I rescued two dwarf rabbits after easter two years ago, brynn and layla. I'm struggling with whether pets are okay to have or not. The way I see it they would have been put down if they weren't adopted. They have the whole house to run during while we are home( a large pen when we are not for their own safety. They have a LARGE salad every night along with unlimited hay and small pieces of fruit now and then. I've been convincing myself that this is a pretty good life for a bunny since they don't have to be worrying about being eaten every five seconds.Oh and I forgot to mention the toys! they have so many!
What are your thoughts on vegan pets?
Usually, people interested in animal rights eventually come to the conclusion that they do not wish to "own" an animal, and that animals should be born and raised in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, one must also come to terms with nature and the way that carnivorous animals eat other animals. For instance, many rabbits in the wild survive not more than 1 year. They may also come to the conclusion that selectively breeding animals only ever results in genetically weaker animals (since we breed for traits like aesthetics and dairy production.)
However, now that we have millions of animals who could not survive in the wild, were not raised in the wild, and might even have genetic inferiorities that make it incredibly difficult for them to survive in the wild, it is equally 'wrong' for us to just let our bunnies free.
The solution I am currently aiming for is to let my bunnies live a life as close to what they'd experience in the wild as possible. I encourage you to do the following:
-Don't just feed hay - feed fresh grass and wild greens (dandelion, violet, clover, etc) from your yard or a nearby field! A variety. Fresh grass is very important.
-A small amount of grains as rabbits would eat more grass seeds in the fall to get chubby for winter.
-Work on getting a small area fenced in so they can spend time outside getting vitamin D. If they don't go outside at all, you may have to supplement vit. D with a small amount of pellet feed. I am making a fenced in area with fence that is buried 1ft so they cannot burrow out and get eaten, and with fence overhead so hawks cannot get them. If I "let them free" they would die in less than 12 hours because the fox and fisher cat would make quick work of them. :-D Perhaps there are some gung-ho misguided animal rights people who think I should just let them free rather than keep them as "slaves," but in my mind, setting them free = killing them. They have no chance. Wild rabbits at least know what they're doing. My bunnies would try to make friends with the fox.
It's a difficult situation for me since I still live with my parents. We raise a dog who eats nowhere close to vegan. Ironically, though, my dad eats way more animal products than my dog. On top of that he sprays him with flea medicine. Even though I love my dog and want to rescue other dogs in the future (since our dog was from a traditional pet store), I'm afraid of having to support the meat industry because of their natural diet. It's tougher the more complex your pets are. Oops, that was my thought on non-vegan pets...
But I think you're doing the best you can for your bunnies. You don't think of them as toys or objects like some people treat their hamsters or critters. Natural or not, does it matter just as long as they're living a healthy, happy life? Humans aren't living so naturally either.
Just feed your dog a vegan diet. Dogs are omnivores so it is incredibly easy.
Bears are omnivores. Their diet consists of mostly berries and roots. A grizzly bear eats up to 100,000 berries in a single day. Most people think grizzly bears spend their days ripping apart small animals. They do a little of that, but it's much easier for them to eat delicious berries.
Whether or not pets are "okay" in a vegan lifestyle depends on who the owner is.
I love my dog and cat more than I love most people; family and close friends are the only ones I'd chose over my pets.
If you provide your pet(s) with enough love and attention, proper care (i.e. proper diet, adequate water, daily sunshine and exercise, etc.), and devoted time, than you most certainly can, or even should (considering all the neglected strays and shelter animals),own a pet.
With that being said, if you are not going to genuinely love and care for your pet, then no, you can't and shouldn't. Assuming that, because you are vegan and most likely have attraction to and sympathy for animals, you probably will fit the former, and thus you shouldown a pet.
Now as for making pets vegan, you have to keep in mind their natural diet. Dogs, for example, would typically eat raw meat and fresh fruits and veggies, but, because they are omnivores, they can thrive on a vegan diet. Cats' natural diet would consist of solely raw meat. It is, in fact, possible for a cat to live off of a vegan diet (check out www.vegancats.com), but there are greater health risks. Their FAQ page is especially helpful.
