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Having carnivourous by nature pets on a veg diet?

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Hey mamas,
I was thinking while reading my Veg News about how people feed their cats, dogs, etc veg foods when they are,by nature, carnivores.
I am wondering what you all think about it.
I feel kind of...not torn because I truly believe nature intended for these animals to eat meat for reasons we as humans aren't really intended to (ie: they have short intestines while ours ar every long, they have teeth meant for eating it while we do not, they are part of the food chain in that way, etc), but feeling like i'd like ot hear other's perspectives. I know so many pet food companies are just horrible, most I boycot. I like to buy local food I trust for our little kittie.
I wonder where you all stand on this issue.
post #2 of 82
Cats are obligate carnivores. They *need* meat.

I too boycott the pet food industry, and I make my kitty's food from scratch. I follow the recipes in
Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.

He is very pro-vegetarian, and he has vegetarian recipes for making your own dog food. But cats need meat, although you could feed them an egg-based meal occasionally.

Pitcairn has a simple recipe for an egg-based meal for cats that is basically 2 eggs beaten and supplemented with bone meal (or eggshell powder or some other calcium supplement) and nutritional yeast. He has a similar recipe for dogs that is basically the same ingredients plus oatmeal. He also recommends adding beans to the diets of dogs, although I think you would want to include at least some source of animal food in a dog's diet in addition to the beans and grains.

I used to feed my dog a homemade vegan diet of lentils, rice, vegetables, and extra virgen olive oil, but I now regret this because my dog died at a relatively young age of heart problems. I really miss her...

I hope this helps...
post #3 of 82
Cats do not *need* meat, and neither do dogs. I suggest reading the book Obligate Carnivore

As for animals being ment to eat meat because of the way their systems are. They were ment to eat meat not proccesed products formed into pellets (no matter how local or ethical the company is). So if that's your reasoning behind contributing to the torture and slaughter of innocent animals I certainly hope your doing what there designed to and feeding them raw whole meat.

Now ask yourself this: if that pet food were made out cats and dogs instead of cows, chickens and pigs would you still be okay buying it? What makes say a dog worth more than a pig?
post #4 of 82
cats are carnivores. plain and simple. We had a cat (just lost him this fall) and we respected his diet and fed him the best and kindest brand of food possible.

dogs are omnivores. they CAN live on a veg diet- but, from my personal experiance... they do not thrive as well on this diet. My dog was a vegetarian for his first few years of life and I just couldn't sacrifice his health so, again, we feed them the best and most kind food we can.
post #5 of 82
I don't understand how someone can use the argument that humans aren't meant to eat meat for vegetarianism and then turn around and say it doesn't matter that cats are carnivores or dogs do best on diets that include meat, they should still be vegetarians??
post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacyann21 View Post
I don't understand how someone can use the argument that humans aren't meant to eat meat for vegetarianism and then turn around and say it doesn't matter that cats are carnivores or dogs do best on diets that include meat, they should still be vegetarians??
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl View Post
Cats do not *need* meat, and neither do dogs. I suggest reading the book Obligate Carnivore
I strongly disagree with you. Do you have a study you would like to cite to back up your claim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl View Post
As for animals being ment to eat meat because of the way their systems are. They were ment to eat meat not proccesed products formed into pellets (no matter how local or ethical the company is). So if that's your reasoning behind contributing to the torture and slaughter of innocent animals I certainly hope your doing what there designed to and feeding them raw whole meat.
Uh...did you read my whole post? Did you somehow miss the part where I explained that I boycott the pet food industry and that I make my cat's food from scratch??? I will spell it out: my kitty is eating fresh raw meat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl View Post
Now ask yourself this: if that pet food were made out cats and dogs instead of cows, chickens and pigs would you still be okay buying it? What makes say a dog worth more than a pig?
I don't think cats are meant to eat other cats. I wouldn't eat other humans either!
post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
I strongly disagree with you. Do you have a study you would like to cite to back up your claim?



Uh...did you read my whole post? Did you somehow miss the part where I explained that I boycott the pet food industry and that I make my cat's food from scratch??? I will spell it out: my kitty is eating fresh raw meat.


Yeah I cited an entire book, there was a link to it.

And the rest of my post was for the OP not you. She is the one that was wondering about feeding pet food with meat or not because of the way animals are built.
post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl View Post
Yeah I cited an entire book, there was a link to it.
Yeah, but that book is obviously biased. Citing a book is not as convincing as citing a scientific study.

Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl View Post
And the rest of my post was for the OP not you. She is the one that was wondering about feeding pet food with meat or not because of the way animals are built.
Oops, sorry.
post #9 of 82
all animals need biologically appropriate diets. dogs/cats NEED meat to thrive.
post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
Yeah, but that book is obviously biased. Citing a book is not as convincing as citing a scientific study.
The book has studies. If your really interested read it. And frankly I've been through this argument before enough times to last me a lifetime. Clearly your mind won't be changed no matter what I cite so why should I bother? Anything I have said has been for the OP, I have no interst in arguing a moot point with you. I know where my morals and ethics lie and I follow them. And my animals are smashingly healthy to boot.
post #11 of 82
Perhaps along with people's opinion on feeding animals they should say whether they are veg*n as well. That may be more helpful to the OP's question since she wanted to know how veg*ns feel about pet food.
post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl View Post
Cats do not *need* meat, and neither do dogs.
Is there *any* animal that you would agree is an obligate carnivore?
post #13 of 82
Dogs and cats are both omnivores. Not carnivores. In wild settings they would eat plants and meat. That makes them omnivores.
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia View Post
Dogs and cats are both omnivores. Not carnivores. In wild settings they would eat plants and meat. That makes them omnivores.
Cat's are carnivores. They only eat vegetables when they eat something (carrion) that doesn't agree with them and need to vomit it up. That's IT. The veggies they get from the stomachs of their prey are already partially digested by said prey item.

