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Animal Rights Vegetarian/vegan diet for cats and dogs?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Mar 14, 2011
Has anyone else heard about this? Apparently there is a huge backing of support for creating a vegetarian/vegan diet for naturally carnivorous animals.
How do you feel about something like this, and is it even in the right thread? I figured The Kitchen is the best place for controversial topics, even if it isn't guinea related. Feel free to delete this thread if need be! :)

I personally think it is inhumane to feed an animal a diet based off our own philosophical/moral views on animal consumption.

I've heard about it, and think it's utter crap. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they can only efficiently get nutrients from meat. Any plant matter is generally used as an emetic. Dogs are not omnivores, either. They can adapt very well to not eating meat, but it's not as good for them as a meat diet. Honestly, anyone who would refuse to purchase meat should not have a pet that eats meat. And for those worried about the meat being raised humanely, they can buy humanely raised meat, either raw from a grocery store or formulated into pet food form at a specialty pet store.
That doesn't sound healthy at all. It's like if someone decided to put a piggie on all meat diet.
Just not right. Poor things.
I heard about this too, I think it is unnatural and unfair to basically force naturally carnivorous animals to be vegetarians. Do the people backing this idea think that carnivorous animals would probably choose to go without meat in their diet? I doubt they have taken that into consideration. I don't agree with it and I think the idea needs to be squashed. I agree with your statement about not feeding an animal a diet based off of philosophical and/or moral assumptions (which is exactly what they are doing, assuming the animals would like it and it would take off). Not cool with me.
Vegetarian cat and dog food is enriched and pumped full of added nutrients to make it nutritionally "acceptable" to a cat or dog. I don't eat food with lots of additives, I don't know why I would choose to feed it to my animal when it is much simpler to give them the correct diet.
Here is an article explaining why it is a horrible idea.
dog nutrition - vegetarian diet for a dog, pros and cons.

I will certainly pass these points on to someone who argues for vegetarian/vegan dog and cat diets!
I would be interested to hear a testimonial from someone who has put their dogs or cats on a vegetarian/vegan diet and see if there was a legitimate change, either for bad or worse.
Here is an article looking at it from both sides: (broken link removed). The main pro of vegetarian food, they say, is that it does not cause the health problems that commercial pet foods do. Of course, most commercial pet food is full of junk. Just think of all the guinea pig pellets you wouldn't feed your pig. Once again, a solution is to simply buy high quality pet food or feed a raw diet, NOT buy vegetarian food.
Inhumane. Why would a vegetarian (who is a vegetarian for the well being of animals) purposely do that to an animal who is purposely carnivorous? Kinda makes you think if they really care about the well being of them.
Some vegetarians, just like with any other people, don't have their heads screwed on quite right. I hold the opinion that a true vegetarian/vegan would do everything in their power to make sure their pets have the best living conditions possible, even if that means buying meat. If you can't do that, you have the wrong pet.
My friend has a pet snake. When her vegetarian, pro-animal rights parents had to watch it for a year while she was at college, they fed it frozen mice. Because snakes eat mice, and it would be cruel to force it to do otherwise.
Cats are obligate carnivores, you do NOT put them on a vegan diet. They cannot make their own Taurine, which is only able to be acquired by them through meat sources. Cats, in the wild, get their vegetation from the stomach contents of their prey. They eat grass if their stomachs are upsetting them

/animal care aide cert..

If you want to do the ethical thing, look for a local farmer if you can who free ranges his livestock, and do raw food diet for your carnivores. Usually if they're free range, they're also slaughtered as humanely as possible using Dr Temple Grandin's method, (ask the farmer, they'll have no problems answering any questions about their husbandry/slaughter methods) that way you aren't feeding in to the pet food industry that uses by-products from factory farming

Taurine, for cats, are usually found in organ meats, so livers, hearts...chicken livers and hearts are the best bet for them since they aren't as fatty. Beef liver/heart/kidney are ok, but more suited to dogs than cats. Cats can also be fed raw fish (as long as you bone it properly! And it isn't factory farmed..don't get me started on factory farming fish...it almost destroyed the entire Lobster industry around where I grew up)

All in all, there are ethical ways to feed your carnivorous pet without feeding into the horrible pet food industry ( Also if one chooses to be an omnivore for themselves, it's also a more ethically acceptable choice to go local/free range than factory farm..any day..it's also better for you if you do choose to eat meat)
An animal that is kept under human care should be fed a diet as close as possible to it's natural diet. You may not want to go as far as feeding your cat mice and songbirds, but they are obligate carnivores and should eat meat, not vitamin pumped grains and legumes.

If you are vegan/vegetarian and want a pet that eats the same, then get a pet that is an herbivore. It's that simple.

I was a member of a vegetarian board at one time, and this argument came up often, sadly. Most people were smart enough to realize the truth that carnivores should eat meat, but there were always a few people who thought it was perfectly fine to feed a carnivore nothing but vegetables and vitamins. It was always very frustrating.
I imagine the issue might never actually go completely away. There will always be someone who will say their cat/dog does just fine on veggie food. Just like people who say their guinea pigs are fine on crappy pellets and no veggies. They may be alive, but they aren't thriving.
I'm all for people being vegans or vegetarians but to force it on any animal like this is WRONG. I personally feed my cat RAW because of all the additives in cat food. He eats chicken and fish so far. He turns his nose up at duck, pukes from turkey and I have yet to try anything else yet (he's only been on raw for three months).

Why would you risk pushing your personal paths on an animal that even naturally would not normally eat veggies. I think anyone who does this is being selfish and should not own such a pet. Plain and simple.
I agree with everyone here and really can't add anything.
I also agree with what everyone else has said. I believe that pets should be fed a diet that is as close to their natural diet as possible. My dogs were fed a raw diet for about 2 years, however, unfortunately meat prices have increased to the point that I could no longer purchase meat from humane sources, or purchase enough variety, so we had to switch over to a grain free kibble.

Just as I would never feed my Guinea Pigs a meat based diet (or a seed based diet) I won't feed my dogs a vegetable/grain based diet.
This kind of thing makes me see red. I worked at a feed store a few years back and it absolutely infuriated me when people bought the vegetarian dog food that I repeatedly encouraged the store owner to stop carrying. Unfortunately it was a decent seller and plenty of people were under the impression that they were doing something good for their dog. I was able to educate a few of them- others couldn't be bothered and insisted that Fluffy LOVED raw food. (They only fail to notice that Fluffy looks like she's dying because she isn't getting proper nutrients).
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