Is it vegan to own cats?

Here are two of the four reasons why I’ll only ever be an aspiring vegan:


Calico (left) and Sesame are no longer quite as young as they were when this picture was taken, but they’re still just as gorgeous.


The third reason, on the right, is called Jeton. Aged two, he’s the cuddliest cat imaginable. The picture below shows reason number four, Cressida, the most recent arrival and not yet one year old. She’s such a keen hunter that she could have been called Diana or Artemis… There’d be no point buying this feline family tins of vegan catfood – they know the "real thing" is freely available outside.


Now apparently true vegans don’t believe in exploiting animals in any way, and that includes pet ownership. I understand and respect this point of view, but I’ve always had cats and I’d find it very hard to live without them.

On the face of it, there’s no reason to feel sorry for our cats. They come and go as they please, with the freedom to explore a large garden and much further afield. Yes, but… they’ve been neutered, they’re vaccinated and fed regularly, so they don’t have the same kind of freedom as a cat born in the wild, even though the latter is bound to lead a more hazardous and often less comfortable life.

Anyway, thanks to Sandrine of the Végébon blog, who had the great idea of collecting links to pictures of other bloggers’ cats in this post. I look forward to seeing your cats, and/or reading your views on whether "proper" vegans should own them…

2 Responses to “Is it vegan to own cats?”

  1. Mihl says:

    If they are your companions, I don’t see how you are exploiting them. The look like they really have a great home. Many vegans take in rescued or abandoned animals. I also don’t see how that could be considered “owning” or “exploiting” them. I guess if the cats wouldn’t like you, they would have walked away.

  2. Pauline says:

    Thanks Mihl. We have had some cats that have upped and left too. More because they didn’t get on with other cats than because they didn’t like us, we prefer to think !

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