If you want your CAT to THRIVE feed him a raw diet. Yes, that means you having to handle raw meat. Or, toss the critter some mice and birds, what a cat would eat in the wild.

But of course that goes against your ethics.

If you are so strongly opposed to ANYTHING that eats meat, dont own a pet that needs it to thrive. get a bird, or a rabbit or an herbiverous pet. Dont force your ethics on an animal that clearly wont thrive and possibly become ill and die from being forced on a purely veg diet.
post #15 of 82
three different vets I've worked for or known have considered cats as close to "true carnivore" as an animal can get.
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora114 View Post
Cat's are carnivores. They only eat vegetables when they eat something (carrion) that doesn't agree with them and need to vomit it up. That's IT. The veggies they get from the stomachs of their prey are already partially digested by said prey item.

If you want your CAT to THRIVE feed him a raw diet. Yes, that means you having to handle raw meat. Or, toss the critter some mice and birds, what a cat would eat in the wild.

But of course that goes against your ethics.

If you are so strongly opposed to ANYTHING that eats meat, dont own a pet that needs it to thrive. get a bird, or a rabbit or an herbiverous pet. Dont force your ethics on an animal that clearly wont thrive and possibly become ill and die from being forced on a purely veg diet.
: although I have to add, my soul-veg*n bunny, Nelly, murdered a mouse last week.... no one's safe! lol
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothragirl View Post
all animals need biologically appropriate diets. dogs/cats NEED meat to thrive.

actually dogs can survive and thrive, but it's a lot of work. Supplements. constant vigil on how their health is and what they need. I so wanted my dog to be a vegetarian and he suffered because of my attempts. I swear, within a month of going on a chicken/rice quality fod diet... he shined!

cats do need meat. to live.
post #18 of 82
We are a vegan household and so is our dog. We buy our veggie dog food from petco and while I hate to give them money we can't afford or get to any other veggie dog foods. It is kind of like buying organic and veggie products from big corporations- I hate to do it but sometimes I would rather buy that than non organic. I would also like to add that we had our dog on a dog food from our local natural foods store and it had worse things in it than what we give him now and he loves his food and his overall health mental and physical has improved. This was researched by us as well as fellow vegan friends that give this food to their dogs.

Kari
post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia View Post
Dogs and cats are both omnivores. Not carnivores. In wild settings they would eat plants and meat. That makes them omnivores.
That's a really good point. My kitties both love to eat wheatgrass and catnip and my younger one will do ANYTHING for soy ice cream (he's only allowed a couple licks) and we have to keep anything we're eating with vegenaise, earth balance or nutritional yeast on it far away from him or it will disappear as soon as you turn your head.
In wild settings, an 8 pound cat would not kill and eat a cow. I have never seen mouse, insect or sparrow food on the market.
Things are pretty heated on this issue but I guess I don't feel too bad 'forcing my morals' on my dog and cats just as I will any children under my care.
As long as they are happy and healthy and satisfied with their vegan diets I will continue to feed it to them. When the kitties switched, they actually were more eager to eat the veg food then they ever have the expensive organic stuff I used to get them. Their coats became softer in weeks and in 6 months the too-skinny one filled out and the too-fat one got down to a good size and has more energy and plays a lot more. Their ph is perfect (better than mine even). Honestly, my dog's coat was like silk when we got her, and it still is on a veg diet. She's in great health. I can't really tell what she prefers because she'll get uber excited to eat anything at all you put in front of her, moreso if you come bearing cooked squash.
Please don't flame me, I love the animals in my care and I love 'food' animals too. I do what I feel in my heart is best while being very in tune with their health. If there were ever any indication that they were not doing as well as they could be, I would opt for meat if it would help.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora114 View Post
Cat's are carnivores. They only eat vegetables when they eat something (carrion) that doesn't agree with them and need to vomit it up. That's IT. The veggies they get from the stomachs of their prey are already partially digested by said prey item.

If you want your CAT to THRIVE feed him a raw diet. Yes, that means you having to handle raw meat. Or, toss the critter some mice and birds, what a cat would eat in the wild.

But of course that goes against your ethics.

If you are so strongly opposed to ANYTHING that eats meat, dont own a pet that needs it to thrive. get a bird, or a rabbit or an herbiverous pet. Dont force your ethics on an animal that clearly wont thrive and possibly become ill and die from being forced on a purely veg diet.
When I had cats they ate vegetables. Wheatgrass, catnip, grass outside, stolen veggies from my plate... And I never saw them eat those things to throw up.

In any case, my point was that the word 'carnivore' should be used properly. Dogs are in no way considered carnivorous. And I can think of animals that are more truly carnivorous than domesticated cats, which yes, have been domesticated and therefore have access to my cooked veggies. Perhaps wild cats are more carnivorous? Most domesticated cats that I've met ate some level of plant matter aside from the filler that was in their cat food.

I don't want to get into the big hoopla about raw diets. I just want to clarify terms that should stay clear. I have a young child in my house who has never been exposed to the pathogens that can be found in raw animal products and so not only as a vegan, but as a mother, I don't consider it an option for us. I'd like to stay away from the debate as I know some folks feel very strongly about it.
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