The vegan lifestyle is on the rise across the globe, and frankly it’s for the best and about time.
Now what happens if a vegan person has a pet? Can this person still claim that is living a vegan lifestyle while feeding their pet animal products? The answer is big loud yes! See, we don’t own our pets, pets are life companions, someone that brightens our day, someone we chose to care about, but we don’t own them, same as we don’t own a person.
The vegan lifestyle refers to the person that practices it, not to the ones that surround that person, being that friends, family, children or pets.
Now let’s get back to the core question, can a pet be vegan?
The answer is puzzling. You see, it really depends on the pet. If your pet is a horse, a pig, a chicken or a hamster, then yes, absolutely. If is a dog, maybe. If is a cat, probably is better not to try the vegan vibe.
And it really goes down to science and the physiology of the animal here.
Each animal has its own nutritional needs and has evolved along the years in different ways. Animal kingdom breaks down in three type: carnivore, herbivore and omnivore.
A herbivore animal is anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example foliage or marine algae, for the main component of its diet. Example of herbivore animals are cattle, alpaca, rabbit, squirrels, horse, elephant, the list goes on. Those are animals – if you can have them as a pet – can and must have a vegan diet.
A omnivore animal has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. This means they can eat plants, vegetables and animal products, like eggs, fish and meat. Examples of omnivore animal are bears, birds, dogs, raccoons, foxes, certain insects, primates, and many more. Once again, if you have an omnivore pet you can feed it a vegan diet, however you should keep in mind its nutritional needs and proceed accordingly.
Last but not least come the carnivore animal. As you might realised by now a carnivore animal is an animal whose food and energy requirements derive solely from animal tissue or meat. Examples of carnivore animals include lion, leopard, hyena, polar bear, cheetah, giant panda, tigers, sharks and the domestic cat. Yes, your Whiskers is a apex predator included in the carnivore list.
So what is the conclusion to this discussion? Bottom line is, you need to make sure that you pet has its nutritional needs fulfilled in accordance to what Mother Nature intended. Being that plant based, omnivore or meat based. Regardless of your beliefs and preferences.
As stated above, we don’t own our pets. We are here to look after them, love them and enjoy them, not modify them and try and bend them to our own reality.
All you need to make sure is that you have a happy, healthy pet. And give it all the cuddles of course.