Thoughts on Vegan dogs

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  • #86284 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    “Veganism is an ethical lifestyle, not just a diet. Obviously, everyone should be vegan, as it is the most ethical lifestyle, by far, compared to every other dietary approach. It’s just a question of personal willpower, and in a few cases, people with nutritional concerns (which are not founded in legitimate science.)

    So that is not arguable.”

    Obviously wrong. There is nothing unethical about eating meat. Period. Oops, I guess there is an argument.

    #86472 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    June M my dog actually does eat rodents. She grew up on the farm and is the best little hunter. Birds, voles, mice, frogs, you name it are all part of her diet. I think it’s disgusting, but she’s a predator doing what predators do. When I stopped bringing her to the farm because of a boarder she hasn’t been the same since healthwise.
    Dogs have instincts. When allowed to just act like dogs from puppyhood and freely run around and act on instincts they can & will survive on what is available (obviously she has manners and is loved by all but 1 person). I’ve seen the dogs eat turkey eggs from a nest. They’ve eaten rabbits. They’ve eaten a little grass when it first comes in at springtime. They drink from the horses’ water troughs.
    Dogs that come which have never been anything more than a pet that sits around the house, plays in the yard or dog park have to learn (or relearn) these behaviors.
    My anecdote is just that. There’s not controlled experience done. But it is obvious to me every day that dogs are opportunists and survivalists. They have an endless source of apples & carrots they can easily get yet they prefer to chase a rabbit and eat it. If no animal is to be found or they fail in the hunt they come back and steal the fruits & vegetables. They know what they need, what is good for them and what foods are more nutrient dense and are of higher quality.
    NO free roaming dog will choose to a vegan diet. They will choose a diet as close to whole food as possible.

    #86474 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    Richard W, there is work being done regarding vegan diets for dogs & cats so that people will have scientific evidence of its pros & cons and long term effects.
    Anecdotal evidence is not hard to find. It means nothing.
    If being vegan makes a person a sanctimonious **** that you have come off as then I definitely don’t want to be vegan. I certainly don’t want my happy sweet animals to be like that.
    Maybe you are just hungry and it’s making you grumpy. Maybe your chemicals and/or hormones are out of whack from a nutritional deficiency. Maybe you need to go eat a cheeseburger and wash it down with a milkshake.

    #86475 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    Christopher E, I do read a lot. I read things contrary to what I believe because I think that I get a better understanding of the opposing side. Sometimes it changes my thoughts, sometimes it just makes me more patient.
    Dogs are not obligate carnivores. They are also not meant to be obligate vegans.
    They do in fact know what is nutritional better for them. We just don’t get to see that because they are fed by us everyday so they will choose taste over quality. They don’t have to survive in the world. They don’t have to make careful choices based on what it available.
    Do not insult my intelligence go bolster your agenda. I look at everything from all sides and dig for science based evidence. I research everything to death before making conclusions. I even sometimes find those conclusions incorrect. Almost never. But it happens.
    I do not try to insult people. I do not try to make anyone feel bad for what they believe. I do not try to debase others so I feel better about myself. That seems unethical.

    #89176 Report Abuse

    T-dub
    Member

    I had a husky and a golden retriever who were vegan for many years. I cooked their food on the stove each week- rice, garbanzo beans, lentils, carrots, potatoes, olive oil and several other healthy ingredients and I would sprinkle vegepet vitamins on top- the web site has many recipes. The dogs were strong, energetic, happy and very healthy. When my life got too complicated and it was difficult to cool for them each week I bought top of the line dog food. They wouldn’t touch it. It was so sad. They ate it when they realized I was not going to make the food they had eaten for years. Commercial dog foods for the most part are garbage, it’s the slaughterhouse leftovers that are not fit for human consumption. A dog that is cooked a healthy vegan diet is a lot luckier than one who gets kibble. Just because it is what most people tend to do doesn’t mean it is the best for the dog. My golden lived to be 8.5 when his spleen burst and husky to 13 when she has diabetes and a tumor behind her eye.

