06 Nov Are Vegans Against Pets?
Being a vegan means that a person has decided to shun the consumption and use of any animal or animal byproducts. Vegans not only avoid eating animal products but also using products made from animal byproducts like cosmetics and certain fabrics. The moral stand of veganism is that all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals in order to get food, clothing or for any other purpose is wrong. Given this explanation, instinctively, vegans should not be keeping pets. Nevertheless, there are vegans who still keep pets.
Whether a vegan is or is not against pets depends on their stand of ‘all forms of exploitation’ and ‘any other purpose’ as described above. According to the organization PETA which fights for animal rights, it is wrong for a vegan to keep a pet. Why? Because it is a form of exploiting the animal. The purpose that pets serve is to offer companionship. As such, keeping a pet is still a form of exploiting an animal.
However, it is important to understand the demarcation between veganism and animal rights. While hard-core and militant animal rights activists tend to be vegan, veganism does not necessarily mean full-on animal rights movement. But still, a vegan who sticks to a plant diet but does not hold that all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals for food and other purposes is not really a vegan. They are simply plant-based vegetarians. So, accepting veganism is accepting a lifestyle that is against all forms of animal exploitation including petting.
Vegans who decide to keep pets face problematic issues because the common pets tend to be carnivores and scavengers. By depriving carnivores of meat in order to make them vegan, a vegan would be essentially committing animal abuse. A vegan cannot make their carnivore diet a vegan as well just to make it fit into his or her lifestyle. They should not have the pet in the first place.
It would be unfair to say that veganism is against pets because there are vegans who still decide to keep pets. The difference underlies in a vegan’s description of animal exploitation, cruelty and purpose. A vegan who is also a militant animal rights activist will definitely be against pets because using animals for companionship is still a form of exploitation. On the other hand, there is a vegan who strictly follows the vegan diet including avoiding products made from animal byproducts but who keeps a pet. Such an individual is still a vegan even with the pet only that there are not all about animal rights.
However, the bigger question would be, if a vegan is against the abuse of animal rights, why should he or she have a bias towards some rights and not to others?
In conclusion, veganism is not animal right activism per say. It is possible for a vegan to own a pet as long as they willing to properly care for their pets. Essentially, they should avoid pets that either need to eat meat or are primarily carnivores. The question of whether vegans are against pets is still a complex one to answer. For now, it all depends with the vegan’s choice.