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Jan. 27th, 2004 | 09:54 am
mood: sleepysleepy

I received an order of vegan cat kibble today. Shockingly my cat seems to actually like the "cheesy" flavored one. Though I think the orignal flavor tastes better, the other seemed pretty tasteless. And this would be the first time I tried eating pet food, the evolution cat food from vegancats.com doesn't smell bad (unlike every other form of non-human grade pet food I've ever encountered).

Though perhaps part of that is been I've been vegetarian long enough that meat smells bad to me.

And as an aside for those that think feeding vegan food to ones cat is abusive. I agree that it's probably not as ideal for her as, say, live mice, but it's quite believable to me that it is at least as good as what commonly passes as cat food.

In unrelated news I found the IBM Java 1.4 SDK package, and so I reinstalled linux on my tibook. Hopefully the java environment will work well enough so I won't have to switch back to OS X.

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Comments {16}

Stephanie Wukovitz

(no subject)

from: sebab
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)
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be careful; a cat nees taurine to live. I had read at one point that there was no plant source of taurine, but it sounds like perhaps recently a way to synthesize it has been discovered (?)

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her other side

(no subject)

from: saltbox
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 08:04 am (UTC)
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According to the FAQ on the web page that alienghic linked to:
Q: Don’t cats need a dietary source of Taurine?

A: Yes--and the vegan cat foods we carry contain adequate amounts. Although Taurine naturally occurs only in animal tissue, synthetic Taurine has been produced on a large scale since about 1930. In fact, many meat-based pet foods utilize synthetic Taurine to meet nutritional requirements as well (most naturally-occurring Taurine is washed away during the rendering process)!


Not being a cat person myself (I have a fat vegetarian iguana who refuses to eat insect bits even when I've tried), I've haven't had to worry about this. But it seems to me that if the "naturalness" argument that so many people are putting forth were of significant weight, then those relying upon the "naturalness" argument should also be arguing that people have any domesticated animals at all. Since that's not "natural". (Note again: I obviously don't buy the "naturalness" argument, given that I have a fat vegetarian iguana who really isn't even all that domesticated).

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Stephanie Wukovitz

(no subject)

from: sebab
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 11:36 am (UTC)
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oh cool!

for that matter, the concept of bagged cat food isn't very 'natural' either, heh heh.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 11:29 am (UTC)
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Yes, aparently in the 1930's someone figured out how to synthesize taurine. According people running vegancats.com several of the commercial cat foods use synthetic taurine as well. (I think they claimed that taurine was mostly likely to be found in eye tissue, and so several partially meat based cat foods didn't actually contain enough taurine either).

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Stephanie Wukovitz

(no subject)

from: sebab
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 11:55 am (UTC)
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another commenter also mentione that -- that's great!

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Clare T. Rampling

Vegan Cat Food!!! Noooooooooo!!!

from: rampling
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 03:21 am (UTC)
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I can't make my peace with the idea of vegan cat food. The whole concept disturbs and offends me profoundly. What is the point of denying a carnivore the food she should be having? There are high quality foods you can buy for cats, with high quality meat (not "by-products") in them. Plus they have the appropriate vitamins included. For example, a quick search yielded an excellent candidate: Organix Feline by Castor and Pollux, which has "Certified Organic" chicken and contains no meat by-products. It also has a full complement of the appropriate vitamins for cats (including taurine). That was just a quick search -- I'm sure a more thorough search would yield more options.

Inflicting vegan cat food on a cat just because "what commonly passes as cat food" isn't up to your standards completely misses the entire category of (non-vegan) specialty cat foods made to higher organic and whole-food standards. I really hope you'll check them out, and let your kitty eat the types of food that years and years of evolution shaped her into wanting and needing.

I can more easily buy that as omnivores, humans have more choice in what they eat. Cats, as carnivores, do not. Look at those beautiful wicked teeth your kitty has, evolved to rip flesh from prey. And their digestive systems are evolved to process that meat. As indoor cats, we deny our feline companions the special feline experience of catching and (perhaps playing with and ) killing live prey, but we don't have to deny them meat in their meals. Please reconsider her needs. What could be more natural and appropriate for a cat than to have a meal with real meat in it?

