Vegans don’t believe in using any animal products in their diet, and usually in every other aspect of their life, so no leather bags or beeswax candles. Some do this for the supposed benefits of the diet, but many do it because they believe it’s wrong to exploit animals. Fair enough! But it’s a bit confusing that many vegans also own pets, who they also force to be vegan, even if that’s not their natural diet. In fact, cats will die if they cannot eat meat, which contains important amino acids their bodies need.

A Twitter user named @nocroissant who is themselves a vegan recently questioned her fellow vegans everywhere: if you want a vegan pet, why not get on that doesn’t need to eat meat? They’re called herbivores.

An excellent point! Lots of animals don’t need meat to be happy and healthy, and it seems much less stressful all around.

But the question sparked a debate about whether or not it’s even cool to own an animal if you’re vegan. In a way, you’re removing their choice and exploiting them for your own purposes—love and affection.

It actually is controversial in the vegan community, but some believe that if you’re adopting, it’s beneficial to animals overall. You just shouldn’t be buying animals from breeders or pet shops, because many animals are abused in places like puppy mills.

Some people showed off their own adorable herbivores in the comments:

And others alleged that those little herbivores would for sure be crunching on bug or bones or something if they were in the wild. Animals are guided by instinct, and a guinea pig might not hunt, but if it came across something that looked or smelled good, it would munch:

Honestly, I believe it. Look into their eyes! The guinea pigs are out for blood!

Of course, lots of people argued against @nocroissant’s point, saying dogs are omnivorous like humans, and can do well on a vegan diet. 

She agreed that they can live, but don’t do as well as when there is meat in their diet as well:

And someone who says they’re in veterinary school jumped in to add that dogs can live, unlike cats, but they’re still not as good at processing a vegan diet as humans. They also need some of those key amino acids and can only get them through meat.

People will likely continue to call themselves vegan and insist they’re being good to their puppy by feeding it greens, but if you don’t want to confront this ethical dilemma, remember these good boys:

Just don’t let them loose while you’re sleeping. Who knows what they’ll do….

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