Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vegan cat and dog food

I have often questioned whether feeding our animal friends a vegan diet is the right thing to do. I am passionate about being vegan and of course, I want to transform everyone I love into a vegan but I try not to push my beliefs and values onto other people. With that in mind, I've never tried to "push" my veganism on any of my pets either. (Although, of course, I'm the one who decides what my cat and dog eat in the end, no matter what the decision, so I guess I'm pushing something either way!)

I've been doing some research on this, and it seems that vegan food is actually quite healthy for cats and dogs. Nevermind the fact that cats are "naturally" carnivores. There's nothing natural about a cat living inside a house and being taken care of by people. There is nothing natural about giving your pet cat or dog shots against rabies either. So the nature thing is really not a valid argument in my mind.

I found an article about a cat sanctuary in India that experimented with vegan cat food. I will try to come back to this topic, because information is scarce and most of what I read is promoted by companies that are selling vegan pet food. Although, if they are successful in selling.... i guess that means that the food is working for the pets and their owners. I think I will definately give this a try with my next animal, and I will let you know my results.

Here is the article for your reading pleasure:

Cats go vegan in Asia's biggest feline shelter

West Bengal, India, 09:15 AM IST

Kolkata - In Asia's biggest shelter for rescued cats, the feline inmates are turning vegetarian these days, thanks to animal lovers who import alternative Italian food for the furry laptops.

These days the cats in Karunakunj, a centre for rescued animals near here run by the Compassionate Crusaders Trust (CCT), are getting addicted to an Italian food which is completely vegetarian.

'To avoid serving non-veg food to cats some of our animal-loving patrons thought that we should try to find out an alternative vegetarian food which can provide cats required nourishment and at the same time save innocent lives of other animals,' said Debasis Chakraborti, founder of CCT, a strategic partner of Maneka Gandhi's People for Animals (PFA).

'After a lot of search the animal lovers found a company in Italy - AMI Srl - which can supply 100 percent vegetarian food without any ingredients of animals or insects but having all non-veg food qualities,' said Chakraborti as he laid out the veggie spread before the residents of the cattery.

Karunakunj, about 25 km from here in Thakurpukur area of South 24 Parganas district, is an animal farm complete with freely roaming dogs, an aviary, a burial ground for pets and the biggest cat shelter of Asia where even the walls are painted colourfully like a Disneyland and props like logs fitted to keep the cute creatures rolling in their playful mood.

'Of the 90 cats in our shelter we have chosen 10 (for veg food). We weighed them before introducing them to the food and then segregated them from the rest. They have fully accepted the food and in fact are overfeeding themselves,' said Chakraborti.

'The ones who are not separated are also given the food and they all are liking it as well,' he said.

This dietary change, launched last week, was inspired by the principle of non-violence advocated by the Jain religion.

'I am an animal lover and a Jain by religion. So hurting even a small ant is unacceptable to us. After a lot of searching we could locate this company in Italy,' said businessman Bulbul N. Shah who along with M.N. Shah, another animal lover, sponsored the food to begin with.

'I hope we would continue to get the programme organised and sponsored as both Jains and non-Jains from across the world would come forward to promote love and care for the animal world,' Bulbul N. Shah hoped.

Said Chakraborti: 'As it is difficult and expensive to import small quantities we can provide pet lovers with food at a nominal handling charge which will in turn support our financial needs.'

Bulbul N. Shah said, 'Shelf-life of this food appears to be six months and therefore four months consumption can be ordered at one time as two months time should be kept for transit.

'If we are successful in sending right message to right place, requirement will grow fast to bring down carrying cost considerably.'



Anonymous said...

Thanks, because of your article i got way to get veg cat food in INDIA.

Thanks a lot.

LAVA said...

Wow! That's great! Please check out my website at www.vegheadz.ca under the header "friends" & you will find many more links promoting vegan cat & dog food. x Kelly

Anonymous said...

Hi, Im vegan to and i'm not agreeing with your toughts,. To give youre dog a vegetarian diet is healthy for the dog, it is healthy because they are omnivoures just like us and so they can be a vegetarian just like us.