Since you have rabbits, they would naturally eat a herbivore diet, so there's no problem with them being vegan at ALL.
I dont tend to look at adopted animals as pets, more like companions. The majority of humans are zombies consuming their way through this planet and really no life is safe from them so if you choose to take an animal on as a caregiver I think that is a good thing, you're compassionate and looking out for it. If there is a place it can survive and thrive without humans then you can look at that option too. Remember a lot of animals high consciousness and love human companionship so I dont consider it bad or wrong, in fact the way I see it we are supposed to be here as caregivers looking after the place and helping out the best we can. But if you tame it you are responsible for it.
We just allowed 21 ducklings and 2 female ducks onto our property (they came of their own) and enclosed them in. We did this because in the past we have watched the ducklings dwindle to predators day by day. So we are trying to get them up to a stronger state so they can survive the urban jungle and hopefully find a good river or late location to relocate them otherwise they inevitable end up wandering from house to house over the main road getting fed bread then down to the local shopping mall where they are fed left over fish and chips and bakery goodies.
One thing I am not into is the breeding and selling of animals when there are so many already in shelters who could live in better conditions. So follow your heart whats best for you but I think animal companions can be a great relationship for many people, especially those who dont have human family or loved ones and vice versa for the animal.
Rescuing an animal from death is wonderful - then you do the best you can (for them and other animals). Dogs thrive on a vegan diet; I have 2 in my family that have been happy, healthy, and awesome for 10 years (all vegan). Cats can be harder - but there are lots of vegan cat foods with taurine added.
In an ideal non-speciesist world, which will hopefully come one day (requires we work for it), humans won't use animals for anything, including companionship - unless entirely on that animals' terms. The reality now is that millions face death and need rescue from that fate.
greetings pamela! welcome to 30bad!
'pets' are ok to look after and it sounds as though you have made a very fine home for them.
there is nothing wrong with furthering interactions with other species. nor need there be any conflict with 'having a pet' and animal rights. being a guardian for an animal is no different than being a guardian for a human child/adult - and the same 'rights' and 'rationales' applies as per "due consideration of interests" for the individual being.
one would do well to remember st francis of assissi's words:
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men. Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it.
as for vegan pets - specifically those taxinomically labelled carnivores, there is no problem at all, ethically or nutritionally (with proper supplementation - which is also required for meat eating counterparts, btw). there is plenty of info on 30bad about the matter and here are some links to start with if you want to research it:
Rescuing animals and looking after them - how can that not be a good thing? How can compassion not be OK?
if it's a vegan pet that is self reliant mostly, like an iguana maybe but i say no animal wants containment or breeding by humans
Personally, I don't think it's right to take an animal out of it natural environment. It's called slavery in my eyes. I don't think it's right to breed animals either. I have a cat and I love her dearly, however, I will not seek to get another animal. Instead I will let an animal come to me and try my best to be of assistance to it in the most natural way I can.
i think its virtue to do this in todays world
letting an animal loose to live a natural life in an un natural world?
pollution hunters cars running them over and simply no land for them to live and or no food on the little land they do find .
the rabbits you are caring for are lucky to have you !!
the animal human relationship is a most special one
enjoy to full
I've not thought that deeply into it tbh. I have a dog and My understanding is that he would die or be put down if I gave him up for adoption now.
When I got him i wasn't even veg so I was completely ignorant and didn't even consider the way we mistreat animals. Now it's to late and if I put him up for adoption another family will take him in or he'll remain in a cage in the rspca. TBH I'm about to start volunteering at my local RSPCA, so even currently I don't believe keeping pets are wrong. I mean aslong as you don't buy it from a breeder and get him from a shelter I think it's alright.
SIDE NOTE: It was actually my dog that made me realise how eating animals products is unethical. I was once asked the question would you ever eat a dog? I would never but could not give a clear reason why I would never eat a dog but eat a chicken. So I'm extremely grateful that I got a dog.