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I'm a vegan, and so's me cat - bbc film

Discussion in 'Animals' started by Adam Paylor, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Adam Paylor

    Adam Paylor Member

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    Hey,

    I’m a filmmaker for the BBC and I’m looking for a vegan in the UK who encourages their cat to be vegan also, and is willing to be an advocate for it.

    I am making a balanced and impartial short film called ‘I’m vegan, and so’s my cat’, which aims to highlight the pros and cons of vegan diets for our feline friends.

    Would you be interested in taking part?

    You can reach me on 0118 948 6146 or [email protected].

    Adam
     
  2. rogerjolly
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    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Hi Adam,

    I don’t have a cat but would like to suggest a thought that might interest you.

    Vegans sometimes make comment about foul odours emanating from both ends of people who are meat eaters. Many keen gardeners protest, sometimes with venom and sometimes with a gentle sigh, at cat visitations to their gardens.

    So, would you expect excrement from vegan cats to be less horribly sticky and smelly?

    Roger.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  3. Adam Paylor

    Adam Paylor Member

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    That's an interesting thought Roger :)
     
  4. Damo
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    Damo Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Adam,

    "I'm a vegan, and so's me cat" Why would you produce this? Why would we help you create a film that's obviously going to increase the criticism of veganism? Cat's cannot be vegan and anyone who say's otherwise is ill-informed.
     
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  5. Adam Paylor

    Adam Paylor Member

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    Hello Damo, I'd produce this film because people stand fervently on both sides, and therefore it's worth taking a well considered, unbiased look at the subject to help others to understand why.
     
  6. Veganite
    Relaxed

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well Adam, I'd hardly call it an unbiased look. The subject matter alone is extremely controversial in itself. There's no question it would provoke people, which is obviously the reason you want to produce the film.

    I've had a cat most of my life until about six months ago. I would never consider a plant-based diet for a cat. It's just not natural, and irresponsible as a pet owner, in my humble opinion.

    While I have heard of some extreme vegans feeding their cats vegan pet food, I don't think this is normal for the majority of vegans. You are trying to single out a very small percentage of vegans. As mentioned, this will only increase criticism of the lifestyle in a very negative way.

    There was a recent story that went viral on YT about a vegan YouTuber feeding her Fennec fox a vegan diet. I don't know the whole story, but it really created a lot of hate towards her, and vegans in general. So in my humble opinion this kind of reporting or documentary film would most likely be counterproductive to the vegan community. It just makes the general meat-eating population think vegans are extreme and crazy.


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  7. Adam Paylor

    Adam Paylor Member

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    Hi Veganite,

    Thanks for your response and I understand your concerns. You've made an assumption about my motivations that I just want to clear up...

    I'm not looking to provoke any animosity towards the vegan community. My brother is vegan, and it's through conversation with him that we landed on this topic. I hope the film will prove informative and educational to vegans and non-vegans alike.
     
  8. Veganite
    Relaxed

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It was not so much an assumption as it was an observation based on my recent experience on the subject. I saw how that story about the girl feeding her Fennec fox a vegan diet went viral in a very negative way. It pretty much destroyed her YT channel.

    And while it was true that she was feeding the fox a vegan diet, there was much more to the story than what these haters uploaded on YT. It made me sad that people can hate so much, especially things they don't fully understand. It literally combined part truth and fiction together to create a fake news story about a vegan abusing her pet fox through starvation.

    So if I seem defensive, it's just because I know how sensitive and controversial this subject is. It will most definitely provoke people one way or the other, which again has to be the motivation for producing such a film in the first place. I mean, why else would you be doing it?



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  9. Adam Paylor

    Adam Paylor Member

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    Yes, that sounds very unfair. On this subject there are cat owners who fervently believe (and would argue in the safety of their Facebook groups and forums) that they know how to feed a cat a vegan diet in a way that gives them the nutrients they need to live. They post photos of healthy looking cats as proof. It’s facinating.

    It is a controversial subject but I don’t think that means it should be shyed away from. I think the fair exchange of views (right or wrong) deserves some consideration.

    If a person believes so strongly in something, and can back it up, my hope is that they’ll advocate it publically.

    Personally I think ‘hats off’ to vegans. I couldn’t do it but have a lot of respect for those that do - my brother included. Making cats vegans is something I don’t personally agree with, but as I’ve said it fascinates me and I think (regardless of my views, which are not important) it’s worth an exchange of opinions and facts.

    Here’s hoping - It’s an important topic.
     
  10. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    I certainly hope you're going to provide many instances of responsible vegans who feed their cats correctly - meaning carnivorous diets. Else I'm afraid your documentary will end up just being a sensationalist piece that provokes anger.

