“A lion paces in every human heart. What quickens yours? What makes your lion roar?”
~ Arthur E. Puotinen quoting a poet in his book Lead with Courage: Unleash the Lion in You.
The lion pacing in my heart is quickened by all the suffering that the human species causes for the animals, fish, birds, and bees, through: killing them for food and clothing; stealing from them for food; experimenting on them; and imprisoning them in zoos, aquariums, circuses, and homes.
Almost everyone I know has dogs and/or cats for pets, and I know they love them very much, and I am not suggesting getting rid of the pets who are already in loving homes… Rather, I am saying let’s look at this situation from all angles. Let’s acknowledge that most pet food is made from dead animals, fish, and birds.
As I pointed out in my previous post, “Something to Ponder: Cats Eat Meat”: “Unlike humans and elephants, Nature made the cat families with bodies that require meat in their diets. A few vegans claim that it is possible to feed cats an entirely plant-based diet, but it requires extra time and considerable expense that most pet owners cannot handle… And anyway, there are other people who say that a vegan diet is too risky for the cat’s health.”
However, there is promising research about successfully feeding the vegan diet to dogs, and a company called V-dog, says this on their website: “The unfortunate reality is that slaughterhouse waste and byproducts form the base of most pet food. V-dog provides all of the nutrition your dog needs without any of the junk they don’t.”
This situation is very ethically complex for vegans… I met one very strict vegan animal rights activist who told me that she feels terrible about buying dead animal food for her cats, but it is “a paradox” that she lives with…
I feel a lot of compassion for this dilemma within many vegans. It is very difficult to be vegan in this world, and even after more than ten years vegan, I am continually learning new things that aren’t vegan. A few examples: many brands of dental floss aren’t vegan, lots of supplements aren’t vegan, and most wine is not vegan! (Here’s a cute post about vegan wine: Chic Vegan.)
So, becoming more and more vegan is an ongoing process. We learn as we go, and there probably are not any perfect vegans. I am certainly not a perfect vegan, although I strive to be…
The lion roar in my heart says hopefully someday the human species will stop causing so much suffering for all of the other species… I hope that someday the pet phenomenon can be peacefully and lovingly phased out, because I believe that dogs and cats should be allowed to live in freedom.
May compassion activate in the hearts of the human tribe. May all beings be free of suffering. May all beings be allowed to live in freedom.
With a hopeful heart roar,
Photo by Catherine Merlin on Unsplash.