So you may remember a while back when I posted a photo of a little 11 week old kitten I adopted. He’s now 9 months old, 12 pounds, and still growing. The “Tucker Then” photo is actually before I got him, so he’s younger than 11 weeks there.
It’s obvious that the boy likes to eat. I’m a Vegan Kat, but he’s not. He doesn’t even stick to actual food and enjoys chowing down on shoe laces and plastic bags…two habits I’m really trying to curb. He oddly also really likes kale to the point that he begs for it and steals it if I don’t give him any (maybe there’s a little vegan in him somewhere). He even chewed open a bag of kale that I had defrosting on the counter just to eat some little frozen kale bits. What can I say…he’s an odd cat.
It’s a dilemma though, for a vegan with a cat, what to feed them. Cats are carnivores, not omnivores, so I recognize that difference and his need to eat meat despite his kale loving ways. I know that there are vegan cat foods out there, but there’s also conflicting information about whether a cat can be healthy on a vegan diet. Omnivores can live healthily off of a plant based diet, but carnivores aren’t built that way. I’m okay with carnivores eating meat. That’s nature and that’s what they have to do.
The challenge for me, however is that commercial pet foods buy into the same factory farming system that is cruel to animals. It brings up a moral dilemma of giving this little guy a home (he was a stray), but having to feed him food that causes pain and suffering to other animals. A second issue is that most commercial cat foods are kind of atrocious as far as quality of ingredients.
So, shortly after I adopted him, I spent some time researching the best food solution. What I ended up choosing to feed Tucker is Orijen cat food. It’s made in Canada using sustainably farmed free-run/free-range/wild caught fish, red meats, and poultry. It’s all food that would be fit for human consumption, not by-products and who-knows-what found in most pet foods. Orijen is meant to match what cats would naturally eat, rather than just finding a way to use what’s leftover from processed food manufacturing.
It’s a little bit pricey, but a bag lasts a while. I’m willing to shell out the extra cash for what seems to be more humane and better quality cat food. But it’s still meat! I think this is the best option, but what do you think? Do any of you have pets? As a vegan or vegetarian, how do you go about deciding what to feed them?