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Usqueba

Re: Vegan Cat Food!!! Noooooooooo!!!

from: usqueba
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 11:59 pm (UTC)
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There are high quality foods you can buy for cats, with high quality meat (not "by-products") in them.

We feed our cat "ultra premium" food. It's human-grade meat. It's more expensive but he has food allergies and I really don't want him eating too many "parts".

And their digestive systems are evolved to process that meat.

::nodding:: Our little guy would be in sad shape if we didn't feed him the high quantity of meat-food. He's more than likely allergic to corn & wheat. Not to mention he gets "extra happy face" when we share our chicken with him.

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Diane Trout

Re: Vegan Cat Food!!! Noooooooooo!!!

from: alienghic
date: Jan. 28th, 2004 01:46 am (UTC)
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One of the components motivating me to switch to veganism is to minimize the death and cruelty that I'm responsible for causing. It bothers me that I am still responsible for torturing and then killing a number of chickens to support my cat.

The existence of a vegan alternative that is certified by the american feed control office means that I don't have to continue to be responsible for the deaths of those chickens.

When first moving toward vegetarianism I thought about how I thought it immoral to eat an intelligent being. As time as progressed I've learned that barrier between "human" and "animal" is becoming increasingly fuzzy. On the BBC website I saw to news items, one about a crow that fashioned a simple tool, and a recent one about a parrot that has a vocabulary of about 950 words, and who apparently will make simple jokes.

In the natural environment the predator-prey relationship at least serves the function of keeping the prey species healthy. The animals being raised for food on the modern factory farm has no possibility to escape their destiny to become somethings lunch, and thus being killed and eaten doesn't even help the prey species.

Would torturing and killing 20 cats to keep one chicken in a life of idle luxury be right? If not, why is the reverse acceptable.

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Clare T. Rampling

Re: Vegan Cat Food!!! Noooooooooo!!!

from: rampling
date: Jan. 28th, 2004 03:40 am (UTC)
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It bothers me that I am still responsible for torturing and then killing a number of chickens to support my cat.

But the death of prey species is much of what Nature is. The food chain. Species at the top of the food chain kill and eat species lower down. Is it the vegan fantasy to capture all predator species and force vegan food on them?

If you let your cat go back into the wild, and if she still had enough instinct to fend for herself there (she probably doesn't), she would kill many creatures over her lifetime. She would even possibly play with some of them before they were fully dead. Cruel. This is what cats do. You must at some level make peace with the general cruelty of nature. You can fuss about your own diet, and work to encourage others to eat less meat, or even become vegetarian or vegan. But you will NEVER convince nature to live by your nice ethical standards. Nature is not, and never will be that way.

In the natural environment the predator-prey relationship at least serves the function of keeping the prey species healthy.

You're putting a value judgment on the valueless mechanism of evolution. It's quite possible, in the natural random variation of year-to-year environmental conditions, for predators to entirely wipe out all the local members of local prey species. Is that "good"? It's nature. Nature does what it does, and doesn't care if it's nice.

The animals being raised for food on the modern factory farm has no possibility to escape their destiny to become somethings lunch, and thus being killed and eaten doesn't even help the prey species.

Why is it necessary for being killed and eaten to be useful to a species itself? It's useful to the predator. The young of a species are often the easiest prey for predators. They aren't culled because they're sickly or less "fit" to their environments -- they're killed because they're found and couldn't get away.

Do you think wild chickens die of old age? No, even the most hearty clever chicken will become prey eventually before it dies. A wild chicken, too, has no possibility to escape their destiny to become somethings lunch.

Would torturing and killing 20 cats to keep one chicken in a life of idle luxury be right? If not, why is the reverse acceptable.

The reverse is what nature is about. Why do cats in the wild sleep 16 hours a day? A life with lots of idle luxury? Because they expend a lot of energy on their predation, then spend 16 hours in the idle luxury of sleeping and napping while digesting their meat. This is nature. It isn't pretty. It's harsh and cruel much of the time.

