Vegan owners and animals

HandyMacMarch 19, 2008

I saw a post in Pets asking how to change a dogs diet to vegan.

That upsets me greatly. (I am being VERY restrictive of my choice of words here)

Animals have evolved just as humans. They have evolved to exist on a certain diet. How much more egotistical and detrimental to animals can a human be to decide that centuries of evolution be ignored to satisfy a dietary choice???????

I am aghast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In fact, I had better stop typing, as the more I contemplate this insanity, the more angry I get.

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I totally agree with you! I read that post and wanted to say something but was afraid I might offend,knowing how offending I can be! LOL Why can't we just let our animals be animals??

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:07AM
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My vegetarian (and mostly vegan) husband has never once for a minute wanted to have our dogs give up the nutrition they get from their diet of meat and vegetables.

We know so little about micronutrients. Why play havoc with our babies' nutrition any more than we do by giving them their kibble? And we give them the best kibble money can buy and give fresh foods on the side.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 12:11AM
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I felt the same as you about that post... and I responded to it and maybe did offend... but the health and wellbeing of that puppy must come first.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 4:26AM
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I finally responded too,as did a lot of others,but looks like it may have fallen on deaf ears!LOL Hopefully the poster will realize the danger to his/her "baby" before it is too late.Some people just don't get it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:59AM
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The poster may have just been a troll. Let's hope so.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 1:09AM
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I considered that---really inept use of punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 11:31AM
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The way I look at it a dog can survive on dang near anything but personally I want my dogs to thrive. Like I said in that post can it be done? yes. Do I think it should be? No. That said I did know someone whose Westie went on a vegeterian diet for about six months because of allergies and after giving his system a break from meat proteins he was able to go back on a lamb and rice diet for the rest of his life but that case was because of a health problem and it was temporary. It was also before raw diets became popular so who knows if that would have worked just as well


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:32PM
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I've heard of it being done temporarily for allergy/IBS reasons too... but the key word is temporarily.

The OP never gave any reason for wanting to do it. Did you notice that?

The OP couldn't be bothered to use good grammar/spelling to make it easier for others to read his posts, nor, apparently, could he be bothered to provide a proper diet for his pup. It wasn't surprising to see some guess the OP to be young.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 2:02AM
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Oceanna, I think the OP is incapable of proper grammer and spelling. They believe dogs are omnivores. Obviously not the brightest light bulb in the pack.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 9:39AM
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I didn't respond to the post in the other thread. I don't think we know all there is to know about dog nutrition. And I've seen vegan diets available for dogs for many years. It doesn't surprise me that someone would be curious about it.

Many dogs are already vegan as they are eating bags of kibble made primarily out of corn.

I had a dog that preferred to eat fox sedge over anything else. It was a particular type of grass that he loved.

Would I feed my dog a vegetarian diet? No.

Would I condemn someone else for feeding their dog vegetarian? Not if they were making the effort to do it wisely. That dog will probably be healthier than any dog eating corn from the bag.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Joepy, then I take it if I have a rabbit and I decide it should be a carnivore, you wouldn't condemn me as long as I were "making the effort to do it wisely?"

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:23AM
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I'm not sure what a "wise" rabbit carnivore diet would consist of, but if they consulted their vet and the Carnivore Rabbit Group (CRG) and there was evidence of healthy carnivore eating rabbits living for years, well then...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Thank you for being a voice of reason, joepyeweed.

I'm not particularly invested in feeding pets a vegan diet myself, even if I am vegetarian. But what really bothers me about this thread and that other one is that a lot of people are voicing opinions without any FACTS to back them up. You have no idea that a vegan diet is unhealthy for a dog, other than you thinking that it is so. As joepyeweed has stated, vegetarian/vegan dog food has been around for years, and many dogs have been eating it without dying of horrendous illnesses or being sickly and weak. As I mentioned in that other thread, the world's oldest dog is a vegan. The ASPCA says it's okay to feed a vegan diet, if done under the supervision of a vet. I know of a forum board where many, many, many vegetarians/vegans feed their dogs a vegetarian diet, and their dogs are not ill!

So long as someone informs themselves of what is necessary, does it under the supervision of a vet, and ensures that their dog is healthy, then I honestly don't see what the issue is here. If the dog is not healthy, then obviously that's a whole different matter -- but that can happen regardless of what food you feed them!!