    I already saw this kind of knee-jerk reaction recently when Jackson Galaxy (from Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell) announced he was vegan on Facebook. The comments section was flooded with people automatically assuming that he was another "crazy vegan" who would force his cats to eat a vegan diet. Of course if you really know him, you know he feeds his cats a raw meat diet.
     
  11. rogerjolly
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    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Hi again Adam,

    This looks like it could become a real hornets’ nest you are disturbing here.

    There is a long and sad history of vegans being misrepresented in the media. And this is made all the more galling by the fact that the whole concept of veganism is based upon compassion.

    As an example a vegan agreed to be featured in a magazine article about his lifestyle. He posed in a series of shots in front of various delicious vegan meals with knife and fork held vertically upwards from the table and with a great grin of anticipation on his face. He was then asked to do the same with a plate of baked beans. He at first refused saying it was all too stereotypical but was persuaded by the photographer with the line, “Oh, it’s just for completeness.”

    Can you guess which meal appeared in the lead photo?

    Personally I always try to give a person the benefit of the doubt if there is any question about honest intent. But I’m afraid the working title of your film is very suspicious.

    There are two possible explanations as to why it contains the grammatical error “so’s me cat”. The first is that the error was accidental. But surely we can all be completely confident that BBC producers never make such errors!

    The second is that it is deliberate with the intention of reflecting a comedic tone directed at a sincere but perhaps somewhat naive victim. I refer to the vegan person not the vegan cat. :)

    Roger.
     
  12. Adam Paylor

    Adam Paylor Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts Roger. I appreciate the concerns you raise and understand them. All I can add is that I'd be very careful with the vegan cat owner that I feature and the way in which they are presented to ensure that a grown-up exchange of views is presented fairly.

    The 'me' in the title is an error I'm afraid - probably an auto correct, it should be 'my' - I did try to edit it immediately after posting but couldn't find a way. Us BBC producers do make mistakes o_O. I completely take on board what you say about the title - I think it does factually represent exactly what the film is about though - a vegan who is uncomfortable with feeding their cat animal product, and thus has found a solution that works for them both (whether rightly or wrongly). I would of course highlight that not all vegans own cats Kellyr, let alone feed them a vegan diet.

    I just wanted to reply, as I appreciate you taking the time to write to me with your thoughts. I'm not going to harp on about it, as I also appreciate that it's highly unlikely that I'll find someone willing to appear in the film. It's a divisive issue, and it takes a thick skin to stand up and engage on it. Worth a go though!

    Thanks again!
     
  13. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    As a person who takes care of a cat...

    Here's a few things I know:

    Cats can eat grains that have been soaked overnight: She has on her own initiative helped herself to some of my brown rice that I started on the germination path.

    Cats can eat legumes that have been cooked/soaked properly

    Cats can eat seeds that have been soaked. The cat I look after has (on her own initiative) helped herself to pepitas (pumpkin seeds) I had soaked overnight.

    Cats can eat oats.


    Here's what I also know....

    The cat I look after prefers animal flesh. When I went vegan, I had a surplus of dehydrated mince meat. I would mix this (rehydrated) with oats/pepitas/brown rice (all soaked overnight), and sometimes oats, and she would eat all of it, but she did pick at it to get to the mince.

    Currently, I feed my friend a cat food that is high in protein and is a mixture of grains and animal products. She took to it immediately.

    Prior to this, she has brought in birds and mice from my yard. I once ran out of the concoction I was making for her (prior to getting her commercial cat food) , and within an hour or so of letting her out, she had caught a bird and planted it at my feet. The message was pretty clear: "I am a predator. I caught this. I appreciate your affection and attention. I'm not sure about what you're feeding me. Here. Look. Do you want some too?"

    While it may be possible to feed a feline just plant based foods with some special arrangement...

    It is not natural for the cat. If you are a vegan and want to claim "speciesism" and look down on people who have cat pets and feed them animal food...then it might be worth considering:

    A) The food provider for the pet kills no more (or contributes to) no more animal deaths than the cat is going to kill just to feed itself.
    B) If it's "speciesist" to have a pet food that includes animal products for a cat, it's also "speciesist" to allow carnivores like cats to exist or to have them as pets, because their physiology and natural diets require it.

    With human intervention, it *may* be possible to bypass this, but it still is not the natural diet for a feline. Ie: it is not nature's design.

    At a biological level, I would also argue that a plant based diet for a feline is an argument against veganism *for humans*, since it represents a diet in favor of an ideology, rather than nature. Cats are natural carnivores that can possibly exist on a plant based diet with special modifications (ie: that humans must provide). Humans are natural herbivores that can exist on meat based diets but is far from ideal for them, as their biology is not that of a carnivore, but an herbivore with an emphasis on seed type foods (corn, wheat, barley and other seeds that can be planted to produce products of the vegetable kingdom)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018

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