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Vegetarian with a dog- best dog food? - Page 2

post #21 of 102
Again, I want to compare the ways of feeding:

Rabbit from Hare Today:

Rabbits are born and raised in small colonies. They are under cover, but given lots of fresh air. They are prevented from experiencing stress. They are fed the following: grass hay from Canada, grown naturally in fields without fertilizer or pesticides, bought directly from the farmer. Compressed Timothy pellets from Timothy hay fields. Timothy may require some nitrogen application, but if you intercrop it with alfalfa you can eliminate most of that. It's not a crop that requires a lot of intensive management.

The lamb tripe and lung I get from the slaughterhouse: Lambs are grass and pasture raised, with the same Canadian hay supplementation.

Organic soybean meal: Soy is an intensively managed crop. Organic soy requires extensive fertilization; you must either use manure or fish emulsion or feathermeal. Feathermeal comes from factory-farmed chicken processing. Fish emulsion comes from commercial fishing. Manure comes from feedlots preparing cows for slaughter. Soy meal itself is produced in huge factories, so you've got the labor issue as well.

If you don't get organic soy--and I don't think many vegan foods are organic as well--you're opening up a whole new world. Soy meal is sourced from all around the globe, depending totally on where it is cheapest. The soy market is totally tied up with the farming/animal industry, with prices pressured by how many animals are going to be consumed per year and whether it's going to be cheaper to feed them wheat. Global production issues impact child labor, civil rights, women's rights, and so on.

SO--it seems pretty self-evident that you can't get away from the death of animals (and in other countries, people) by moving to a plant-based food. So now let's look at whether it's necessary.

Dogs have carnivorous teeth; they cannot crush plant fibers to extract any nutrition. All plants must be cooked or ground (in kibble, it's both) to make them at all digestible. By cooking and grinding, enzymes are lost and the food protein is much less accessible. Dogs have a short digestive system and a smooth colon. Food passes through quickly. Plant material cannot be digested quickly--it needs to sit and slowly be absorbed. So the dog's digestive system is not suited to extract nutrition from plants. Unlike herbivores or omnivores, dogs do not produce amylase in their mouths. All amylase must come from their pancreas--this places a lot of stress on the pancreas. Dogs do not produce cellulase at ALL, which means that they cannot break down the cell walls of plants. They get no nutrition from unground grains, from whole or even ground vegetables (the vegetables must be juiced or pulped for the dog to access any of it).

All of this indicates that dogs are designed to eat meat, their bodies work best when they eat meat, and forcing them to digest plant sources is contrary to the way their bodies want to work. So I would say that yes, it is necessary. Not for them to survive, but for them to thrive, yes.
post #22 of 102
It's ironic to me that the argument is being made that feeding a dog or cat what nature intended (raw meat, bones & organs) is cruel but feeding a dog or cat food that they cannot digest and thrive on isn't cruel?!!

I think its cruel to withhold food that I know will keep my animal healthy and out of the vets office for:

dental cleaning
dental disease
heart disease as a result of poor dental care
parasite overload
anal gland expression
itchy scratchy skin/coat
allergies
disgestive issues

With my first dog I fed her kibble and she didn't go to the vet for any of the above either. At the time I didn't know about feeding her any differently and I couldn't afford to get her teeth cleaned. However, now I KNOW better so I am morally and ethically bound to do better. I don't have to worry about my checking account balance to deal with the above because my dog's diet takes care of those issues.

I abhor factory farming and big corporate business. The goat/lamb in my area is imported from Australia and is pasture fed. I don't like that it has to travel from Australia and that transportation is contributing to global warming. I like it more than buying meats from Tyson though. My dog doesn't care one way or the other though!! I have to understand that my dog and fosters rely on me to eat properly and thrive; I have to understand that I have to do what I can to lessen the impact on the environment, not support business practices that I don't support but I cannot morally or ethically interfere with what nature intended - carnivores eat meat.
post #23 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by christyb View Post
It's ironic to me that the argument is being made that feeding a dog or cat what nature intended (raw meat, bones & organs) is cruel but feeding a dog or cat food that they cannot digest and thrive on isn't cruel?!!

