Do Animals Know Which People Are Vegetarians/Vegans and Who Are Not? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-16-2011, 02:00 AM
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So, one day in English class, my Filipino teacher was telling us about how things were in his country when he found himself talking about the eating of dog meat.

He said that when he ate the dog meat, his adopted dog was afraid of him and would whimper whenever he went near him/her. He also said that dogs would bark, run and generally act aggressive to dog meat eaters, but not towards non-dog meat eaters.

My teacher said that they did that because the dogs could smell the scent of dead dogs in his skin, so they thought of him as a predator.

So, does this happen with other animals too? If so, then why? I don't mind the mention of faiths/religions, so don't worry about that.
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#2 Old 12-16-2011, 02:27 AM
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I really doubt it, to be honest. If the dog sensed something to fear, maybe the man was struggling with some kind of inner inconsistency and it showed in his posture and body language. Animals can and do read those things, but I'm not sure if their senses are strong enough to detect what a person has eaten or anything.

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#3 Old 12-16-2011, 02:30 AM
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I'm probably gonna get some hate for this, but I ate dog meat many times while in Japan, Korea, and China, obviously way back before becoming vegetarian. I was around pet dogs often, and they didn't care. They'd happily eat it if I gave them a bite too.

I'd like to believe it, but my own experiences are in contradiction to his.

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#4 Old 12-16-2011, 02:40 AM
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Hmm.....I think I have to agree with the last two posts. But, I suppose people could state evidence either way.
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#5 Old 12-16-2011, 07:15 AM
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A nice thought, but that's about it.

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#6 Old 12-16-2011, 07:49 AM
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For dogs i don't see any difference, but i guess it's because they are moslty domesticated animals, i think in filipines there is a lot of wild dogs, so it can be different.

I do see a difference with horses, cats, wich tend to come to me, and birds don't flee from me anymore... but i dunno if they know that i'm eating animals or not, i reather have the feeling that it's just that i have a more peaceful and loving energy...

But who knows ? as long as i cannot read in animals minds, i won't say that they don't know.


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#7 Old 12-16-2011, 08:03 AM
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I think they do.
Saying that, one of the first things I do when I meet a Horse, is give their ears a massage.
They'd probably respond the same way if I lived on a steady diet of Big-Mucks. :-D
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#8 Old 12-16-2011, 09:29 AM
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I'm probably gonna get some hate for this, but I ate dog meat many times while in Japan, Korea, and China, obviously way back before becoming vegetarian.

I didn't know they slaughtered dogs in Japan.

Personally, I don't think other animals can tell the difference.
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#9 Old 12-16-2011, 09:44 AM
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No but they seem to be extra found of the people with horrible allergies to them.

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#10 Old 12-16-2011, 09:54 AM
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I think animals like me more since I went veg. Maybe my conscience is clear now. :-)

And does anyone else notice that mosquitoes don't bite you anymore? The vegans in my family have noticed this, sounds crazy I know. :-)
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#11 Old 12-16-2011, 10:00 AM
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I think that our subconscious guilt makes us kind of unfriendly towards certain animals without realizing it.
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#12 Old 12-16-2011, 10:03 AM
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I don't mind the mention of faiths/religions, so don't worry about that.

Hokay then ..

Buddhist texts (I think the Philipines have a buddhist influence?) frequently make reference to the fact that animals can smell meat eaters; That meat eating engenders fear in animals being a reason to abstain.

A 'cutesy' idea but I find no empirical evidence in support of that particular argument at all.
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#13 Old 12-16-2011, 10:03 AM
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Yes mosquitos don't bite me anymore, it's true ! i don't understand why, but there is clearly a link.

btw i found someone who can speak with turkeys !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4AgPSjzXkw


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#14 Old 12-16-2011, 12:00 PM
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I've always thought the truth of that was obvious; can't believe how many here are saying that no animals can smell a difference.

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#15 Old 12-17-2011, 12:58 AM
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I wouldn't go so far as to say they can't smell a difference between something which consumes meat and something which does not (especially an animal with as keen a sense of smell as dogs), but at least in the case of dogs, I don't think they care. A plant eating animal has reason to be afraid of something it believes might be a carnivore, and most of them are instinctively either afraid of everything (i.e. rabbits) or extremely territorial, more aggressive, and more dangerous than most meat eaters (i.e. moose). A dog, instinctively, IS a carnivore. The first memory that comes to mind in the matter is of sitting at a small restaurant in Hangzhou eating dog while the restaurant owner's dog sits there staring at me hoping I'll toss him some of it.

Again, many years ago, but a lesson learned nonetheless. They're smarter than we give them credit for, and even if they can tell the difference, a domesticated dog (as opposed to a dog raised for slaughter) tends to trust humans unconditionally.

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#16 Old 12-17-2011, 02:15 AM
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Yes mosquitos don't bite me anymore, it's true ! i don't understand why, but there is clearly a link.

