It is completely possible to be vegan and give shelter to companion animals. Ideally, all animals would not be dependent on humans and would be able to live out their lives naturally, but many domesticated and injured animals are unable to do this. Giving sanctuary to a companion animal in need is completely supported by the vegan ethic.
However, buying an animal (including those seen as ‘pets’) perpetuates the belief that animals are commodities, and any animal breeding (whether intentional or otherwise) contributes to the overpopulation of domesticated animals who are living unnatural lives by definition. For this reason, spaying and neutering animals (or taking other, adequate steps toward ensuring that they’re not able to reproduce, such as separating females from males) is also an important issue.
If you’re looking for a companion animal to share your life with, there are millions of homeless animals being killed in “shelters” every year who would love to be part of a caring family.
And thankfully for those of us who love them, it is also possible for cats and dogs to enjoy a healthy vegan diet alongside you. Rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters are naturally vegan animals, and there are many of them in shelters as well.
(Shared with kind permission of Angel Flinn)