One thing we can agree on -- the OP of the other thread isn't the smartest bulb in the pack. Trying to read his posts are a nightmare.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:37PM
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I wouldn't necessarily judge a person's intelligence based upon their typing skills or their ability to write in english.

I got the impression (though its just an impression) that English is the not the primary language of the poster in question.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:58PM
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No, I don't buy that. They're using netspeak (I hang out with a lot of younger teens -- the OP's writing is a fine example of it), not poorly written English. If you look at the subject line of the OP, it's perfectly written English, and even his first post, although it has some netspeak in it, is readable. His later posts really degrade into unreadability (which is why I might almost buy into some people's theories that it's a troll).

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:28PM
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Facts versus opinion? You're right, Rivkadr, we could use some facts. So what facts do we know?

Unfortunately, little study has been done on the effects of a vegetarian diet for dogs. PETA collected data on 300 vegetarian fed dogs for 12 months. They claim they found that 82% of the dogs involved that had been vegetarian for five years or more showed no ill effects (meaning 18% must have shown ill effects). PETA admits its study was flawed as there was no control group. It should also be noted they allowed "some animal byproducts such as eggs" in the diet (vegetarian, not vegan).

Can any of you reference any other studies? What about studies being done over lifetimes? What about studies being done on several generations of breeding stock? Where is that data? Where are the studies comparing whole organic foods to processed food? What other factors could have influenced PETA's findings?

What we can all see is that for millions of years of the dog and his ancestors have survived and even thrived on being carnivores.

Yes, there are some dogs who have apparently done okay or even a few who have done better on a vegetarian diet due to allergies and digestive problems. But that wasn't the reason given by the OP for wanting to put his puppy on a vegetarian diet. His reason seemed purely "ethical." But we're ignoring the ethical question of if it's fair to deny the dog his favorite food, a food he's evolved to crave. The human might feel better about the dog not eating meat, but how does the dog feel about it? Or shouldn't that matter?

Sometimes it takes us humans time to figure out that "it's not nice to mess with Mother Nature." We're learning some of those lessons the hard way... like when we read about dioxins, PCBs, and other toxins being present in human breast milk. It seems that if we've learned anything it should be to proceed with extreme caution when we're heading in a different direction than what Mother Nature prescribes.

Many humans are learning that they do better when they go back to Nature's way and consume a diet largely based on raw organic fruits and veggies. But from this, how can we conclude that it's healthy to take the dog away from his nature? That doesn't even make sense. Nor does it make any sense to observe the known differences between us and dogs and then assume that what's best for one is best for another.

The fact is that we don't really know all that much about a dog's nutritional requirements -- or even about our own. We don't even know all that much about the nutrients in foods yet. New discoveries are being made all the time and our best scientists often admit that they can see something working in a certain way but have no idea how it works.

So what do we have that we can trust? We have a millions of years old map of what has worked before mankind started messing with things. Does this mean we should be against change, or anti-technology? No, but we should understand that just because we can buy something in a store doesn't mean it's good for us, or for our dogs. In our haste to be "modern" in the last few generations we have lost much that is good and was hard won over generations that came before us. It won't hurt us to learn from the past.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:04PM
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I've never argued that feeding a dog meat isn't the better choice. I feed my own cats meat, and if I had a dog, I certainly would feed it meat as well.

But that doesn't negate the fact that a dog can still almost assuredly eat a vegetarian (and possibly a vegan) diet and still be healthy. In your very long post, oceanna, I see nothing that refutes that with actual fact. Is doing so "natural"? No. Is it unhealthy? I have seen nothing yet that says otherwise.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 9:35PM
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I would think it would depend on the dog, wouldn't you?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:02PM
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Yes, it does depend on the dog -- I'm certainly not saying that all dogs can eat the same food -- can every dog eat Purina? Or Science Diet? Or BARF? I'm sure there are some dogs that feeding a veg*n diet to is unhealthy, just as there are some dogs that feeding a meat diet is unhealthy for them. But making a blanket statement that no dogs can eat a veg*n diet seems fallacious, as some people seem to be saying, as I'm sure there are many dogs that can eat it (and I know of many that do) and be completely healthy on it. The responsibility is on the pet owner to ensure that the dog IS healthy, eating properly, visiting a vet, etc., just as it would be for an owner who is feeding a meat-based diet.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 1:28AM
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What is natural for a dog? Scavenging.