But with a cat it is diffrent, you say ít is quite healthy'for a cat but sorry it isn't. Because of the plant food the ph of urine of the cat raises and they get urinary tract problems. Like rocks in the blather. Almost al cat's get this from this type of food and it is quite painfull!. So if your cat can get ill from a pet food it don't sounds good to me. You must test youre cat's urine ph mondly if u put them on a vegan/vegeterian diet.
Now the natural part, not it is not natural to keep a cat at home. And it it is not natural to keep him/her inside and never outside (i'm against this a cat belongs outside to) But you must understand that cat's don't need us. If they don't like their home they walk away. Just like husky's don't need the owner too, they can hund their own food just like cats. Th way we keep them maybe don't sound natural but how the cat is build is still natural. A cat stands really close to their wild brothers and sisters and because of we keep them inside that will not see their digestive system miracules can digest proteine from plant;s cause they can't. The eat grass because it comes out hole and pules the haires out of their digestive system. The can't digest plant food properley.
And you make the mistake that if you put a house cat in the wild it becomes wild and properley know how to take care of the kittens and the food. Farm cat's do the same they live outside in de the bar and provide their own food. It is jsut not their genetic make up and that make up wil not change if you give them vegan food. You can compare it with a cow who's owner try to give her meat do you understand how ridecelous it soudns? Theur digestive system are really diffrent. And we did that giving our cows grinded bones from other cows and tada Mat cow disease. Of cows who fet corn and getting really ill from it, but fat they are not made for this type of food. Take al the commercial cheap cat food nowedays.. almost no meat only by products, vegetable proteine, fake taurine and grains. Cat's are not made for that and get overwight and get diabetis because from to much carbs a get becomes ill. Even http://www.vegancats.com/pages/1007/FAQ.htm understand the risks and telling people to supplement their cats with: MEAT. Further a lot of animal welfare like spca wspa enz do not reccomend it.
even vegan action, who reccomend vegetarian food for dogs does not reccomend it for vegan cat's

quote: Please note: Vegan Action does not recommend that people switch felines to a vegan diet. From our experience, most cats exhibit a failure to thrive on the diet or stop eating.

you have not the right to risk the health of a cat for youre believes.
Animals eating animals is natural. Only the way whe do it know is disgusting but there are biologocal cat foods. You must understand that fake Tourine is poluting the earth to and because of that it is produced in china. And fake vitamines are diffrent from the real. Cats have very specific metabolic requirements for several nutrients found only in animal products, such as taurine, pre-formed Vitamin A (they cannot convert the plant precursor, beta-carotene), and arachadonic acid. They may not be able to adequately digest some plant-based proteins. There is at least one product marketed as a feline supplement for vegetarian diets, but these nutrients are chemically synthesized or highly purified, and may lack the enzymes and co-factors needed for optimal absorption and function. The long-term implications of these supplements are unknown. Therefore, API does not recommend that cats be fed a strictly vegetarian diet.

Anonymous said...

people are greedy and full of egoism and I found it egoism to take a carnivore at home and give it vegetarian food. If you don't wan't to feed an animal meat THEN DON'T TAKE THAT ANIMAL. I find it nothing better then farmers who put their animals at risk because of their believes: making money. It doesn't mather what the believe is, but you have not the right to put an animal at risk, you just haven't. It is the same to throw youre cat out of the window and hopes it land on their feeds.. does it stay healthy of become injured. Youre cat is not a lab animal, cause that is what you doing, what they al doing if they put their cat on a vegan diet 'for the greather couse' experimenting on youre pet. Their is no feline cat fod what is 100% save. Even if the risk is 1% that says anough. Don't lead youreself from youre greet.. don't just buy a cat. Take a dog or a bunny.
My cat get's raw biological meat and dry cat food from orijen and acana. Our vet asked me what a feed my cat because she looks absolutely fantastic and lean.

My dog is most of the time a vegetarian because that is not harmfull for the dog and so I do a good deed for both.


born free USA


the normal pet foods now days are bad and animals god from those kinds of pet foods a lot of desease because of plant protein and most of all grain! Vegetarian/vegan cat food is even wors because it contains even more of this kind of harmless products.

Do youre research good this time! Vegan cat food is not healthy, most commercial petfood is not healthy.

greetz Dédé From Holland

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry for the poor english