Coco, like most American cats, ate fish. And a great deal of them — more in a year than the average African human, according to Jason Clay at the World Wildlife Fund. And unlike the chicken or beef Coco also gobbled up, all those fish were wild animals, scooped out of the sea and flown thousands of carbon-belching miles to reach his little blue bowl.Cat got your fish? (Paul Greenberg, New York Times, 22 March 2009)
As for pets like Coco, alternatives already exist. Several companies now make vegan cat food, though owners of vegan cats find they must supplement their pets’ diets with Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, niacin and other nutrients. But those who feel a vegan cat goes against nature (so says the A.S.P.C.A.) might rethink a pet’s potential footprint before acquiring one.
A carnivore, be it a cat, a dog or a salmon, is a heavy burden for the environment and should not be brought under human care lightly. In my family, this has become a topic of debate as we consider our next animal. Coco was an interesting and unique creature, and I argue that he cannot be replaced. To me, a vegetarian substitute is seeming more and more appealing. Lately, I’ve had my eye on a guinea pig.
Getting a pet is absolutely a decision that should not be taken lightly.
While Mister Gato may have just retired as a working rodent-catcher, though, I'm pretty comfortable with his net environmental burden. ;-)
And anyone who tries to maintain an obligate carnivore on a vegan diet should be slowly and systematically starved themselves.
The real feline footprint problem