I think its cruel to withhold food that I know will keep my animal healthy and out of the vets office for:

dental cleaning
dental disease
heart disease as a result of poor dental care
parasite overload
anal gland expression
itchy scratchy skin/coat
allergies
disgestive issues

With my first dog I fed her kibble and she didn't go to the vet for any of the above either. At the time I didn't know about feeding her any differently and I couldn't afford to get her teeth cleaned. However, now I KNOW better so I am morally and ethically bound to do better. I don't have to worry about my checking account balance to deal with the above because my dog's diet takes care of those issues.

I abhor factory farming and big corporate business. The goat/lamb in my area is imported from Australia and is pasture fed. I don't like that it has to travel from Australia and that transportation is contributing to global warming. I like it more than buying meats from Tyson though. My dog doesn't care one way or the other though!! I have to understand that my dog and fosters rely on me to eat properly and thrive; I have to understand that I have to do what I can to lessen the impact on the environment, not support business practices that I don't support but I cannot morally or ethically interfere with what nature intended - carnivores eat meat.

Wow. Calling me cruel certainly isn't going to change my mind.
post #24 of 102
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to think I've put this post in the wrong spot. I am curious as to what other vegetarians do in the face of this dilemma. I think it's probably different for people that think it's morally ok to eat meat. Sorry to be mean, but I'm in a horrible mood today.
post #25 of 102
I never called you or anyone cruel. What I said was:

"I think it's cruel to withhold food that I know that..." (sorry don't know how to quote!!).

Anyway, I hope that you can see that I wrote "I" twice and NEVER typed "you"!

I am sorry that you are in a bad mood today.

Dogs in WWII Europe lived off of poop (theirs and others) because people were worried about their own basic survival - that doesn't mean we should continue to feed them this way. They can live but not live well and thrive.

It's kind of like saying that formula feeding is just the same as breast feeding. It's not. It's foolish to try to pretend that it is. Feeding vegetarian, kibble or raw to our animals are not the same and it is foolish to try to pretend that they are.

Your original post was asking what is BEST to feed your puppy and how other vegetarins deal with it. I suggested joinging a rawfeeding Yahoo group because I know that there are a lot of vegetarians on that board that can help you. Regardless of how I feel about eating meat, nothing changes the fact that dogs are carnivores and the BEST way to feed them is raw meat.
post #26 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by christyb View Post

I am sorry that you are in a bad mood today.
Me too! I'm sorry, please forgive me. I read my post again and realized what a b*tch I am
post #27 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli's_mommy View Post
I'm starting to think I've put this post in the wrong spot. I am curious as to what other vegetarians do in the face of this dilemma. I think it's probably different for people that think it's morally ok to eat meat. Sorry to be mean, but I'm in a horrible mood today.
I think you're looking for a lot of people to say that it's OK to feed dogs in some vegan way, and you're disappointed because we don't.

Seriously, it's not that we don't consider the ethical dilemma. It's because we DO consider the dilemma that we feed this way. I strongly believe that if you're not going to care for an animal in a way that is as close to ideal as possible for that animal, you shouldn't own it. So I won't put a water buffalo in my basement, as much as I might love it, and I won't feed my wolves (because that's what dogs are) a grain- or soy-based diet. You brought a climax predator into your home, so you have to feed it like one.

If I was unable to feed any animal any kind of meat or food that involves meat, I would not own a carnivore. I'd stick to rabbits or other herbivores.
post #28 of 102
Thread Starter 
But that's the thing- dogs aren't carnivores. They're omnivores.
post #29 of 102
I am thinking more and more about switching to raw myself, or at least going partially raw, but I think the actual question here is kind of being ignored. I mean, the fact is that most dogs do not get fed raw, and that dogs are not wolves. They've evolved from wolves, but I think making a one-to-one comparison is foolish. My dogs sit around the house all day. They are VERY low energy. Do they really need the high protein diet you're prescribing? Maybe, I'm not sure, but they certainly don't act like wolves.