    #89178 Report Abuse

    T-dub
    Member
    #89230 Report Abuse

    Acroyali
    Member

    I wonder if those who choose to force their vegan beliefs on a carnivorous animal would have a problem with my feeding my horses a raw diet…

    #89284 Report Abuse

    T-dub
    Member

    I’m not “forcing vegan beliefs” on my dogs. Dogs can be vegan and thrive. The oldest dog ever lived to be 27 and was vegan! http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vegetarian-dog-lives-to-189-years.html
    Dogs are omnivores, not carnivores.
    This thread is about dogs, not horses.

    #89288 Report Abuse

    Acroyali
    Member

    The dog in question was a farm dog, so my guess is he ate a bunch of “undesirables” that most farm dogs eat that, I’m sure enable them to thrive. I’m not getting into the omnivore or carnivore debate, and I know this thread is about dogs and not horses. However, feeding my horses meat meant for my dogs would be no better than feeding my dogs the food meant for my horses. Sorry if you disagree but dogs were not meant to be vegans. Open their mouths, look at the teeth.

    #89567 Report Abuse

    Anonymous

    The subject of ethical veganism is something I wouldnt expect to find in a dog forum and I have to admit that the notion of a vegan dog made me laugh.

    The words need, right,wrong, ethics seems to be used a lot.
    This words are man made concepts and they can not be absolute. They are constantly changing and are different to different cultures. Its surprising to me that those who otherwise seem to be intelligent cant understand that its fascist to force your believes to others that dont want to share them and resort in cursing and name calling.
    Of course it would be hypocritical of me to judge you based on my belief that fascism is wrong and if you indeed identify yourselves as fascist I do apologize.

    Now on the issue of what a person needs or what a dog needs for that matter.
    A person indeed needs very little to survive, do you need a car? NO. A house ? NO. Fancy clothes, makeup, televisions, jewellery, furniture and hundreds of other material possessions? NO. You could follow the example of Diogenes, live in a barrel and drink rain water.

    So the real question is not how long one will live but how one lives his live.
    If one is to deprive himself of all things NOT NEEDED, is his life a life worth living?

    Another think I find hypocritical is that vegans are suppose to stand for animal rights and yet you are forcing an animal to go against his nature and his primal instincts. How is that different than keeping a lion locked up in the zoo?

    P.S A ruminant based diet would result in less animal killings than a crop only based diet.

    #91054 Report Abuse

    Pam G
    Member

    On that 27 year old dog – I have nine small Poodle mutts romping around my fenced one acre lot in a ritzy subdivision and they find it against their ethics to allow ANY chipmunk on the property. Their solution is to catch and kill those chipmunks and, yep, a fair number of the critters inevitably end up as dog lunch.

    If Poodle mutts can catch little varmints as mine do, you bet your britches a large, quick dog like the one that lived to be 27 could do the same and more. Maybe Vegetable Mama believed her darling was living only on lentils and rice but if that dog had access to the great outdoors, the chances are excellent the dog was supplementing that mush with mice, gophers, chipmunks, rabbits and whatever else in the way of meat that hopped across his path.

    The other point you Vegetable People are missing is your insistence that as omnivores dogs can live strictly on a vegan diet without meat because they aren’t true carnivores. I will point out that if that is true, then they should be able to live off RAW vegetable matter, RAW grains, RAW beans, raw fruit, NONE OF IT COOKED. That, of course, would be the natural state of affairs omnivores would face. And I notice all you Vegetable People feed your mutts either cooked extruded dog food or cooked mixtures and mushes of various sorts.

    On the other hand, dogs can lived quite healthily on a balance of meat, organ meat, bones with the occasional addition of vegetable matter. Heck, I know one hunt that used to feed their hounds by shooting an old horse or cow out in the back of the exercise paddock and letting the pack eat it down, picking up the skeletal remains and pieces of hide before leading another old cow or horse out there for the next week’s feeding.

