You are here

Veganism and Pets.

I consider myself to be a person with a vegan diet, not necessarily a vegan person.  That being said, I have 4 carnivorous pets, almost all of which spend their time indoors.  Since they cannot hunt, and since I want them to have the best diet possible, I feed them raw meat.

As a vegan, where do you stand on the issue of feeding an animal its proper diet, even if it is against what you believe in?

Personally, I am vegan for health reasons more than ethical ones (even though I find the ethical reasons completely plausible), so I see no problem with this.  Ideally my animals would be hunting, but that cannot be the case with the way we live/the way my pets were raised/the way animal laws work (like keeping my dog leashed), etc.  I would find it to be cruelty to animals not to feed my pets the best possible diet, even though it is at the suffering of another animal.  The way I see it, at least I'm not contributing to processed animal food... I view processed food to be probably the ultimate evil in food due to its huge production waste (the ingredients that could be better used elsewhere, the toxicity of some ingredients, shipping and gas costs, energy costs, unhealth value, etc), which in turn leads to suffering not just of animals but of humans and the earth alike.

You know, I'm glad you brought up this topic.
I personally think that most pet food is ok. They use livers and guts and parts that would otherwise get thrown out. By buying pet food instead of meat fit for human consumption, you're contributing less to the slaughter industry. It may not be the healthiest option for the pets, but millions of pets are getting by just fine on these diets.

I'm no expert on the topic but that's how I view it. Could you elaborate on this: the ingredients that could be better used elsewhere?


I don't have any pets, but I know that cats can have a really hard time if they don't eat meat, especially male cats.  They can get very dangerous urinary blockages.  I have heard that dogs can thrive on a vegan diet, though.  If the pet is a carnivore has to have meat to be well, then I don't have a problem with it.  It wouldn't make sense to allow him or her to suffer. 


Our cats are carnivorous, we buy them organic cat food, though.  I do not want any rendered down companion animals in their food.  And that does happen.

The dog is vegan and has been for about 5 months.  He has thrived, lost weight, maintained a healthy weight after that.  We buy a muesli mix for dogs from Sojourner Farms, then add fresh veggies (usually carrot, celery, sweet potato), peanut butter, apple, mashed up garbanzo beans, spirulina, nutritional yeast, hijiki, parlsey, garlic, etc, etc, etc.  He LOVES it.


i certainly dont feel comfortable having meat in my house in any form, my boyfriend as well.  he has had vegan cats before, and i've had vegan cats before who did not do too well eating vegan.  i would feel pretty bad feeding a cat a vegan diet, so we probably will not ever adopt a cat.  we have a dalmatian right now who is supposed to eat a mostly vegetarian diet.  so it works out pretty well for us.  if we would adopt another animal, it would have to be able to eat vegetarian depending on the type/breed of animal and according to a trusted and vegan supportive vet.

after much self debate, i feel like i have come to a closing personally on this issue...... what a relief!! haha. 

about the raw food, i would love to feed my dog more raw food, and she just LOVES it.  i feed her raw veggie popsicles with greens, fruit and flax seed chopped up.  she loves licking and eating it on a hot day.  but thats as far as i've gone as to feeding her RAW.


We have all kinds of "family" members, including snakes. So, for us, we just believe in feeding our babies what they need to sustain themselves. Alvin and Chipmunk (our snakes) have to eat mice/rats or they will die. This is what they would eat in the wild. I can't handle it though, so my hubby takes care of that. He started out buying live ones and that had me in tears every single time. When my hubby found out there were frozen options, he switched over and that works out much better. I guess I feel about my animals the same I would a person...I won't force my eating habits on them, but will do what they need and what's best for their health.


Thanks for responding, everyone.

Supadupabee, that's a good point that they use leftovers for pet food.  However, even on this diet most pets don't really do all that well.  I mean, they survive for a few years, but its like a human on the SAD diet.  They'll get cancer, or diabetes, or any other number of diseases.  Also, when feeding an animal meat you can go to slaughterhouses and ask for scraps.  But I do see your point that in buying pet food you are using up slaughterhouse leftovers that would otherwise go to waste.

Kissmekate and Sprinkles, I have heard that dogs can thrive on a vegan diet.  I do have one dog but my other pets are strict carnivores:  1 cat and 2 ferrets.  I'm not sure if I would try my dog on a vegan diet or not, since I do not have a problem feeding him meat and he also does very, very well with the raw meat diet.

