What if the law of the jungle were also the law of kindness, compassion, and love?
Well, if East Village kitty Sammy Mesda has anything to do with it, one day it very well could be.
Sammy, whose blackness, litheness, and sleekness can only call to mind a jungle panther, first became aware of vegetarianism when he came to live with long-time herbivore Cameron Mesda, who hadn't consumed animal flesh, or indeed, any animal products, in over a decade. Sammy hadn't known such a life was possible.
And yet, Sammy saw firsthand how happy, healthy, and self-righteous his human companion seemed to be. He wondered if, perchance, he himself could someday experience these same states of being.
Essentially, Sammy started thinking - was consuming other animals really necessary?
He began doing a little research. Some "scientists" said that cats were inherently carnivorous, and that it wasn't "natural" for them to go without meat.
Interesting. While Sammy certainly didn't wish to sacrifice his health by going veg, he somehow doubted that he would be doing so. It didn't escape Sammy's keen intellect that such things had also been said about humans, about children, about dogs - and been proven wrong.
And that was the turning point. Sammy, a feline of boundless sweetness and affection, set about proving "them" wrong once again. Like his human companion, he too would alter his eating habits and align them with the principles of compassion and integrity. It might take some doing, but he would do it.
As with many matters, great and small, the Internet proved an invaluable resource. Apparently, what Sammy really needed was taurine, a chemical that could be produced without using any animal products whatsoever. And there were many, many varieties of delicious-looking vegan cat food, fortified with taurine, available on the Web.
Indeed, Sammy wondered - was it possible that by eating ONLY meat (or more accurately, animal byproducts consolidated in a can and sold at inflated prices), he'd been missing out on some extremely tasty fare? Well, no longer!
With Cameron's support, Sammy made the shift to veganism gradually, first mixing his regular, animal-based cat food with the vegan variety. And within a few weeks, lo and behold - he too was 100% vegan.
And it felt great.
These days, Sammy's furry black chest swells with pride every time one of Cameron's friends stops in and offers Cameron a milkshake or latte or burger and Cameron declines with an adorable note of well-justified superiority, "No, thanks, I'm vegan - and so is my cat."
I really am, thinks Sammy in those moments. I really am.