    THAT is the natural diet of dogs. As every other reasonably intelligent dog person on this forum has stated, look at your dog’s teeth. They sure as heck would never be mistaken for the teeth of a herbivore, would they? No way, because dogs are carnivores but can subsist on other stuff if it comes down to living or starving to death.

    Either way, as vegans are so against anything that eats meat, why the heck do you guys even own carnivorous pets to start with? I would think dogs and cats would make you recoil in horror and send you racing to buy a rabbit or hamster – beasts that share your ideals of eating only plant material.

    #91161 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    Pam G I agree with everything you said. It’s maddening that they have these pets. They claim to love animals so much yet they are not properly taking care of those they have committed to do so.
    There’s a wolf education center not far from me. (I realize there are differences between pet dogs and wolves.) Hunters will bring deer heads to them for the wolves to have. Much like the hunt club you mentioned.
    I don’t believe for a second that dog lived to be that old. And it absolute did not live its entire life without meat.
    People will fall for any anecdotal examples from random people if it supports their side. Forget science and evidence. While that isn’t perfect at least it’s controlled, based on factual info and must follow particular steps.
    There isn’t any study that suggests vegan is healthy for humans long term. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. I cannot imagine it is even remotely acceptable for dogs & cats.
    These people don’t care about animals as much as they care about their agenda.

    #91169 Report Abuse

    T-dub
    Member

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/03/10/vegan.dog.diet/

    “…a vegan diet can bring relief, veterinarian Armaiti May says.
    “I’ve seen many dogs with food allergies, and often switching to a vegan diet can help them,” says May, who is vegan. “They also avoid taking in animal by-products from commercially produced dog food, including slaughterhouse waste products and rejects that wouldn’t be fit for human consumption. We’ve seen a lot of cancer and other degenerative diseases in dogs in recent years so it’s easy to suspect that pet food could be a contributor.”

    “The important thing is that you use a diet that has been shown to be nutritionally adequate for whatever stage of life you’re feeding, and it is absolutely possible to find a good quality commercial pet food that doesn’t have animal products in it,” says veterinarian Kathryn E. Michel, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.”

    #91170 Report Abuse

    T-dub
    Member

    “If one person contacts a pet food company to check where it get its meat, I’ll be ecstatic.”

    http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/to-feed-or-not-to-feed-meat-one-vets-take-on-vegetarian-dog-diets

    #91180 Report Abuse

    What most are failing to realize is that what your dogs ancestors ate is completely irrelevant.

    Unless you are feeding your dogs raw food scraps, you have already altered their diet from what you are arguing is “natural,” i.e. What it was between 15k years and maybe a century ago.

    But, again, that is irrelevant, the point is that numerous studies have shown that high levels of proteins grow cancer cells… and every dog in America is subject to higher and higher levels of carcinogens than the previous generation. Carcinogens are everywhere in the modern world.

    That dogs have always had meat as the main component of their diet in not a valid argument. As myself and others have pointed out, it is entirely possible to provide a complete and balanced diet without animal products.

    For anyone who has said that animal product free, vegan diets have not been proven to be healthy in humans or dogs in the long term… you clearly have not done your research because the studies are out there.

    I am no longer a vegan. I tried to do it for a while for health reasons, not out of feeling sad for animals (though it does make me sad to think about how they are treated and slaughtered just for our enjoyment). Unfortunately, I love meat too much though. Sorry.

    But when it comes to my dog, she is still a vegan. I don’t feed her animal products (except for the ocassional filet mignon scrapes I give her) because I believe that she is healthier and will live longer on a nearly entirely vegan diet. My opinions have been extrapolated from decades of research findings.

    There is not any SCIENTIFICALLY EMPIRICAL study that has shown that humans or dogs need meat as part of their diet to be healthy and whole.

    Look back over my numerous post on this thread, going back to the first post, if you doubt me.

