Photo credit: puck90 via Flickr
In an attempt to define veganism when it’s off the plate (in those rare times we aren’t eating, planning to eat, or thinking about food), I have posted about my son visiting the zoo (D’oh!) and my response to “Is breastfeeding vegan?” This time, I want to talk about why vegans rescue animals instead of buying or breeding them.
Being vegan is about what we consume, and what we consume also entails what we buy. We shouldn’t buy animals—not whole or in pieces, dead or alive.
The number of animals needing homes is overwhelming shelters everywhere, so we never need to purchase a cat, dog, rabbit or any companion from pet stores or breeders. The only money changing hands for animals should be to rescuers to cover spays, neuters, vaccines and basic care, and as many rescuers know, the fee will never cover the actual cost.
Many of the reservations people have about rescued animals are myths. The animals coming from pet stores are often seen as blank slates when the reality is that the saddest of stories come from puppy mills and kitten cages where the animals are stressed, uncared for, and untested around others.
Adopting our companions is rewarding, responsible and consistent with a vegan lifestyle. I have two rabbits who have their own bedroom, two dogs (pit bull) who share our home and a foster pittie who we know will find a wonderful forever home. To say that adopting and fostering is rewarding seriously underplays how enriched our home is from saving these lives and building our family—even if our shoes get nibbled here and there.