Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Would you kill for your cat?

Would you be willing to raise rodents or small birds for your cat and kill them prior to feeding them? I have done so in the past, and it's hard. Sure, it is the absolute perfect food you can feed your cat, especially if you feed the animals you raise a species-appropriate diet, but killing animals can be difficult for most people. Of course, everything you buy in the grocery store or butcher has been killed by someone, but it's easy to forget about that when you see it in the display case all nicely cut up and packaged.

I get whole rabbits from a breeder that I clean and feed to my cats and dogs. Handling rabbits who have been killed by a blow to the head can be gruesome, to say the least. I am not sure I could do the killing myself. I have raised and killed chickens in the past and refuse to do it now. It isn't worth it. I hate to see my cats bring in live animals and torture them to death, but that's what cats do and I usually do not interfere.

The reason for this post is due to an e-mail I got from a woman in Canada. She was throwing out ideas for raising food for her single cat such as chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. I wrote back asking if she was really going to be able to kill guinea pigs. She got extremely upset with me for asking. Guinea pigs are rodents like rabbits and the general public has no problem with killing and eating rabbits, but guinea pigs are, in this country, usually thought of as pets.

It is unfortunate that sourcing meat from animals who are raised in a humane manner and fed species-appropriate food is so difficult for many people, myself included. I am glad I have the supplier of rabbits. I get a lot of venison during hunting season. This year I'll have a steady supply of lamb to feed my animals. I'll have to process the lamb, but I won't have to kill them. I don't care to feed my cats and dogs meat from factory-farmed animals, but sometimes, I have no choice. It's still far superior to anything they'd get in a can or bag.