Hiimkelsi, after these pets that I have I have also thought that if I adopt another animal it will have to be something that thrives on plant food.  I don't enjoy buying all that meat when I could just get something like a rabbit that eats my veggie scraps.  Also, I dog used to LOVE watermelon, but seems to be tired of it now.  :(

Abrimmer, that's exactly the stance I take.  I consider them to be eating meat the natural order of things, and its not my place to see if they'll be okay on a diet that is closer to what I eat.


If you have the time to search, there are several threads on "vegan diets for pets" pro and con on here. I would search it for you, but I'm up to my neck in Mideval theatre right now. Some of the "older inhabitants" might be able to direct you to the threads.

I do have a friend whose boxer dog was so "purebred" his kidneys and liver couldn't tolerate meat so he had to be a vegetarian! Cats, though, are different, as you said.


I do have a friend whose boxer dog was so "purebred" his kidneys and liver couldn't tolerate meat so he had to be a vegetarian! Cats, though, are different, as you said.

I've heard the same thing about Dalmations (hiimkelsi mentioned her dog and I've heard it from rescue workers also)--so overbred that they often thrive on vegetarian diets because their poor systems can't handle the meat.  I think Shar Pei's, too?

Yesterday, I took my second to last test in my undergraduate career, so I have lots of free time on my hands, so...

Here's a few of the previous threads to check out:<--I started this one at the beginning of my veganism.  I no longer feed my cats vegan food; they get Solid Gold or Innova kibble; Pet Promise canned; and Nature's Variety raw.  There are links to other threads about pet food in this one, too.

Have fun!  ;D


    For my dogs, I feed them a mostly vegetarian diet. I did a lot of research about the topic and although I started off thinking it was bad to feed a dog vegetarian food, I changed my mind when I learned that all the essential nutrients needed in a dogs diet can be achieved with plant based foods. I don't see the point in asking that another animal sacrifice its life so my dog can live... "Sorry, Miss cow...I know you don't want to die an excruciating death after spending all you life chained up in a stall....but I like my dog better than I like you." I was additionally surprised to learn that the majority of dogs in Asia are fed from their human companions table and that the majority of THEIR diet is vegetarian. These dogs tend to live healthier lives than American dogs. And I kid you not, Japan actually has nursing homes for old dogs!!! Actually there are lots of cases of veg dogs way out living their meat eating counter parts...Have you ever heard of Bramble, the border collie from Brittan who just celebrated its 27th birthday? Or Bluey, an Australian cattle dog (what my dogs are) from Australia, was vegan, is actually in the Guinness world records for being the oldest dog...lived to be 29 years old!!! Tykie, a terrier dog was 25, also fed a vegan diet...his owner actually sells this food now, too.

      I know one of the big issues people mention about this is that it is not "natural" but on the other hand I think there is very little that is "natural" about feeding my dogs the bodies of animals who were raised in cramped quarters, fed and unnatural diet. And that i can then go and pick this stuff up at the store in a  paper bag...Not to mention, who says that "natural" is better anyways? Animals that live in Nature often have much more abbreviated lives than the ones we have domesticated. Just because something is natural, doesn't mean that it is ideal.

    Another factor in this for me, was that one of my dogs seems to be allergic to so much. When I put them on Avoderm Vegetarian (it has lanolin in it so it is not vegan) they absolutely THRIVED! I love that stuff. And so do they. As a matter of fact, when i was first switching them from their meat based diet to avoderm, they would dump out their bowls and only eat the avoderm kibbles (which are light colored, almost white) The drawback is that its very expensive. Like 25 bucks for a 15 lb bag!!! I found this awesome product for making home cooked food for your dog called vegedog. Its a powder that you add to the recipes they give you. I didn't really like those recipes so i have decided to make my own. (this product is also available for cats, although I realize there are certain factors for this species that make it harder for them to be vegetarian.) I think as long as one can feed a veg diet to a  pet, they might be well advised to do it...

Oh about the snake...can it eat eggs? You might want to ask MDvegan for her recipe for TOFU KITTEN!  :-D

for more on vegetarian diets check this out:

and this:


We've had a bajillion debates on the board about this very topic.

I feed my cat tuna.  I'd feed him other meat if he'd eat it.  He's a carnivore.  I'm an omnivore, so I have more of a choice.  He also gets to go outside in the summer, when he'll hunt mice and gophers.  I don't feel bad about that, either.

Log in or register to post comments