If there is a link its probably the result of veg*ns eating more vegetables and thus emitting more isothiocyanates and disulfides from their skin. Those chems are in many plants to repel insects, after all, and some folks say eating garlic repels them. Thus kale, cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, etc could work similarly.
I doubt mosquitoes would give veggie eaters a break on philosophical principal ;-)
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#17 Old 12-17-2011, 02:59 AM
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If there is a link its probably the result of veg*ns eating more vegetables and thus emitting more isothiocyanates and disulfides from their skin. Those chems are in many plants to repel insects, after all, and some folks say eating garlic repels them. Thus kale, cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, etc could work similarly.
I doubt mosquitoes would give veggie eaters a break on philosophical principal ;-)

That is interesting about the garlic. Though I do like the idea of Zen Skeeters.
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#18 Old 12-17-2011, 07:55 PM
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If dogs can smell cancer in a human or animal, the tyre tracks of their family's car on a road, I am sure they can smell meat being digested inside a person. I read that dog's sense of smell is 37 times ours. I bet to them we humans smell like all sorts of things. We probably reek to high heaven to them, though of course they enjoy all the smells.
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#19 Old 12-17-2011, 07:57 PM
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I've noticed no difference in the way animals act towards me.

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#20 Old 12-17-2011, 08:19 PM
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#21 Old 12-17-2011, 11:27 PM
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There are indeed some smells that bother wolves and wild dogs, but this may be an instinct that is lost with domestication. I used to have some friends that volunteered at a wolf sanctuary in Washington state, and one of the rules you had to follow if working there was to not spontaneously change the various products you use in your skin, hair, etc. The wolves recognized the workers based on scent, and if one day they changed to a different shampoo it would completely throw them off to the point that they would be seen as strangers and potential threats.

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#22 Old 12-18-2011, 07:39 AM
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Animals may use all their senses to sense danger. I expect they can hear heavy breathing, can see and hear sudden movement or other aggressive behavior. Change in light and shadow probably alerts them to the presence of another.

Since going vegan, I'm able to get closer to wild animals- even birds- but I think it's due to my softer tread and their knowledge of my intent, rather than any knowledge on their part of my diet.

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#23 Old 12-18-2011, 09:07 AM
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And does anyone else notice that mosquitoes don't bite you anymore? The vegans in my family have noticed this, sounds crazy I know. :-)

No, haven't noticed that. They bite me just the same

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#24 Old 12-18-2011, 10:16 PM
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I wouldn't go so far as to say they can't smell a difference between something which consumes meat and something which does not (especially an animal with as keen a sense of smell as dogs), but at least in the case of dogs, I don't think they care. A plant eating animal has reason to be afraid of something it believes might be a carnivore, and most of them are instinctively either afraid of everything (i.e. rabbits) or extremely territorial, more aggressive, and more dangerous than most meat eaters (i.e. moose). A dog, instinctively, IS a carnivore. The first memory that comes to mind in the matter is of sitting at a small restaurant in Hangzhou eating dog while the restaurant owner's dog sits there staring at me hoping I'll toss him some of it.

Again, many years ago, but a lesson learned nonetheless. They're smarter than we give them credit for, and even if they can tell the difference, a domesticated dog (as opposed to a dog raised for slaughter) tends to trust humans unconditionally.

Dog eat dog world, isn't it?
Concerning whether dogs care or not, maybe that depends on the dog.

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#25 Old 12-19-2011, 08:37 PM
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I don't know, but my parents have pet chickens, (well, to me they're pets,) and they always seem to like me better then they like them. But when I go out to see them I pet them and give them treats. When my parents go out they just take their eggs which I think upsets them. And I think they know the difference between us because they seem to understand that I love them for them, and that my parents only use them for eggs.
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#26 Old 12-19-2011, 09:47 PM
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I very, very much doubt it.

I do think, however, that many intelligent animals, like dogs and cats, can pick up on which people are animal lovers in general. This has nothing to do with vegetarianism, but rather with sensing the type of person might feed or pet them. I am graced with this ability to attract people's pets to me. I think it's because I give off a you-are-so-cute-I-want-to-pet-you vibe.
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#27 Old 12-19-2011, 10:02 PM
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I very, very much doubt it.

I do think, however, that many intelligent animals, like dogs and cats, can pick up on which people are animal lovers in general. This has nothing to do with vegetarianism, but rather with sensing the type of person might feed or pet them. I am graced with this ability to attract people's pets to me. I think it's because I give off a you-are-so-cute-I-want-to-pet-you vibe.

I try to give off this vibe, but invariably animals go to my husband. Who also gives the vibe, and an apparently way better vibe at that.

I was just as un/popular with animals when I was an omnivore.
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#28 Old 12-20-2011, 06:09 PM
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No, haven't noticed that. They bite me just the same


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I very, very much doubt it.

I agree.
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#29 Old 12-20-2011, 07:25 PM
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#30 Old 12-20-2011, 08:56 PM
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not sure.....and honestly I never thought of that before good question...lol

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