Swords to Plowshares

Promoting a faith-based love for all creation.

Can animals such as dogs and cats be vegan? Aren’t they obligate carnivores?

Yes, they absolutely can be vegan! And no, there is no such thing as an obligate carnivore. It is an outdated scientific hypothesis that has been disproven in laboratory studies. As it turns out, there is no magical property in meat. As is the case with any animal, what cats and dogs need is a collection of nutrients, whether obtained through meat or obtained elsewhere. The idea of an animal necessarily being a carnivore also contradicts scripture and should therefore never come out of a Christian’s mouth except to refute it, even if the Christian is not vegan. God created all animals as herbivores. It says so in the very first chapter of the Bible: “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so” (Genesis 1:30).

V-dog is a popular brand of vegan dog food and Ami Cat is a popular brand of vegan cat food. There is a Facebook group called “Vegan Dogs”, another called “Vegan Cats”, and another called “Vegan Cats and Dogs”. There are lots of resources and advice and countless testimonies in each group. I encourage anyone looking for more information to go there and look around.

In my estimation fear is the primary motivation for most people who are otherwise vegan to feed their companion animal meat. They are afraid of potentially causing harm to their beloved friend, even at the expense of causing definite harm to the neighbor animals that are killed and made into food. For others it is simply a lack of knowledge. In either case, we ought to educate each other and encourage each other to have faith in the truth of Genesis 1:30 and to live in accordance with God’s purpose for the earth, without letting fear cripple our faith or hinder our good stewardship. It is my hope that enough people become motivated by love for our fellow creatures and for God’s plan for us that we put our efforts into being better stewards, cultivating food that is beneficial to the animals so they may sit down together in peace (Isaiah 11:6). If we as people have the ability to explore outer space, fly from one end of the earth to the other in a day, and instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world simply by clicking a button, then we absolutely possess the ability to find a way to grow healthy food for God’s creatures, given that we were designed for such purpose (Genesis 2:15). All that is necessary is a grain of faith and a willingness to trust in God’s plan. All things are possible with God for anyone who lives by faith (Matthew 19:26).

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