The following is a response I wrote on a thread in “Vegetarian Dog Food” section titled “Thoughts on Vegan dogs”… But since that thread is a year old I thought I’d post it hear. I’m interesting in hearing what others think about vegan diets for dogs to prevent health issues/prolong life. I’d also be interested in hearing from anyone who has been using a vegan diet with their dog… There was one woman who posted in the other forum last year and mentioned that her vegan dog is 17 years old and the vet couldn’t believe hit… Which u thought sounded encouraging.
“The amount if misinformation on this thread is a reflection of our ignorance regarding our own dietary needs.
You should all go and watch the documentary Forks Over Knives. To sum it up if you haven’t seen it… They basically spell out how overwhelming scientific data proves that eliminating animal based foods from our diets (dairy and meat… Just any animal protein) completely eliminates cardiovascular disease and reduces cancer rates exponentially, the two leading causes if death in the US. You’ll have to watch the documentary or do some independent research to fully understand how, but, basically, without animal product the higher levels of cholesterol that lead to cardiovascular disease are not present and cancer cells do not grow and in most cases actually diminish.
What’s important to understand is that we all have carcinogens in our bodies. They are in the air we breath, the products we consume, and most of everything we touch. This is becoming increasingly true as society advances. The fact of the matter is that we are all at risk and those of us who eat meat might get cancer while those of us who consume an all whole food plant based diet probably won’t.
The next important connection to make is that there is no reason to think a dog or cat’s biology is any different, at least not at this level of biology, that is, when considering cancer grow in mammals at the molecular level. (After all most-all cancer studies are done using mice… Creatures much “further” genetically speaking from humans) Before dogs and cats were domesticated… When they were wild wolves and big cats they had no carcinogens (or as near zero as possible on earth) in their diets so eating a diet that consisted entirely of animal product didn’t have any adverse affect. BUT TODAY our dogs and cats are living in the same society as us, exposed to the same increased(ing) levels of carcinogens.
So, in conclusion, there is no reason to believe that eating a whole food plant based diet void of animal product wouldn’t have the same effect of reducing cancer rates among cats and dogs as seen in human studies…. It is true that canines and felines require a larger percentage of protein in their diets than humans, but even those levels are obtainable with the right plant based diet…. The goal would be to provide a diet nutritionally equivalent to your pets pre-domestication, carnivorous diet with a plant based one.
Also… I personally am not a vegan…. I love bacon, milk chocolate, steak, all of it… But I am also not an idiot and I know what I should and shouldn’t beep eating… ideally. Hopefully a year from now I will have been able to cut out all animal product from my diet… and I don’t see any reason (nutritional or otherwise) not to consider bringing my 6 year old Aussie or two 1 year old cats along for the ride so long as I make sure they are getting all the necessary nutrients at the proper levels.”weezerweeksMember
Man dogs need meat what turnip truck did u jump off of!!!GizmoMomMember
Cats will die without meat.
Dogs may survive, but they will not thrive.
Cats are *obligate* carnivores. They absolutely must eat meat.TMember
When pirates attack your ship, you don’t abandon the ship… you fight the pirates. i.e. when the food source becomes so adulterated that it cannot be used without risking disease, don’t abandon the food source– work to clean it up. Stop buying low grade meat. You vote with your dollars. Organic, range-raised meat is much more expensive than factory-farmed stuff. We all need to stop trying to get 99 cents/lb. meat! We also need to stop trying to feed our pets for 75 cents per day or less! Quality food is worth the extra space in our budgets. Shut off the HBO and buy some grass-fed meat!
I followed a vegetarian diet for a year. Coincidentally or not, my health declined steeply after that year. It wasn’t the only factor, but I believe it didn’t help matters. Ethically, I’m a vegan sympathizer. Nutritionally, I’m an ancestral health sympathizer. For people and animals.
There ya go. That’s my opinion.
Tabitha Thompson DVM
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