Portly pets and vegetarian diets

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Time for a link dump to catch up on some stuff in the news. Let’s start with:

Study Reports Increase in Portly Pets

If you haven’t gotten enough of the “America’s so fat!” message recently, here’s a study pointing to the increase in the site of our companion animals. The reason I mention the story, though, is that they mention vegetarian diets for cats and dogs:

Cats, the report notes, are descended from carnivores and their digestive system is designed for absorbing nutrients from animal-based proteins and fats.

Cats should not be fed a vegetarian diet because it could result in harmful deficiencies of certain amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, the report stresses.

While dogs prefer animal-based food, they can survive on a vegetarian diet as long as it contains sufficient protein and other nutrients, the report adds.

A question for Veg Blog readers: if you’re vegan or vegetarian and have a cat or dog, what do you feed them? I’d like to hear some different thoughts on if and how vegetarians’ beliefs affect how they raise their pet, especially ethical vegetarians.

3 Responses to “Portly pets and vegetarian diets”

  1. hetty

    hi. i am an ethical vegetarian with two cats. i don’t really feel i should impose my beliefs on their diets, but i don’t like them to eat lamb. i don’t feel great about my decision, since if i had a child, i would not feed them meat. but i suppose with a child they would grow up and make their own decision, but the cats will always be dependent upon me, certainly not by choice. but i’m curious to hear others’ views.

  2. elyse

    hi! i am an ethical vegetarian and i have a big fat black cat who LOVES shrimp and cheese…i had considered switching him over to a veggie diet, not only because of my personal convictions, but also to help him lose some of his pudge. i had never heard that a veggie diet was harmful to their health until i read the article. now that i know that, i won’t feel as bad feeding him meat, since he needs it. but he also eats quite a bit of grass too, so i guess that makes him an omnivore! im curious to hear what other people have to say…

  3. Adam

    Actually, eating grass is just a way to clear their digestive track out; same reason we eat fiber. it serves felines no real dietary value.

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