24 Comments

  1. Bill, that is the joke- cats have no religious doctrine but Arlo likes to have these nonsensical discussions with Ludie, who only wants the human person to put food in Ludie’s dish.

    (Anyway, maybe Ludie is Halal?)

  2. But Blinky, then he wouldn’t be eating ANY pork.

    Anyway, there still needs to be some point to the words Arlo is using, otherwise Jimmy might as well have him saying “Lorem ipsum.”

  3. The cat-food companies determine what goes into the foods. Arlo (and/or Janis) decide which to buy. But he’s asking the cat, who has little say in the choices, why he doesn’t eat pork.

  4. doctrinal also applies to halal
    I don’t recall ever seeing a cat (or dog) food that featured pork as an important ingredient, and now I’m wondering why.

  5. Here’s my take:
    Part 1 (first three panels): Arlo is noticing that there aren’t any pork-based cat foods. (This is true in my experience too, although I don’t think I ever really noticed until now.)
    Part 2 (panel 4): Arlo asks the cat if that is because cats don’t eat pork for religious regions. This is a ridiculous thing to ask a cat (because the real reason is likely more mundane, and cat’s can’t talk), therefore funny.

  6. Andréa, people also eat whitefish, salmon, tuna, trout, shrimp, beef, chicken, turkey, and turkey giblets. The fact that people eat pork doesn’t explain why there’s no pork cat food.

  7. Surprising, ’cause there’s all SORTS of junk in dog food.

    BTW, I saw nothing strange/funny about Arlo asking Ludie a question; I ask my dogs questions all the time (‘WHO DID THIS?!’ is a frequent question). Now, If I (or Arlo) received an answer . . . THAT’d be strange/funny.

  8. Once in a while the strip does a fourth-wall-breaking thing where Ludwig can and does talk (I think it had one last Christmas Eve or thereabouts, a traditional “night when animals can talk” date in some folklore). It’s pretty clear that those rare strips are just the writer messing with our minds, however, and are not “really” happening in canon.

    Our cat mooches a lot of people food from us, and loves bits of bacon and other pork products when we have it. I think I’ve also seen some “Bacon and [something]” flavoured cat treats, but I can’t recall seeing any non-treat cat food based on same. I’d certainly try it on her if I did run across such.

  9. Nothing at all wrong with asking an animal questions: I’m no pet person (as y’all might have guessed); but when I was staying with my cousins over the summer, I had several discussions with their dog Dog, including asking her one morning whether she knew where “Mommy and Daddy” had driven off to.

    She didn’t respond, but for all I know that could have been because she thinks my cousins’ names are “short human” and “large human.”

  10. Hebrews and Muslims have doctrinal reasons not to eat pork. Do cats also have religious objections to pork products? (Note for Bill: Cats ARE notoriously picky eaters, they like what they like and won’t touch what they don’t like. Example: One kind of cat food had 3 different “flavors” of kibble mixed together. I had a cat who picked up, and carried off, one of the three kinds of kibble and made a big pile of them behind the couch, and ate the other two kinds. She figured out that new food didn’t appear in the bowl until it was empty, and she just wasn’t going to eat that one kind of kibble, so it had to go SOMEWHERE… )

    (The real reason, of course, is that the leftover bits of pig already find their way into foods consumed by humans, and thus are not cheap enough to use in pet food.

  11. The real question is: why isn’t there any mouse cat food? If you asked a cat what kind of animal it would most like to eat, the obvious answer is “mouse”. So why is there no cat food made of mouse meat?

  12. I don’t think I have ever bought a pork flavored cat food for my cat, but she is a big fan of pork I eat.

  13. The link thad Shad provided is only a partial answer to the “pork in pet food” question, and drifts off in the direction of social awareness. I’m pretty sure the primary reason is financial. One big factor is probably that there is an established (human) use for more of the leftovers after a pig is turned into chops and cutlets: the rest is turned into sausage. This can be done with other meats, too, but it’s not as endemic. This means that there is less “unmarketable” pork material remaining to sell off to pet food companies.

  14. P.S. If I had refreshed before posting, I would have seen the gist of my hypothesis at the end of JP’s comment.

  15. I remember reading an awesome letter in Viz’s Letterbocks (an excellent publication, if you haven’t already come across it), which went something like this:

    “I was in the supermarket the other day and noticed all these different flavours for cat food, such as beef, chicken, tuna and so on. All my cat does is sit around the house contentedly licking its ar$3h*1e. I think I’ve spotted a gap in the market.”

  16. @Mark in Boston You might be on to something there lol. Wikipedia tells me that while only pigs are explicitly not halal mice are conclusively not kosher, though – what about delicious pigeon?

  17. Cat food isn’t made of rodents because they’re too expensive to raise for cat food and there’s no existing market to use leftovers from.

  18. Bill said: for all I know that could have been because she thinks my cousins’ names are “short human” and “large human.”.

    In Georgia Dunn’s “Breaking Cat News” https://www.gocomics.com/breaking-cat-news the cats refer to the humans as The Woman and The Man, along with later The Toddler and The Baby. I forget the designation for the neighbor (or rather, the neighbor cat’s person).

    It was perhaps a little too cute when the cartoonist, in her own Twitter, refers to her IRL husband or partner as The Man.

  19. “The real question is: why isn’t there any mouse cat food?”

    Cats don’t actually like to eat mice (although snakes certainly do). Cats like to hunt mice, to kill mice, and then… to leave the mouse carcass for you, their beloved owner.

  20. The halal idea would explain why there is shrimp but not pork. According to an Imam on a Diabetes group I am on, they are allowed to seat seafood that Kosher Jews are not allowed to eat. I had thought that the same rules apply, but apparently they are not identical rules. (And yes, the Imam is Diabetic also.)

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