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Vegan Cats in Kolkata

Well, we can add a few more to the number of vegans in India: the cats at Karuna Kunj shelter in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta, you colonialist pig), are eating vegan now!

“To avoid serving non-veg food to cats some of our animal-loving patrons thought that we should try to find out an alternative vegetarian food which can provide cats required nourishment and at the same time save innocent lives of other animals” said Debasis Chakraborti, founder of the Compassionate Crusaders Trust, who runs the shelter.

It’s just a trial program for now, but it seems to be going well. They are ordering AMI s.r.l. food from Italy, which is expensive to ship and takes two months in transit. Now I feel a little less ridiculous getting my cats’ food shipped from Minnesota.

11 Comments

  1. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    This is very cool; a lot of pet-food store proprietors–and pet guardians–are very resistant to feeding their animals a non-meat diet, saying it’s not “natural.” “How ‘natural’ is Science Diet?” I feel like asking them.

    Gradually, we’re chipping away at the idea that cats have to eat meat; even when most people believe they “need” meat, it’s cool to show them there’s another way.

  2. Comment by

    Laura Leslie

    on #

    I would love to feed my cats vegan food, but the only place I know of is Evolution Diet. I have yet to see any evidence that their food has been proven safe (just “theoretically it should be safe” which is not enough for me to trust it with my cats’ lives). Plus their order processing system SUCKS and half the time my order never arrives. And they say you must add water, and my cats won’t eat it with water added.

    In fact all of their claims are based on some study about feeding your dogs 30% less food; from the fine print on their own site:

    “In a 15 year study, dogs were fed 30% less food and lived 30% longer. Evolution Diet Pet Food was not the food used in the NIOH Laboratory Study, but the 30% Less Feeding Program was” (emphasis mine).

    That’s just sleazy. They’ve got “30% Longer & Healthier Life!” plastered all over their site, and they’ve basically just pulled it out of their asses. It has nothing to do with their brand of food, but with food proportions in general!

    If I could find a more trustworthy and reliable vegan cat food, I’d totally convert my cats, but Evolution is just not good enough. (And I’m not even saying they are necessarily bad, but their sleazy advertising techniques haven’t impressed me, and I need to see some evidence beyond word-of-mouth that this stuff is actually healthy.)

  3. Comment by

    Olivia Lane

    on #

    Downbound carries the Italian AMI vegan cat kibble. They’re the only folks in North America to carry it. My cats aren’t vegan (though they did try Evolution for a while), so I can’t report on how good it is–however it is another option available to cats who might be interested in the stuff.

  4. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    In the meantime, there’s a myspace group called “Vegan Cats and Dogs”, hosted by the author of Obligate Carnivore.

    My main interest in posting this is to get more people posting (constructively) in that group; I also posted the link to this story about vegan cats in India over there. Plus, the book is only $8.00 on Amazon and can be a really worthwhile decision-making tool.

    Note: It’s also possible to cook for your cats, supplementing it with “Vegecat”; the most important thing is for the cats to get adequate taurine, which is not present in vegetables but is available as a synthetic supplement. In fact, even meat-based foods add taurine because naturally-occurring taurine is lost during the rendering process.

  5. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    I’ve found a different version of this story at link; it tells a little more about the situation. I plan to order some as soon as I have a little cash in my bank account.

  6. Comment by

    Olivia Lane

    on #

    I found Obligate Carnivore to be a really compelling and well-written book. It definitely made me stop thinking the idea was completely ridiculous. The book could have used better/ more detailed references to specific documents and studies, but it is still worthwhile.

  7. Comment by

    Suparshwa Shah

    on #

    what is use ? i am resident of INDIA and these people cannot help me by providing cat food they have got, there ar only people having veg cat food in INDIA, nowhere else its available.

  8. Comment by

    suzieyoga

    on #

    OK Y’all Listen up. I’ve been vegan since 1996 and my cats have been vegan since 1998. About 4 years ago, Purina funded research at U of Penn or Penn state, I can’t recall, to test the homocystine and taurine levels in cats fed commercially prepared vegetarian cat food and one was a survey. My cat, Shadow, who was 13 at the time was in the study and did really well. At that time, we only used Evolution diet. I’ve since learned that Evolution is too alkaline for cats. For one of my indoor cats, I’ve concocted my own recipe using organic ketchup; vegecat-ph, yeast & garlic and flax seed meal. And YES, I DO HYDRATE the food.
    I also discovered AMI from Italy and of course, all five felines LOVE the ITALIAN FOOD. In fact, they took to it like treats and would probably prefer it, but it is a bit more expensive.

    I’ve had tiresome dialogue with vets and other “knowledgeable” people. My cats are friendly, healthy, happy and handsome.

  9. Comment by

    Pat

    on #

    VeganEssentials also carries Ami Cat.

  10. Comment by

    subliminal

    on #

    It is cheaper to buy taurine in powder form. You can get NOW brand of taurine bulk powder for $7.XX and you get like 227 servings VS 60 servings for the same price in capsule form. Best part about it is taurine is tasteless.

  11. Comment by

    Laura

    on #

    My 6 year old male cat has been eating Evolution vegan cat kibble since we found him as a kitten. As a vegan myself, I could not reconcile myself with keeping a cat if I had to put my money toward supporting the meat industry (animal cruelty. . . negative environmental impact. . . no thank you.)

    He recently had a check up at a new vet who commented on how healthy he was, and that it was nice to see a cat that is not obese! I have a kitten who is now on the food also – she turned her nose up at it a little at first, as she was used to cheap barn-cat food prior to this, but she’s used to it now, eating well, and seems happy and healthy.

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