One of the things I want to explore in this blog are the 'grey areas' of veganism. Some things are very black and white. If you knowingly eat meat, fish and dairy products then you are not vegan. You are omnivore, pescatarian or vegetarian. We can all agree on that, I think? But there are some other things that tend to cause arguments in vegan forums and groups. I'll be writing short blog posts on some of these 'grey areas', and thought I would start with owning pets...
Many vegans, although not all, think it's fine to own pets. Or to have animal companions, to use better 'vegan' language! However feeding pets with meat products is a more contentious area. I have a very beautiful rescue dog, Lola. I feed her with a vegan dry food and supplement her diet with organic meat and bones. She is not fully vegan, but I feel that I'm avoiding the worst of the intensively farmed animal products in her diet. It's a compromise for me, and one that I feel a bit uncomfortable with, partly because it involves handling meat when I feed her, which I find distasteful. I know that I could feed her an entirely vegan diet at home (although she'd still scavenge when out on her walks - nothing will ever prevent that!) but something is holding me back from taking that step.
I'd love to hear about your pets, whether they are vegan. I know that the arguments around whether cats can be vegan are particularly contentious, with most people coming down on the 'no, they can't' side.
The only thing I'm not really interested in, is people saying that "if you feed your pet meat then you are not vegan, because you are contributing to the meat industry by buying meat for your pet." You may make this choice for yourself, but I don't think it's one you can impose on other people and exclude them from the "vegan club" - we are all different and make different choices. None of us are perfect, but we're all trying our best to think compassionately and carefully about the choices we make.
Other 'grey areas' that I'd like to explore include:
Let me know if there are any other things that have caused arguments or debates!