So this morning I was checking CNN as I always do when I came across the article: Vegan Diets for Dogs. I clicked on it with a sense of immense trepidation. I have issues when it comes to feeding dogs (and cats) “vegan” diets, which is partially due to the fact that I feed my dogs a Biologically Appropriate Raw Diet (or B.A.R.F. – hehe). Really I feed all my animals a diet that is “biologically appropriate” to their species. The cats, as “obligate carnivores” get nothing but meat, bones, and eggs; the dogs being what I describe as “opportunistic carnivores” eat a diet of 90-95% meat, bones, and eggs with the rest as vegetables, fruits, and occasionally dairy and grains; and the horse, being an herbivore gets mostly grass hay, with some legume hay and grain. Simple.
Naturally I’m on the opposite end of the pet feeding spectrum from vegans though. It probably makes me overreact and get all hysterical about it, so you know… grain of salt and all that.
Thankfully the CNN article was pretty balanced (actually very balanced, but I’m biased). Some selected quotes (and snark courtesy of moi):
It began when Shelley Boyle’s veterinarian recommended she stop feeding meat and dairy to her beloved mutt, Cleo, to determine whether a food allergy was to blame for the dog’s chronic ear infection.
Five months later, Cleo’s ear infection is gone, Boyle says.
Wow, 5 months later the dog was fine. 5 months. I’m not impressed. I switched my dogs to raw because my oldest at the time was losing kidney function. You know how long it took to go back to normal after raw? 2 weeks. That’s impressive.
“Her health and well-being is the main thing for us, but that fact we have a vegan option is a double-benefit because it means our dog can live with the same ideology,” she says.
That attitude, right there, is why I fucking hate vegans. Yay for you for making that choice. However, your dog can’t make that choice, and has the biological imperative to eat meat. Imposing your ideology on another creature, one which needs meat to thrive, is a form of animal cruelty and negates your veganism.
Whether dogs can thrive on a vegan diet elicits different shades of responses.
“If you go to India you can see dogs living on the scraps. They can survive on almost nothing once they’ve evolved to living on the streets, but is that what’s best?” says pet expert and author Tracie Hotchner, host of the radio show “Dog Talk.”
“If a dog has a choice he’s not picking a pile of beans over chicken or meat, and he’s not going to be lapping up soy,” she says. “If you’re going to be harmonious in your choices, be harmonious. I say respect each species for what it was meant to be, and if you feel that strongly about being vegan, get a vegetarian animal. Bunnies make wonderful pets.”
I had to LOL at the “get a bunny”.
I’m sure this will be hitting all the raw dog feeding websites/forums soon enough, which is always entertaining.