Monday, September 6, 2010

DC Vegfest and Cat Food Woes

The DC Vegfest is coming up soon, September 11th.   I have missed them in previous years, but definitely plan on getting there this year !    Looks like a good line up of speakers and food sampling.

The organization ( and fantastic podcast ! ), Our Hen House, continues to amaze me with their broad coverage of vegan issues and their fabulous website.   

  I've been in an awful quandary about what to feed our 3 cats since one of them developed a urinary tract issue from crystals in his urine.   It did not require surgery, but lab tests revealed that his urine was not acidic enough, there were crystals present and even a little blood from the crystals scraping his urethra on the way out...and that meat needed to be added to his vegan diet.   Ugh.   I had had them on Evolution cat food, the kibbles and the canned for well over a year and had no problems...better than that really...they all were doing very well, including our 15 year old cat who had just joined the ranks of Indoor Kittydom last December.  He had been an indoor/outdoor ( mostly outdoor ) most of his life, but was just becoming too slow to escape what ever other critters were out there, that might to do a kitty harm.   And the wildlife needed a break from his predation, as well.  I am WELL acquainted with the whole "cats are obligate carnivores " issue,  and I'm sick of the "how can you press your vegan values, choices on your pet...that's animal abuse, etc....".   But at the end of the day I keep coming back to this:   Yes, cats are carnivores.  But is it right to feed our pets other animals we've dredged from the seas or bred into existence just to be killed and processed into food for us and the scraps as food for our pets ?   No.    So what to do ?   Not keep cats is one answer.   But I've already got them ( or do they have me ? ).   Find the most ethical way to feed them ?   Still working on that.    So far, once the one kitty's ( Tomsky )  urinary issue cleared up, we're back to 1/2 cup Evolution kibble, soaked in lots of warm water for about 15 minutes, and about 1/2 a can of various animal meats stirred in.  All three cats eat this.  I cringe every time i open a can and am researching finding a better alternative.   I got an "acidifier" for the vegan cat food, but a little late...Tomsky was having issue with the crystals and needed tests, and the vets answer was "meat".  And how much acidifier to add to the vegan food...?  And why isnt the vegan cat food already acidified ?  This is a very complicated, loaded issue,  and I am pretty confident that an ethical answer for feeding pet felines is on the horizon....but for now, we'll just have to keep experimenting with what is the least worst choice. A website for vegan wades into these waters and offers some suggestions.

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