The transition - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-16-2013, 08:39 PM
Akeona's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 24

So just a couple days ago I went vegan "cold-tofurkey". I'm still in a bit of a transition but by no means did I slowly cut out meat, milk, eggs, and cheese. Those all went overnight. I was vegetarian and what I called "semi-vegan" when I was 13 for a year and a half. Most of the reason for this is because vegan alternatives are HARD to find where I live. I'd have to travel an hour to get to the closest vegan-friendly store, and even then, the choices are lacking. I don't think Nebraska is a very vegan friendly state, especially since I have absolutely no friends or family who are vegan/vegetarian, nor have I ever met one. The GOOD news is, I now have my own apartment so my parents cannot say anything about how much they hate my diet, and I now live closer to the vegan-friendly grocery store.


I have a few concerns I want to ask about (and I am also excited and just want to share with the world) about my transition to veganism. My most exciting news is... I am going to try transitioning my dog to veganism, too! The only reason I say TRY is because I'm not sure if he might react negatively to the food but it has GREAT reviews and I know how horrible the crud they put in meat-based food is.


I saw a video of Gary Yourofsky (which was amazing in all, btw) and he explained that his dog was vegan for the last 9 years of his life and lived to be 15 (and he was a large-breed). The vet said he was in amazing health (as many others have said about their dogs on the same food) and he explained in the video why it was better (not because a vegan diet is the best for dogs, but the meat by-products are so bad!)


Anyways, the food is called Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Dry Dog Food. Since it says vegetarian, I want to know for sure if it's vegan. These are the ingredients:



Ground rice, soybean meal, cracked pearled barley, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, dehydrated carrots, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), inositol, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), garlic oil, minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), onion extract, garlic powder, rosemary extract.


Also at our shelter they sell these dog treats by Nature's Animals which are organic. I got one and my dog loved it so I ordered a whole bag. These are the ingredients of the Peanut Butter and Carob flavor (There's also a Grain & Honey flavor and a Carrot flavor, one of which I obviously won't try):



Organic Peanut Butter and Carob: Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Wheat Bran, Organic Peanut Butter, Carob, Organic Brown Rice, Corn Oil, Organic Parsley, Organic Garlic and Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols (Source of Vitamin E).




For myself, I really want to stock up on things that are both vegan AND organic, if possible. I was able to push out the horrifying truth of what happens to the animals, and what the heck I am REALLY eating for three and a half years. Probably because I have no veg*n friends or family to remind me, and the people surrounding me can be so incredibly ignorant and stubborn (well, the majority of meat-eaters, right?) My mom is a nurse and she refuses to believe that I can live healthily on a plant-based diet.


Anyways, I've seen the lists of things to have in a vegan kitchen and they are mostly things I can find at any grocery store. But I am thinking more of the "specialty" things made specifically for veg*ns or organic (Right now, after going shopping, I have soy milk, organic peanut butter, vegan margarine, am planning on getting maple syrup, tofu, boca burgers, and organic chocolate syrup.) I also looked for nutritional yeast and non-dairy creamer that is ACTUALLY non-dairy, but I could not find either. I'd like a list compiled of these special items because they are so hard to find in stores where I live, and if I order them online (whatever isn't refridgerated/frozen), I can qualify for free shipping on orders over a certain amount OH, and also, if anyone knows of any other vegan organic dog treats I could get my dog, that'd always be welcome.


Thanks and sorry for the super long winded post! :)

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#2 Old 07-19-2013, 12:47 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,052

Akeona, here's a recipe for vegan dog treats:


3 c. raw oatmeal

1 c. ground peanuts

1 c. flour

1c. applesauce

3 or 4 mashed bananas

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of cinnamon


Blend the first three (dry) ingredients in a big bowl. Mix the other ingredients together and add to the dry. Blend together. Drop by spoonful onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and shape into cookies.There will be enough for two batches. Bake at 400-degrees 25- to 30-minutes until lightly brown. Makes 2- to 3-dozen cookies. Keep refrigerated. Can be frozen until ready for the pooch.




Reading the ingredients of the dog food you posted, I see it has vitamin d-3, which is animal-derived, so it's not vegan or even vegetarian. I feed my dog Natural Balance Vegetarian formula, which uses vitamin d-2, which is vegan (plant-derived.)

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#3 Old 07-20-2013, 10:25 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 41


This link may help. Also, if you can, I suggest investing in a good blender and making a habit of fruit smoothies (frozen bananas and almond milk make the perfect base), and if you really want to go healthy, a juicer would be great!. We picked up a juicer on Amazon for $65 and it works great. 


I know what you're saying about Nebraska, I think. I just visited relatives in Wisconsin, farm country, and although Festival Foods had a pretty good selection of vegan products, most people there (friends and family included) look at you like you have two noses when you say that you gave up meat and dairy. Went to one restaurant where the only thing I could eat were the appetizers, lol. 


Anyway, best of luck. 

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#4 Old 07-23-2013, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 887
Something that caught my eye on the dog food ingredient list is "onion extract" . Everything I've ever read pertaining to things not to feed our dogs says onions are a big no no.

I am also surprised that food doesn't have any vegetables or fruits listed. I would research a couple other dog foods to see if you could find one with different ingredients.

I don't feed my pups a vegan food so I don't have any recommendations for you but I would think that surely there would be more choices out there? huh.gif
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