    There is nothing cruel or innately wrong about not feeding your dog meat if you are providing a complete and balanced diet (all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients). Arguing that’s it’s cruel because it is not in their nature is ridiculous. They are dogs for Christ sake. Non of this was “in their nature” when we first began domesticating them (wolves) 15k years ago. Just like our children, we have to do for them what we believe is best for them based on the information we have available… not whatever is in their nature… which, honestly is a completely arbitrary statement.

    #91230 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    T-dub
    Of course food intolerances go away. The aggravating factor has been eliminated.
    A dog may be diagnosed with having a food “allergy” to chicken, but if fed chicken from a different source (farm) they may not have any problems.

    It’s perfectly fine for a dog to eat animal by-products. Americans tend not to eat this stuff, but other countries do. The by-products can be anything from cartilage to organs. Organs are loaded with good stuff.
    Chipmunks, snakes, field mice aren’t considered good enough for human consumption, but my dog will happily eat them when she finds them on the farm. I don’t know if she’s getting much or any nutrients from them, and I wouldn’t eat them, but that’s the difference between humans and animals. She doesn’t like fruit, I do. We’re different. I’m not going to force her to eat something or not based on whether I would or wouldn’t. I feed her what I believe to provide the best possible nutrition for her that helps her thrive and keeps her healthy. And if it happens to be more sustainable than that’s a bonus. (Veganism is not a sustainable option. But that’s a whole other rant.)

    Poor breeding is to blame for cancers and degenerative diseases. People will breed anything. They just want to get paid. It’s hard to find breeders who do genetic testing and are careful to keep their breeding stock optimal. Many breed for show. Which if you’ve ever seen the conformation of show dogs will notice how deformed they actually are compared to their healthier ancestors.

    I do believe food is the most important part of preventing health problems and sustaining the health of any animal once they are born, but before that breeding only the healthiest must be done.

    Many humans do well on vegan diets for a while because they have cut calories, decreased junk food, increased fruits & vegs. Then they don’t feel great because they become malnourished.
    Even they supplement what the food is missing they still aren’t getting the best possible source of that nutrient as it’s better to get nutrients from foods than replacing with synthetic versions.
    Short term veganism has its benefits (for some humans), but no one can say with certainty that long term benefits for anyone exist.

    #91241 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    Christopher E
    The “scientifically empirical” evidence that humans and dogs are not meant to eat plant only diets is obvious (or should be). Neither have rumens or multiple stomachs like animals that are meant to eat plant only diets (cows).
    Humans and dogs are omnivores. Not herbivores.
    There’s usually nothing wrong with adding more plants to a dog’s diet, but it makes absolutely no sense and there is absolutely no good reason to feed a dog a plant only diet.
    What often happens to people who are vegan long enough is they begin to self-cannibilize.
    That said I also don’t think it’s the best idea to feed a strictly raw diet either. Domesticating canines has made them different from wild canines. Some can handle raw just fine and others cannot handle a lot. I have dogs that will catch & eat whatever they come across outside w/o issue and a dog that will end up w/ diarrhea if he does that.
    If I were to feed a fad diet to my animals it has to have scientific evidence to back up its claims and agree with their particular system.
    No matter what animal protein will be part of that diet because it is what they as omnivores require.

    #91242 Report Abuse

    Jenn H
    Member

    Anonymous I totally agree with your point. It is the so unethical/immoral to force your beliefs on anyone.

    I especially agree with your post script for those who believe veganism is more environmentally friendly. It is simply not a sustainable option to feed so many people. Seems so obvious that you can feed more people & animals with one big animal/fish than you can a plant.
    Not to mention there is absolutely no way to possibly be 100℅ vegan if that means never using animals for anything. Guess where the fertilizer for those plants comes from????? Manure from the animals they don’t eat.
    Those pesticides for organic & non-organic still harm bees (which is necessary for pollinating those plants) and other insects, birds, small animals…there really isn’t a way to not cause harm to other living creatures when growing crops. So those vegans who insist on their extreme diets for ethical reasons aren’t being as ethical as they think and really cause more harm.