Anyway, as far as vegetarianism goes, but choice would be to feed whatever food you can afford/get your hands on that is as close to the source as possible. While I completely agree that it is unfair to own a pet that naturally eats meat and project your morals about meat eating on to that pet, I do think there are ways to make it less morally problematic for you to feed your animal meat, be it in kibble or raw. Organic products are one of those things, as is the idea of feeding the dog off butcher scraps, etc. (things that would otherwise be thrown away and wasted). I don't know what will work in your exact situation, but thinking about in terms of how to feed the dog adequately with as little environmental harm and waste of life as possible might be a good start.
post #30 of 102
Can I jump in? What makes a canine or feline omnivorous? I would guess what ever is in the stomach contents of the animal it's eating. You don't see dogs and cats outside eating plants for the heck of it. They only eat them if they have an issue going on.
I have to agree with pp's about how canines and yes felines should eat a meat based diet. That's what thier wild counterparts do and just because we domesticated them, I don't think it means we should start trying to change how they are made up to suit our beliefs regarding diet. Myabe there are some out there than are fine on an absolutely no meat/poultry diet, but wouldn't we hear more about it as pet owners or something? I think maybe solid gold has some veggie mixes for dogs? But they're expensive.
I give our girls natural way lamb or salmon since they are an artic breed and do well on the fish. For us it's also a breed thing-the arctic dogs where brought up on fish and do the best on it, so I'm not going to try to change what works for them.
post #31 of 102
I also want to ask everyone what other pets they have that eat carnivore based diets? Like we raise leopard geckos and well, they don't survive on veggie diet at all, we have fish and they could eat just algea based food, but I'm not sure how they'd do-never tried it. I just started thinking there are a lot of pets out there that we just can't change what they eat, so why should dogs or cats be any different in trying to change what is more than likely best for them?
post #32 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrandonsmom View Post
I would guess what ever is in the stomach contents of the animal it's eating. You don't see dogs and cats outside eating plants for the heck of it.
You don't?? We've actually talked about this here before. I have not met a single cat or dog who did not enjoy eating plants. I didn't ask them if it's for the 'heck' of it or if it's for nutritional value. Right now, I live with 3 carni cats and 2 veggie cats (they live on separate floors) and they ALL eat greens and have their individual preferences for what they like best. I only have one that likes veggies that are not green, like carrots or yams.
The dog, once again, will very excitedly eat absolutely anything, so her opinion doesn't much matter. I also wanted to make it clear that I don't actually give my dog cat poop to eat--we do have to go to great lengths to keep it from happening though!
post #33 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrandonsmom View Post
I also want to ask everyone what other pets they have that eat carnivore based diets? Like we raise leopard geckos and well, they don't survive on veggie diet at all, we have fish and they could eat just algea based food, but I'm not sure how they'd do-never tried it. I just started thinking there are a lot of pets out there that we just can't change what they eat, so why should dogs or cats be any different in trying to change what is more than likely best for them?
You're right, our aquatic tank animals do get meat food. I don't love it, but I have not found a proven nutritionally sound alternative so I do what I have to. This is the same reason the cats were fed meat until I found a food I felt comfortable with. There were a few brands of veg cat foods known to me before that but I learned that they were less than ideal for male cats. Even so, I monitor everyone's ph regularly.
post #34 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I do think there are ways to make it less morally problematic for you to feed your animal meat, be it in kibble or raw. Organic products are one of those things, as is the idea of feeding the dog off butcher scraps, etc. (things that would otherwise be thrown away and wasted).
That is a GREAT point. If you can feed your dog foods that would otherwise be thrown away, you are not contributing to cruelty to animals.
post #35 of 102
hanno, I kind of ment in the wild-wild dogs and big cats aren't chowing down plants are they? Never saw a video of a lion or wolf eating a plant. My girls will chew grass if they have a stomach problem and yes they do like veggies, but don't dig them up to eat them I've just never seen or heard of a house pet just go outside and start chewing on the landscape (puppies not inlcuded). I forgot they make that cat grass you can buy, but isn't that like a treat? I guess I believe if our domestic pets are outside eating some plant it's either because they are lacking something nurtitious or are sick some how.
post #36 of 102
- Dogs ARE wolves--if you push it, they're a subspecies, but genetically they're identical and they will freely interbreed if given the opportunity. There are no genetic or behavioral barriers between the two. By definition, they're the same species, with one in an imposed genetic bottleneck because we isolate them. We've managed to change the outside of the dog, and to a certain extent the skeletal system, but we haven't touched the inside. Each dog is identical to a wolf in terms of digestive, endocrine, and other systems.

