Owners who force their felines to be vegan cats could face tough sanctions and even criminal charges, warn the RSPCA.
A criminal record could be dished out to owners who make their pets seriously ill as a result of a plant-based diet, the charity warned.
In case you missed it, cats are particularly unusual among domestic pets, because they are what’s called obligate carnivores.
According to Feline Nutrition Foundation, our friendly felines are a little different to many other carnivores because ‘cats must eat meat’.
It is an absolute biological necessity.
Other mammals classed as obligate carnivores include mink, tarsiers, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and walruses, to name a few.
Non-mammal obligate carnivores include rainbow trout, salmon, hawks, eagles, crocodilians, many snakes and lizards and most amphibians.
According to the RSPCA, cats ‘need a source of animal protein to survive’ – and while all mammals need the nine essential amino acids, cats are unique as they require taurine and arginine in their diets – which is only found naturally in meat.
Dogs, on the other hand, are physiologically omnivores, just like humans.
But a small cross-section of cat owners are adamant their pets can follow thee vegan lifestyle they’ve chosen for themselves, too.
In one particularly divisive case, vegan YouTuber Sonia Sae was publicly lambasted for feeding her fennec fox, Jumanji, on a vegan diet.
The fox, Sonia claimed, has preexisting health conditions including hair loss, spontaneous convulsions and eyesight problems.
But people were concerned for the fox’s wellbeing, and attributed his lethargy and low weight readings to the animal’s diet.
Ignoring the trolling, and sticking to her guns, Sonia still feeds Jumanji a ‘scientifically formulated vegan pet food with all the needed amino acids for carnivores like cats approved by the AAFCO and the government than 3 years ago’.
He does look a lot healthier – but pet owners still have a duty of care to their domesticated animals enshrined in law and a vegan lifestyle for animals isn’t always the best route.
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“I look much healthier now on a scientifically formulated vegan pet food with all the needed amino acids for carnivores like cats approved by the AAFCO and the government than 3 years ago, when I was eating meat and when the pictures of the article were actually taken after my skin allergy, yet the media will make any thing to distort this reality.”
A spokesman for the RSPCA said:
Under the Animal Welfare Act the law requires an owner to ensure all the pet’s needs are met. This includes a healthy diet, as well as suitable living conditions and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Those in breach of the act could even face prison. Failing this, they could be fined.
We all know the benefits of living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. It’s better for the environment and it’s certainly better for the collective conscience of animal lovers.
Far be it for any of us to criticise those trying to make the world a better place in their own way.
Since a study found vegans live longer than meat eaters, Haleh Moravej, a senior lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University, told UNILAD about the benefits of eating vegan for our bodies.
Research suggests vegan diets usually contain more dietary fibre but have less cholesterol and saturated fat.
This reduces the risk of many modern chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, however, without informed food choices or supplementation, deficiencies may be an issue.
Health experts suggest informed and well-planned vegan diets are suitable for all individuals at all stages of life.
But this applies to humans only, guys. Not animals. It’s also important to remember scientists ‘don’t have enough data to say exactly how a vegetarian diet influences long-term health’.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.