News from the Natural World: If Animals are sentient beings then it presents a rather hypocritical conundrum for Vegan pet owners.
A debate has long been raging in the human world. This debate centres around whether it is ethical to feed pets a vegan diet. What is a vegan diet? A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants. Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs. Many humans have turned to veganism to grapple with the guilt they feel at living in the 1st world and knowingly destroying the natural world. These humans feel that animals are sentient beings and as such shouldn’t be eaten. On a vegan diet, humans can eat foods made from plants, including:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Breads, rice, and pasta.
- Dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk.
- Vegetable oils.
Animals Are Sentient Beings
Previously this vegan diet was limited to wealthy western 1st worlders who could wax lyrical about avocadoes but still flew 5 times a year. But it seems that now the vegan diet has spilt over from the human world and entered the animal kingdom. This has taken the terrifying new form of feeding pets a vegan diet. But what is a pet you ask? Wild animals are unfamiliar with this term. Wild animals are sentient beings and as such know that freedom is an essential part of any sentient creature’s life. Sentience is not about joy or comfort it is about freedom of will. As such many wild animals are confused about what a pet is?
A pet, or companion animal, is an animal kept primarily for a human’s company or entertainment rather than as a working animal, livestock, or laboratory animal. In other words, a pet is a human’s slave. Humans keep many animal slaves. But humans do not see their animals as slaves, they have deceived themselves. A relationship can be symbiotic without mutual consent – and it can have consent without being symbiotic. This lack of consent is explicit in the human and pet relationship, slavery is a lack of consent, not a lack of symbiotic benefit. Really the discussion moves to whether an ability to consent is a necessary requisite for slavery, which like most discussions in philosophy ultimately becomes: ‘It depends on what you define a slave as.’
“In 100 or 200 years’ time, we may look back on the way we treated animals today as something like we today look back on the way our forefathers treated slaves” – Richard Dawkins