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A normally carnivorous companion animal or "pet" can be converted to a vegetarian or vegan diet.  This type of diet can extend the lives of both cats and dogs and save millions of other animals each year.


Frank L. Hoffman,

Many years ago when we had four cats, two birds, and a dog as members of our family, we began to seek ways of converting our companion animals to become vegetarian (vegan), because we were convicted in our hearts and souls that to do otherwise was being cruel to other animals who became their food.  Our birds were easy; they were already vegans.  We became aware of two nutritional supplements produced by Harbingers of a New Age called "Vegedog" and "Vegecat".  We called them and ordered a container of each and a copy of Barbara Lynn Peden's book Dogs and Cats Go Vegetarian. 

Heidi, our 70 pound black and white long-haired mixed breed dog was a "snap".  She loved whatever we gave her.  Instead of dog biscuits, we gave her large raw carrots, which she would hold upright between her front paws and munch on, and always looked for another.  Her favorite treat was a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, which we cut into quarters.  Her favorite meal was pasta with tomato sauce and veggies (peas, corn, beans).  By accident (Heidi ate some of our left over chili), we found out that she enjoyed her food spiced up with a little hot pepper.  After her first taste, she began asking for it.  She would begin to eat and if it wasn't seasoned enough, she'd stop eating and look at us and then back to her bowl.  If we didn't respond, she would give a single bark to call our attention to what she wanted.  Heidi lived as a vegan until she was over 15, only to die from complications from an undetected encounter with insects.

Tabby, Jessie, Nathan and Travelin, our four felines, were much more difficult, and we never were able to have them become fully vegan, though at times we got close.  Today, if we ever have any more companion cats, we believe we would be successful.  We've learned a lot since them.  All four loved chick peas (garbanzo beans) and nutritional yeast.  Once they had a taste, they would "drive us crazy" to get some. 

If we left fresh baked bread around, Travelin would be munching on it.  Travelin also loved corn on the cob.  When we had it, she would jump up on the vacant chair at the table and let us know she wanted some of it.  We would leave some on the cob and give it to her.  She always made a mess, but she would dig right in.  Once Nathan and Tabby saw Travelin's enjoyment, they joined her with eating corn.  Jessie was too much of a lady to join in their less than polite way of eating.   Heidi also liked corn on the cob, but her problem was that she ate the cob, too, which we were afraid might harm her and so we stopped giving her any.

All the cats liked our bean soups, particularly if we blenderized it first.  Rice wasn't very popular unless it was over cooked or blended with chick peas or with nutritional yeast.  Some of the cats liked a little soy sauce, others liked tomato sauce.  Howard Lyman's cat liked cantaloupe, but none of ours did.  Cats are real individualists!

We also noticed that our cats would vomit more often after eating commercial food, but rarely after eating our vegan food.  All our kitties lived to be more than 18 years old.

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