think I’ll ever feed my cats with vegan food, because felines are all carnivore, and they could get sick and die as a consequence for my ‘peace of mind’.
    Just as other members of our own families or friends are not vegan and we still love them and hang around with them, we as caretakers of domestic animals, must ensure they have the best care possible, even if it’s not to our moral standards.
    It’s part of life. And we, as vegans, are doing our best to not contribute to the suffering and death of other animals for our own consumption. We’ll never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we’re not doing what we can to make the world a better place for animals.
    Great article, Michael. And nice blog!

    • Michael Conaway says

      Thank you! We all do the best we can to feed our pets. The irony in our vegan world is that we are big proponents of a healthy natural diet that we are meant to eat, yet we deprive our pets of theirs. For us, eating meat isn’t our natural food and is repelling for a reason. To a dog or cat though blood and entrails make them salivate because that is what nature designed them to eat.
      The backwards thinking is that we love animals and completely care about their lives and well being so we don’t eat meat. And then decide that to save more animals lives we give our pets a vegan diet also. Feeding a cat or dog is not only morally wrong, it is unhealthy. The catch 22 of caring for animals to keep them alive and feeding our pets their natural diet clashes. I feel it is worse to deprive an animal of it’s natural diet, even if it mean me feeding it other animals. I can’t image somebody forcing me to eat a diet that isn’t natural to me (meat).
      Glad to have ya!

  4. kortajon says

    I don’t think human beings should keep any pets, whether it be a cat, dog or a snake. All animals belong in their natural habitat, and that is most certainly not a house/apartment of a human being. In the end its a disservice to an animal if you are keeping them. Please consider watching Earthlings.

    • Michael Conaway says

      Maybe people should have “companions” instead? Not an animal that you own and control what it eats, but interact with outside in the wild. I have seen Earthlings, eye opening movie =)

      • kortajon says

        That would certainly be ideal!
        I also want to say that your website/posts are a constant source of inspiration and motivation to be better for not just me, but I am sure for many others in the world. Thank you and please stay true to who you are.

  5. jo says

    I keep a vegan diet but I own a cat. I used to have two but I lost my 23 year old Bagheera last year. All the cats I’ve owned have been rescue cats. In the warmer weather they always have eated wild, almost exclusively, as I live in a very rural area. In winter, however, I struggle with buying food for them. I know that much of the chicken in cat food comes from huge factory chicken farms and hen breeders both of whom usually grind male baby chicks alive…for pet food. I have been buying ethical food at my local pet food supplier, but this year I’ve decided that I have to make my own, so that I know where the chicken is coming from. There are a lot of small organic farms around here that will sell me good scrap meat/carcasses for fairly cheap. I hate to have to handle the meat, but that’s the choice I made when I took in my kittles. If someone else adopted them, they’d probably not care about what they fed them. A friend who is a vet, told me to never feed cats fish. He said that they aren’t meant to eat fish and that, over time, it will have a negative effect on their health. Until I don’t have to buy animal products for my pets, I find it hard to call myself vegan. So I tell people that I keep vegan in terms of my diet.

    • Michael Conaway says

      That’s pretty awesome you stay dedicated to the natural order of your diet and your cats. It’s hard these days to give the little kitties and dogs their natural diet but it is possible. I think you have done a great job completing that. It is true fish isn’t for cats, I can’t remember the last time I saw a cat take a jetski out 20 miles to plummet into the waters and catch some fish! lol

  6. says

    Thank you for this! I own two Bengal cats and I can’t IMAGINE feeding them anything but meat, despite being a devout vegan myself. I buy from ethical sources and feed them the nutrition they need and deserve. Cats are not omnivores! Unlike humans, they actually NEED meat. Great post, and great blog.

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