Should vegans own pets? Your thoughts please
Gary L. Francione has used the phrase “refugees of animal exploitation” to refer to domesticated animals and that is how I think of my cats, house guests who are refugees of animal exploitation, but they are captive house guests because I don’t let them outside. So it is not like it is a voluntary arrangement for them. Legally they are my property, but mentally they aren’t. Animals being thought of as property is not vegan. It is absolutely, 100% not vegan to buy a pet from a pet store or breeder but it is totally compatible with veganism to take one in from a shelter, or to take in a homeless stray domesticated animal.
The sad thing is that I have to feed my cats meat cat food which contributes to animal agriculture profits, but I see no other way before cultured meat cat food becomes available. Some vegans take the stance that they will only have a pet that can be vegan, such as dog, rabbit or guinea pig but something seems wrong with this to me. It is probably just because I like cats a lot.
But I can relate to vegans with that type of attitude somewhat because I would not want to care for an animal that needs other animals bred for it, such as one that needs to eat live animals. Sometimes, a boa constrictor or python who was born in captivity may end up at a shelter. They cannot be vegan and need to eat live mice or rats. What should be done with this animal (assuming it is illegal and not possible bring it back to Central/South America/Africa as the case may be to release it into the wild in its native habitat)? Should it be killed or should a non-vegan take it in? If a non-vegan should take it in, what if we got our wish and everyone went vegan and there were no non-vegans left? Would one of us step up and take this snake into our home and feed it mice, or would we euthanize it? That is an ethical dilemma.
With my cats, the difference is that the meat they eat is a by-product the human grade meat industry and the animals aren't bred to be pet food. But if I were feeding them whole carcasses of chickens or rabbits etc., it would be exactly the same ethically - breeding one animal to feed to another.
As long as animals are being bred as pets they deserve to be cared for. It's unfortunate that the most popular pets are natural meat eaters and many other animals will die in order to feed them. But pets didn't ask to be born and shouldn't be sentenced to death for their nutritional needs, or set loose to fend for themselves. The problem of feeding pets should be solved by not breeding pets.
If I were an animal awaiting adoption I would hope for a vegan to take me home.
I agree with Francione that PETS are not vegan. Domesticated animals are unnatural. We domesticated animals to "use" them historically.
I do not have the "right" to take other animals' lives just to pander to a few that entertain me. I believe 1 life = 1 life value if I have to choose...to base it on any other criteria is unfair. I will not "force" animals to "die" for 1 "pet".
1 life = 1 life if i the human is the one doing the kiling. I am vegan...i have no right to kill animals for myself or any other animal...animals should be natural species not "pets" that is the goal of veganism.
I totally agree it is abuse to castrate and sterilise animals...i stated that in the beginning...that is the silliness of us pretending we are being vegan in even keeping animals feeding them and castrating them.
By stating...when I the human am the one breeding and killing animals...then 1 life = 1 life is not speciesism but respect for numbers of lives I would be the cause of. We recognise we cause deaths of many animals in harvesting plants for food for ourselves tetc...but less than if plants grown to feed animals that we would eat. it is "minimal harm" principle..."minimal deaths" therefore principle...to choose otherwise is speciesism
Today...it is time to move away from this "PET" cult of animals that serve no longer any historical purpose but only a human entertainment purpose. They should ideally go extinct. they are prisoners in a human world of tv and driving cars and activities and interests they do not share with humans for 90 percent of their interests and natural wishes if we were honest about it.
My “pet” found me. It was fed and cared for by the neighbors, but it chose me. If the “goal of veganism” is to have no “pets” or animal companions, I should let it die, right? Maybe kill it myself since it kills other animals. Especially since it has taken more than one life, just in wildlife. But you have pets, so why do you post about the "goal of veganism" as not having any? Give them away or have them euthanized if you can't consider yourself fully vegan yet while taking care of some animals. (n.b. you really should read up the links to info on vegan petfoods and feeding...because i edit this last time just to reply to your ignorant comment about my cat not getting grass that of course she does...it is called catgrass and catnip. sold by veggiepets the vegan petfood supplier i use in the uk. I have friend with blind meat fed cats...why blind ? well that is often a food related issue...cats genetically also get uti and kidney diseases bigtime...74 percent of wild lions autopsies found this...on flesh diets...that my vegan cat has passed vet tests on her vet approved vegan petfood as have y dogs is proof enough. Thousands live full healthy lives on vegan foods. fact. nutrition is what they need. taurine is synthetic in all petfoods bought by humans btw)
Re: Entertainment. My cat is a friend that I care for. I don’t view it’s life as simply entertainment to me. I don’t keep it locked up. It is free to go at any time. It doesn’t want to. We play and that is fun but I certainly don’t see the cat as solely a plaything. It is a being that God created, a NATURAL CARNIVORE that God created, and it happens to need a home, affection and yes, food. The food I give it is mostly grain, with some animal product in it so that it doesn’t get sick and die early.
Edit: It also eats grass that cats need and unlikely to be obtained with your own unless you grow some grass inside for it.
Can you extend your principal of 1 life to 1 life to yourself? Are you a lifelong Vegan? If not, then you’ve been part of the system of killing animals for your consumption. Even if you are a lifelong vegan, chances are you have killed a number of animals riding the bus, driving a car, or taking some other type of mechanized transport. But you still use those services right? Despite the dangers to animals. As for food - unlike a cat, which is a natural carnivore that will absolutely need to kill in the wild to survive – you do not. Are all the animals you have consumed in your life, or the ones who have died for human transport or industry convenience worth less or more than your own? How about the factory that makes your expensive Vegan cat food. I bet it keeps it’s premises clear of rodents and other animals that might find their way in there. Are all these animals that you have consumed directly in the past, or killed by using mechanized transport, or killed to keep factories going that produce products that you use, including the Vegan can food – equal to your own? I’m guessing you don’t think so because you are still alive to type responses.
Please spare me the righteous indignation that you are better than me because you feed your cat an unnatural diet that you have to pay extra money for and are basically experimenting with it’s life while you keep it cooped up in your residence and refer to it as basically entertainment for you.