Few issues within the animal movements garner as much controversy as vegan cats and dogs. For some, feeding animals a vegan diet is a natural extension of their guardians’ ethics: in an attempt to live cruelty-free, refusing to throw money at the meat industry just makes sense. Supported by companies that claim that vegan cats can be healthy, inconvenience has become less of a barrier and more people are embracing the prepared wet food and kibble. Still, other vegans and animal advocates stand by the conventional perspective that cats are “obligate carnivores,” and that feeding cats an exclusively vegan diet is irresponsible and cruel.
In this hour, Animal Voices revisits the issue of vegan pet food, and explores the following questions: What scientific research exists that considers the long-term effects of veganism on companion animals, specifically cats? What do we know about the nutrition of the food exactly, and what do we know about the health of the animals who eat it? Do we have the right to enforce a potentially inadequate diet on our companions animals, any more than we have the right to domesticate, confine, and slaughter “food animals”? Does vegan food cause urinary crystals in male cats, or perhaps predispose them to other illnesses? To what extent does the pet food industry drive the meat industry, or is it simply a by-product of a larger problem?
We will be joined by Dr. Andrew Knight (veterinarian), Eric Weisman (founder and CEO of Evolution Pet Food), Mirha-Soleil Ross (activist and guardian of many cats), and Adam Wilson (CEO of Downbound and a local distributor of veg pet food). This show is the first part of a new two-part series about vegan companion animals.
Listen right now: