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.
Aiko and Korra