Columbia, I’ve had enough. This culture has done gone too crazy. We’ve leaped over the edge. Pandora’s box is wide open. I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
That’s because the idiocy of our age has been manifested in the most patently absurd way yet: cat veganism.
Yes, you heard that right: felines that only eat plants. Or, I should rather say, are only fed plants. No cat, being a carnivore by birth, would be so dumb as to go against everything in its nature. Only man has plummeted to depths that asinine, that preposterous, that contrived.
A front-page story in the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 7 documented the growing trend. More and more pet owners, gravely concerned that the diets of their beloved pets don’t match their own meat-free values, are giving their animals specially crafted vegan meals. A third of pet owners expressed interest in such plant-based diets for pets, according to a survey referenced in the story published this year by Canadian researchers. Vegan pet food companies are drawing major investors like Paypal founder Peter Thiel.
Apparently some dog owners have already tried this experiment. But canines are natural omnivores, eating both fiber and flesh. Every dog owner knows they’ll pull out just about anything from woods and gulp it down. A product of their pre-domesticated role as scavengers, I suppose.
But cats are different. It’s purely meat for them in the wild. Their guts aren’t made for digesting plants, and they need certain nutrients only found in a carnal diet.
“Meat absolutely needs to be on the table when you are feeding a cat,” Tina Wismer, a medical director at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal story.
But proponents of cat veganism — it pains me to even type words that silly — argue that traditional canned cat foods from a factory don’t recreate a cat’s natural diet either and that vegan cat foods add synthetic versions of nutrients they need.
So maybe you can healthily feed your cat a plant-based diet and maybe you can’t. But the real question is, “Why would you ever want to?” There’s no good answer for that one.
Perhaps Western civilization has become so wealthy, leaving us so much free time and so much disconnect from the cruel realities of the farm (something must die for me to live, either plant or animal. Go read “Charlotte’s Web” for a refresher if need be), that we truly have nothing else to worry about than the moral implications of animals eating other animals. Try as we might, we’re not going to be able to stop that one.
I see this ending tragically. Zealous evangelists for the cause will be traveling to the Serengeti, hoping to convert Big Cats to their vegan religion. I envision the headline already, “Man offers carrots; lion chooses man.”
The other possible outcome is it causes a revolt among cats fed a vegan diet. The way they stalk around the house, suspiciously glancing at their owners, already leaves open the question of just how tame they are anyway. Provoke them like this and who knows what will happen. I can see it ending with a lot of drawn claws, scratched arms and shredded furniture. It won’t be pretty.
Look, I’m not here to judge any humans who want to become vegan. Certainly some legitimate health benefits are to be had, and many people do it with success.
Plus it leaves more meat and cheese for me.
But please, I beg you, don’t waste your time and mental and financial resources on trying to extend those values to animals, who are programmed by nature to eat what they eat. A vegan cat will always be one trip to the barn away from being mouse-filled. Mother Nature hasn’t gone soft like humanity and won’t take kindly to our incursions on her territory.
Charlie Smith is editor and publisher of The Columbian-Progress. Reach him at email@example.com or (601) 736-2611.