    #95048 Report Abuse

    S A
    Member

    Hi Jenn H,

    Let’s drop beliefs altogether and instead consider facts. It seems my last post didn’t make it through to this thread… I’m guessing it was the links, so let’s try it without references/links and see how it goes. You can always google them.

    You said it well here: “there really isn’t a way to not cause harm to other living creatures when growing crops”

    I totally agree with that, but disagree with pretty much everything else.

    Your thought process about pesticides might make sense if the animals we eat, didn’t eat plants. However, to get an animal to slaughter size/age, it has to be fed–daily. What do most animals that we eat consume for food? Feed that comes from plants… lots and lots of plants. (Some also are fed other animals, that ate plants… further amplifying the cost… but for simplification, we can pretend that doesn’t happen.) Plants grown for livestock feed, typically grown as monocultures, are of course prone to massive infestations and diseases. This is why there is massive pesticide (and herbicide and fungicide) use involved in producing livestock. When we consider the food that livestock consumes as part of the equation, which is only fair as it’s a part of the environmental cost of rearing the animals we eat, it paints a very different picture.

    *Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:
    Vegan: 1/6th acre
    Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
    Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan

    *1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food.
    1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat.

    Just think how much less land would be needed to produce so much more food if people would even just reduce their meat consumption. Instead of using all of the land that currently goes towards producing livestock feed for human consumption of meat, we could use a fraction of it to produce plants for human consumption.

    Veganism and animal cruelty/suffering doesn’t have to be an all or nothing attempt. Any reduction in animal abuse/farming is beneficial for our planet.

    Btw, the manure used on crops, needn’t be from animals that aren’t consumed for food. We have no shortage of manure due to livestock that are used for food. More facts:

    *Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US. This doesn’t include the animals raised outside of USDA jurisdiction or in backyards, or the billions of fish raised in aquaculture settings in the US.

    *130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 billion tons from the meat industry annually. 5 tons of animal waste is produced per person in the US.

    *In the U.S. livestock produce 116,000 lbs of waste per second:
    -Dairy Cows, 120lbs of waste per day x 9 million cows.
    -Cattle, 63lbs of waste per day, x 90 million cattle.
    -Pigs, 14lbs. of waste per day, x 67 million pigs.
    -Sheep/Goats. 5lbs of waste per day, x 9 million sheep/goats.
    -Poultry, .25-1lbs of waste per day, x 9 billion birds.
    Dairy cows and cattle-1.08 billion pounds per day (from 9 million dairy cows, 120 pounds waste per cow per day) + 5.67 billion pounds per day (90 million cattle, 63 pounds waste per one cattle per day) = 6.75 billion pounds per day waste or 2.464 trillion pounds waste per year (manure+urine)
    ** 3.745 trillion pounds waste per year(this is the equivalent of over 7 million pounds of excrement per MINUTE produced by animals raised for food in the U.S. excluding those animals raised outside of USDA jurisdiction, backyards, and billions of fish raised in aquaculture settings in the U.S.)

    Some more interesting bits:

    *Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.

    *Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.

    *Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.

    Just some food for thought… or thoughts on food…

    #95900 Report Abuse

    Hellen M
    Member

    Vegan diet for dogs is going to be an ever-lasting debate, until more research is done. Just like it was with vegan diet for humans, before it got popular.

    I have a two-year old vegan Alaskan Malamute, who has been on a vegan diet since she was a few months old. She’s really energetic and healthy.

    I have actually created a blog, reviewing vegan dog foods – if anyone’s interested, I could drop the URL. I did not, however, create it in order to argue with people which diet is better. It’s for those who have already decided to feed their dog a vegan diet and just need a bit more information regarding current options on the market.

    #95904 Report Abuse

    ShepAussie
    Member

    Hellen M, I would like to know your recipes of the vegan meals you feed your dog.

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