By making fusses about individual kills for meat, you're positioning yourself above nature. OK, in the case of what people eat, I can at least recognize the case that people (being omnivores) have choice in what they eat, and can choose to act on their consciences. People clearly have motives outside of nature, outside of their immediate needs or desires for food. But cats have no analogous conscience, and are evolved to kill and eat meat. That's what predators do. When we take cats into our homes we take them away from their natural killing opportunities -- but we compensate with longer lives for them. But why compound the unnaturalness of their lives by feeding them stuff they weren't evolved to eat whatsoever. To me this is dishonoring the cat.

If you give your cat a bowl of the the nice high-quality meat cat food and a bowl of your vegan stuff, and your cat chooses the vegan stuff, I could make my peace with this. But from what I've read about cats' reactions to vegan fake cat food, it isn't good.

I feed my kitty "lite" cat food, since she'd been putting on weight, and the vet told me it was unhealthy for her to have so much weight. I used to feel a bit guilty about giving her only diet food (and watching her weight better than I watch mine), until I did a taste-test. She chose the diet stuff over some regular cat food from Ralphs. I've made my peace with this now; I no longer feel sad that she's getting stuff she might not like. And she's much more spry, now that she's very near (the high end of) her target weight range. :)

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the Edward

Re: Vegan Cat Food!!! Noooooooooo!!!

from: thedward
date: Jan. 28th, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)
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Is vegan cat food really than much more "unatural" for a cat to eat than "lite" cat food? I mean, I can see arguing you should bring your cat fresh meat (heck, even live meat like another poster suggested), but any sort of boxed (or bagged, or whatever) prepared "cat food" is just as "unatural".

In the wild, cats make their own way. When you take a cat home you take responsibility for them. It is no longer the cats responsibility, nor the cats choice what they eat. Now, it is arguable that you should not take responsibility for cat if you are not willing to take proper care of it, and that feeding it vegan food is not taking proper care of it. However, I think as long as the cat likes the food (I have no evidence either way on this one yet) and is healthy, there is no problem.

Are cats more worthy of moral consideration simply because they are a predator species instead of a prey species? I'm not advocating going out into the wild and saving all the prey, but once you adopt a creature into your life, you are responsible for the choices you make on its behalf.

    “If you give your cat a bowl of the the nice high-quality meat cat food and a bowl of your vegan stuff, and your cat chooses the vegan stuff, I could make my peace with this. But from what I've read about cats' reactions to vegan fake cat food, it isn't good.”
That makes sense. I am willing to bet it is possible to make a vegan food kitties would like, but I have no idea if their currently exists such a thing.

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Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC)
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I'm mostly kidding, but kinda curious: Why not live mice? People with pet snakes feed live mice to them (and sometimes raise their own mice for the purpose)...

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 11:32 am (UTC)
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  1. feeding live mice is icky. (both the idea of killing an animal, and having to clean up)
  2. part of my motivation is to harm as few creatures as possible, so killing a mouse when alternatives exist is problematic

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her other side

(no subject)

from: saltbox
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 12:22 pm (UTC)
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There's actually not that much clean up involved with feeding live mice at least to snakes. The snakes just swallow them whole. (I think for mice-eating snakes, alas, there's no vegan alternative. Except not raising the snakes in the first place. But gosh I love snakes. Not that I have one.)

Perhaps there's more clean up involved with cats and mice, though.

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Jules

(no subject)

from: bandhiaduit
date: Jan. 27th, 2004 10:05 pm (UTC)
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It's probably not just the clean up that squicks her as much as it is having to applaud every kill and display of the hunter's prowess *wink*

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Jan. 28th, 2004 01:29 am (UTC)
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I remember a previous indoor/outdoor cat I had who decided to munch on a bird indoors. That took quite a bit of effort to clean up the large pile of feathers.

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Usqueba

(no subject)

from: usqueba
date: Jan. 28th, 2004 12:01 am (UTC)
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I know people who feed their cats raw diets (it's all that more natural, they say). *That* is really messy, esp if you have a cat who's a messy eater. I can't imagine having to clean up raw chicken dribble much less mice parts :)

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