With more and more people around the world adapting healthier and more mindful lifestyle choices, the vegan diet has become a choice for many in the past decade. But what happens when some people push their personal choices onto others? This story posted on r/AITA may give us some insight.
It comes from a frustrated author whose vegan stepdaughter, an educated young professional living with parents to save up some money, has been criticizing the way their parents run their lives.
But more than anything, the stepdaughter can’t stand her parents feeding their cat Mango ‘normal cat food.’ In fact, even the sight of meat and dry biscuits made her physically sick and she lost a lot of weight.
However, the parents have categorically refused to switch Mango’s diet to a vegan one, and the tension, you can just imagine, is through the roof in that house. Let’s read the full story below and be sure to share your thoughts on the whole situation in the comment section!
Image credits: Abeer Zaki (not the actual photo)
There’s an ongoing debate on whether cats should benefit from a vegan diet like their owners. So to find out what an expert had to say about it, Bored Panda talked to Molly DeVoss, a certified feline training and behavior specialist who runs Cat Behavior Solutions agency.
“I can appreciate a vegan wanting to feed their pets the same diet because they are sensitive to animal welfare—so am I,” she said and added: “But our homo sapiens species’ nutritional needs are much different than felines’. Humans are omnivores and felines are obligate carnivores.”
That means that “cats require a diet that depends entirely on meat,” Molly said. “There are many other obligate carnivore species, such as dolphins, seals, eagles and walruses.” Moreover, your cat gets essential fatty acids from meat not found in vegetables, said Molly.
“You could provide additives to the vegetarian diet to try to compensate for the missing nutrients, but many are not bio-available to cats. Dogs are omnivores; they get nutrition from both plant and animal sources, and your dog can probably survive on a vegan diet with added supplements to boost the proteins and essential fatty acids.”
Molly herself eats very little meat and feeds her cat a raw rabbit diet, but she added “I, myself, would never eat rabbit and it is emotionally difficult knowing so many rabbits have met their fate to feed my cat; however, I also know my cat cannot thrive on a counter-species diet.”
“Another reason a plant-based diet is hard on cats is their cecum is very small. The cecum is an organ located at the beginning of the large intestine. Felines’ cecum is very small, which makes digestion and absorption of plant matter difficult.”
“Contrast that to the cecum of a rabbit (a herbivore), which is large and contains bacteria that aids in the digestion of plant matter,” Molly concluded.