- Dogs are NOT omnivores. Omnivores are a specific category of animal, one that routinely eats both animals and plants for nutrition. Pigs, for example, are omnivores, and bears are a good example of a behavioral omnivore. Humans are omnivores. Dogs and wolves do NOT eat plants routinely--as I said earlier, THEY CANNOT DIGEST THEM. They do not have any mechanism (teeth, enzymes, gut, colon, etc.) to get ANY nutrition out of intact plants.
post #37 of 102
Thread Starter 
Just for the record, Willow (my puppy ), got up on a chair yesterday, knocked an apple off of the table, and ate it. Later that day, she got up on the chair again, knocked the last apple off the table, and ate it.

On her own...I did not force her. So I suppose that proves that they will eat some vegetation on their own. (And just FYI- she's currently eating eukanuba (sp?) which has meat in it, so I don't think it's a matter of feeling deprived or anything).
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
- Dogs ARE wolves--if you push it, they're a subspecies, but genetically they're identical and they will freely interbreed if given the opportunity. There are no genetic or behavioral barriers between the two. By definition, they're the same species, with one in an imposed genetic bottleneck because we isolate them. We've managed to change the outside of the dog, and to a certain extent the skeletal system, but we haven't touched the inside. Each dog is identical to a wolf in terms of digestive, endocrine, and other systems.

- Dogs are NOT omnivores. Omnivores are a specific category of animal, one that routinely eats both animals and plants for nutrition. Pigs, for example, are omnivores, and bears are a good example of a behavioral omnivore. Humans are omnivores. Dogs and wolves do NOT eat plants routinely--as I said earlier, THEY CANNOT DIGEST THEM. They do not have any mechanism (teeth, enzymes, gut, colon, etc.) to get ANY nutrition out of intact plants.


A dog is not a wolf any more than I am an ape. Common lineage, but not exactly identical.
post #39 of 102
Canis Lupus Familiaris is in fact a Subspecies of the wolf (Canis Lupus); they are of the Family Canidae; their Order is Carnivora (carnivore).

Dogs are carnivores. Some dogs eat socks but that does not make them sockivores! Dogs are wolves and wolves are carnivores and carnivores eat meat. Wild carnivores hunt for their meat and domesticated carnivores rely on those whose care for them to feed them.

Humans are omnivores. People that only eat fruits and vegetables are still omnivores their diet does not make them herbivores. People who only eat meat are still omnivores their diet does not make them carnivores.

Carnivores do not cook their meat or eat grains (which is what you get with kibble) nor do carnivores forage for vegetables and fruit (perhaps they eat something of the like because they are starving, bored or its sweet).

Hanno, meet Lola - she flat out refuses vegetables and fruit!! When we first got her I fed her a mix of fruits, vegetables, Wysong kibble and cooked meat. I could hand her a whole apple for a snack and she would eat it. She ate raw broccoli, carrots, bananas etc... After about 3 weeks I changed her diet to a raw prey model diet. I started having to grind the fruits and veggies in order for her to eat them and she would only eat them before I gave her the meat, if I served together or after meat she was not going to eat them! Then I had 2 foster dogs at once and I could not make the veggie mush for a couple of months. I made it again and she flat out refused it. If you give her an apple to eat she will roll it around like a ball but she won't eat it!
post #40 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli's_mommy View Post
Just for the record, Willow (my puppy ), got up on a chair yesterday, knocked an apple off of the table, and ate it. Later that day, she got up on the chair again, knocked the last apple off the table, and ate it.

On her own...I did not force her. So I suppose that proves that they will eat some vegetation on their own. (And just FYI- she's currently eating eukanuba (sp?) which has meat in it, so I don't think it's a matter of feeling deprived or anything).
Our fruit must be kept up high from the dog and the bread kept in the cupboard from the kitties.
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