I have never referred to myself as a “pet owner.” I find the very idea of owning another being distasteful. That which we own is our property, and property can be used, abused or abandoned as we see fit. (The billions of abused creatures in animal agriculture are evidence of the end result of that line of thinking.) That said, I do live with two cats, and I do refer to them as “my kitties,” just as one might say “my children” implying not a relationship of ownership, but rather one of care or guardianship. Here they are in their bunk-beds. Awww….
Three truths about vegans & animals:
- In general, vegans strongly support the adoption of animals. If you can give an animal a home, please adopt one from a shelter. Please do not buy from a pet store or breeder! 2/3 of cats and dogs in shelters are not adopted, and are euthanized. Adoption saves lives. If you’ve heard (as I have) allegations that vegans are opposed to pet ownership, the half truth of it is that vegans tend to dislike the term, but to support taking in and caring for creatures that need us.
- I know this is a controversial topic, but there is vegan food for cats and dogs. Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, and most take very well to vegan dog food, often living healthier, longer lives. Cats, on the other hand, don’t always thrive on a vegan diet. Please do some research before changing your animal companion’s food, and monitor him or her closely for signs of trouble.
- Becoming vegan can reduce your allergies to non-human animals. I didn’t grow up with animals. Allergies to cats and dogs ran in my family. Cats used to make me sneeze and give me itchy, watery eyes. If a dog licked me, I would get a rash that lasted several hours. After becoming vegan, I noticed my symptoms diminishing, and I can now bury my face in a furry cat belly and have no adverse reaction!
Our cats have had various names over the years, but the ones they answer to (yes, they know their names), are simply Boy and Girl.
As with most of my blog photos, click any picture on this page to enlarge the cuteness!
Boy is sometimes a ninja and most times a teddy bear. He manages to worm his way into cuddling with anyone who will pet him. He climbs into my lap first thing in the morning, and likes to sleep on our feet at night. He loves to play outside, but to my knowledge has never come close to catching a bird.
We’ve noticed that Boy is much more interested in our food than in his own. Some of his favorite foods are fruit smoothies, soy yogurt, and beans of all kinds. Don’t worry, he didn’t taste those chocolate chip cookies!
Girl would be mortified to know I’m showing you this next picture. Yes, we anthropomorphize our cats. It amuses us, and they don’t seem to mind. She’s actually not as chubby now as she was when this was taken, thanks to a year-long restricted-calorie diet, though her belly’s still this fluffy! Girl’s a bit of a princess – She hates to get her paws dirty, and has to sit on the biggest pile of blankets, pillows, or laundry in the house. But under that fluffy, somewhat snooty exterior is a sweet, timid cat who has an incredibly loud purr when she’s content! She likes to observe the street from the safety of the windowsill, but when a bug finds its way indoors, she’s a relentless hunter.
I want to incorporate more vegan food into their diets, though we won’t switch them completely without consulting a vet. Do you have any experience with vegan cats, readers?
I’m also curious to know whether you’ve taken a furry creature into your family. By the way, I’d love to see photos of your animal companions. If you email them to me, perhaps Ill post them on the blog! Here’s one last photo of Boy, sunning himself on our bed. Look at those cute paws! Don’t you just want to cuddle him??