Dogs are domesticated animals.... related the wolf, but not a wolf. Before domestication, dogs weren't wolves, they were Dogs, they were scavengers, omnivores... their diet consisted of anything they could find and eat. They adapted to humans by living on the stuff that human's cast away.

I would bet that a dog that scavenged on the garbage of human vegetarians would be a vegetarian? :-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 5:18PM
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But if the dog had access to the garbage cans of a vegetarian family and a non-vegetarian one, which do you think he would choose to raid first?

I think vegans/vegetarians are often very aware of the need to feed more natural foods. Also, they tend to me animal lovers, which leads to wanting to do the best for their pets. A number of my fellow raw-feeders are vegan/vegetarian, and have learned to overcome their discomfort with handling meat for the benefit of their pets. I firmly believe that if one cannot feed a meat-eating animal an optimal diet, they should get a non-meat-eating pet instead.

I wouldn't dream of feeding a horse meat. And we shouldn't, look at all the issues that arise when we try to do that - like mad cow disease. "Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes."

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 6:56PM
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I've had two dogs that would eat onions if I threw pieces to them. But, it I put the onion pieces next to dog food bits on the floor, they ignored the onion bits and only ate the dog food.

I agree completely with olga. She made short complete points.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 8:47PM
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The thing the OP failed to think about is that his/her decision to be a vegetarian/vegan was a conscious CHOICE on his/her part. It's not fair to impose that on your canine friend.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 1:50PM
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But if the dog had access to the garbage cans of a vegetarian family and a non-vegetarian one, which do you think he would choose to raid first?
My dog would probably choose the one with the dirty diaper in it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 6:30PM
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I read the post on the Pets Forum; the poster is an Indian lady. In India, pets are commonly fed homemade/human food - puppies are given buffalo milk, bread and eggs, cooked meat and chicken, cookies, etc. Kittens are fed buffalo milk, cooked chicken, fish and rice etc. If the owner is a strict vegetarian, the pet ends up getting zero protein from non-vegetarian sources - and most of the time, the pets are healthy and live long lives. This has led people to believe that a totally vegetarian diet is OK for the pet.

Pet food like Whiskas and Pedigree are now available in India, and pet owners feed them those brands and are happy that they're feeding their pet the 'correct' food. There's no such thing as checking with the vet as regards the quality of the food they're buying, or reearching the Net to see if these brands provide the necessary nutrients. (I know I would not rely on my Indian vet's advice on animal nutrition; he once told me to feed milk to a snake that I found by the roadside LOL). It might sound like I'm bashing everything Indian here, but I'm not - it's just ignorance, and I've experienced it first-hand.

I've seen pets that refuse to eat meat from the very start. What I thought was a 'vegetarian' stray cat once turned out to be a cat who had never been fed any kind of meat as a kitten. People fail to realise that if their pet refuses to eat meat when offered the first time, they could try offering it again.

I'm Indian, and if I were a vegan/vegetarian, I'd still give my cats a diet rich in animal protein.

From my understanding, Khushboo (the poster over on Pets), is probably a vegetarian; because of religious or whatever reasons, doesn't want to cook meat for her pet, nor does she want to bring any kind of non-veg stuff (commercially available dog food) into the house. Some vegetarians follow some pretty stringent rules, but I feel those rules should apply only to themselves, and not to their pets.

When you bring home a pet, you agree to take responsibility for its well-being, and providing proper nutrition is once of the most basic things you have to ensure. If the poster wanted to make her puppy a vegan, she could just call up somebody in India who's a vegetarian and owns a dog, and take his advice.

It's kinda difficult to understand certain things if one's culture is totally different, and I guess that's what happened over at the Pets Forum - the poster got offended because rather than get actual advice, she was jumped on and flamed. She also did not clarify WHY she wanted to make her dog a vegan.

I'm sorry this is so long, and I don't mean to say she was/is right, nor that the people on the Pets Forum were bad to her or anything - to me it's just a misunderstanding.

Oh and yes, she does need to understand that text messaging uses words in shortened form because of the space restraint; on a forum she could use normal language so that people don't have difficulty understanding what she writes.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

That's so funny joepye!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 6:32PM
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