I am perplexed. Over the past six years or so I've come to know several people who describe themselves as Vegan. I have to say I am generally pretty impressed by my friends who are disciplined enough to hold to such a strict diet. I appreciate that it must have spiritual and health benefits that they find rewarding... but still I can imagine they must occasionally be tempted by the terribly indulgent foods the rest of us eat without even a second thought. I truly respect the higher ideal of not causing suffering to other creatures that every Vegan I've asked claims to be the driving force behind their diet. However the thing that confuses me is why so many of them keep cats! It seems to be a complete contradiction to me.
I don't understand the attraction Vegans have to cats... well actually in terms of Yin and Yang or the balancing forces of the universe it makes perfect sense but rationally it makes no sense! Cats are true carnivores, domestic cats kill simply for entertainment... how can someone so opposed to the suffering of other beings possibly be comfortable sharing their space with a creature who's primary instinct is to slaughter other creatures, not to mention tormenting them and causing them to die from fright, exhaustion or mutilation. The other matter that confuses me is, even if you happen to have a cat that doesn't indulge it's god given instinct (Can't blame a cat for being a cat) you must still feed the cat... What do you feed your cat? I am pretty sure that the meat supplied to the commercial pet food industry is rarely obtained via ethical or humane means... Is there a way of feeding a cat that meets the strict ethical criteria most Vegans apply to their own diet? I'd seriously like to know how these apparent contradictions are reconciled by Vegan cat owners. Seriously!
The other problem I see is that domestic cats (and dogs... and other pets) exist solely for us... Please don't get me wrong of course they are creatures in their own right and deserving of the same respect as any other living creature. But realistically people breed them so that other people will buy them and keep them as pets, Pet owners then go and buy pet food to feed them and thus the cycle of violence continues simply because we wish to have the company of a furry purring friend... I am not claiming to be beyond this myself but I just don't get how it matches up with the otherwise virtuous choices of the Vegan lifestyle.
I am sure this post will offend some of my Vegan friends, it is not my intention to do so it's just something that's been on my mind for such a long time that I had to get it out because so many of you guys seem to be in love with cats. I'm kind of hoping the answer is one of those paradoxical curiosities that defy logic and require simple acceptance of the natural synthesis of opposites... Or maybe there's another simpler rational explanation...
A Feline feast
Cats are carnivores; and the Vegan eats no meat.
You'd think they could not be lovers.
If I killed a fish, brought to your pet on a dish
would you run and hide under your covers?
Moggy, tabby, Tom and stray, have teeth for tearing,
they crave flesh night and day.
Give them beans and rice and they'll turn away
even though to their gut they are staving?
Do you feed your cat meat or does she hunt in the street?
You're answer will be one or the other.
Whether shop bought or scraps, a cat is a cat
To kill for her is far from a bother.
She purrs at the backdoor but have no doubt,
puss hunts amongst the rafters?
She knows where to find what she's after.
A cat wont get her fill from you broad beans and dill,
She's designed just to kill.
That purr that you hear is her laughter!