New vegetarian, getting fed up with meat eaters! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-09-2016, 12:28 PM
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New vegetarian, getting fed up with meat eaters!

Hi everyone,

I've never used a forum before, though read a lot on them, but could really do with some words of encouragement.

I'm sure that this topic is brought up all the time, so apologies if I've missed it.

I've recently become a vegetarian (with the intention to move over to vegan in the near future). My main reason for this is for ethical reasons, since I do not accept the industry.

I could go on about this point forever.

Even though I feel 100% comfortable in my mind that this is the right decision for me, I struggle with the opinions of others.

I basically need someone to tell me to man up and keep going because even though I tell myself this I often get a bit disheartened.

My partner is very supportive and agrees with my reasoning behind the decision. I hope he'll follow in the future.

But everyone else I know comes a time me with things like: 'ohhh so we're onto vegetarianism again' (I tried once before') and other annoying remarks about it that I'm sure you've all experienced.

The thing I'm struggling with the most is my decision to put my dog on a vegetarian diet.

I know many may disagree with this, but in my eyes, buying dog food that's from the meat industry is no different to me buying food for myself.

She's only been on this diet for less than a month so I still feel apprehensive about whether I'm neglecting her nutritional needs or not. I'm determined to find a way of keeping her meat free.

But I keep getting a good telling off about her diet from family friends, who keep saying she needs meat and who am I to make decisions she can't etc...

I still feel like it's the best thing for me and her, but when I'm caught in those moments where people launch themselves on me about my choices, I get overwhelmed and stressed out.

I just need some words of encouragement from people who understand this. I know it's nothing serious but it's been really pissing me off and I have nobody to whinge to!

Please, any advice would be great! Just in case, I'm a 24 year old female from the uk.

Em x
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#2 Old 11-09-2016, 12:45 PM
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I deal with it by not giving a **** what people think about me eating vegan. Why should I? I am confident that ethically I'm doing the right thing.
There are dogs who thrive on a vegan diet, although personally I'm not against feeding meat to a dog.

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge


Last edited by jessandreia; 11-09-2016 at 12:47 PM.
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#3 Old 11-09-2016, 02:32 PM
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How old is your dog? Many do well on a vegetarian diet, with some eggs added. Vegan may be too restrictive. I certainly wouldn't switch an older dog.
If you're going to change the diet please go slowly! Get a good baseline health check done prior to change- vitals, bloodwork. that's the only way you'll know if the diet is alright
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#4 Old 11-09-2016, 03:00 PM
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How old is your dog? Many do well on a vegetarian diet, with some eggs added. Vegan may be too restrictive. I certainly wouldn't switch an older dog.
If you're going to change the diet please go slowly! Get a good baseline health check done prior to change- vitals, bloodwork. that's the only way you'll know if the diet is alright

She's 2, 3 in may. I don't think I'll ever put her on a vegan diet. At the minute she's on a combination of dry kibble by wafcol and a wet topper of brown rice, egg and vegetables.
I had thought about making her food myself but I'm worried about her getting the right stuff.


Thanks for the advice, hope my vet won't think it's crazy!

Just out of interest do you agree about putting her on a vegetarian diet?
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#5 Old 11-10-2016, 10:39 AM
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Where do you live? There are premade kibbles, and canned veg'n dog foods readily available in the US. Halo and Natural Balance first come to mind, but there are many more.
I would get the vitals and bloodwork checked out, mostly to rule out preexisting conditions, and also to know how they're doing on the new food.
Start out slowly. What you're doing now is fine! Be sure you're looking at good research, and monitor behavior
It seems some dogs actually have allergies to meat. I think some breeds do better than others.
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#6 Old 11-10-2016, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessandreia View Post
I deal with it by not giving a **** what people think about me eating vegan. Why should I? I am confident that ethically I'm doing the right thing.
There are dogs who thrive on a vegan diet, although personally I'm not against feeding meat to a dog.
How can you be vegan and ok with feeding a dog meat?
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#7 Old 11-11-2016, 01:45 AM
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You know deep in your heart that what you are doing is right and ethical so don't let anyone try tell you different. I am sure some people only try to justify their meat eating because somewhere very deep down they know that it is wrong in every way. I am a vegan, my boyfriend is a vegetarian. We have struggled a bit with feeding our dog as I would like her to eat vegan, but my boyfriend is not so keen, he thinks she should have a small amount of chicken / fish. We have reached a bit of a compromise. She generally eats vegetarian, she does have some cheese and eggs. My extended family are meat eaters and they save left over meat from their roast dinners for her, which we do give her - so she gets occasional meat which would otherwise go in the bin, although I would never purchase it myself for her. I do struggle with this and it's on my mind a lot. Do what you feel is right for your dog, but know that what you are doing for yourself is absolutely 100% right. Don't listen to those that eat others flesh.

Good luck.
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#8 Old 11-11-2016, 09:49 AM
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You are doing a great thing, keep at it. Talk about it with others, it's great to promote, but not too much if it makes you or them uncomfortable. Good luck.
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#9 Old 11-12-2016, 04:08 AM
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Hi Em!
I feel you, I'm having a few of those people too and it can...let's say hurt.
I'd say that it all depends from who are those comments coming from. If they are coming from people close to you, that you care about then maybe sit with them a little and explain them why you took this decision. Send them some links to read, some videos to watch, in the end it's all about being informed.
And after all, if they still don't understand you then simply ask them to accept your decision because it's important for you. We should all accept who's different than us - yes, even in this situation - because we were once like them (or similar).

Don't let the others hold you back if this is important for you. You do your thing and if it all comes from a gesture of love then you automatically feel it in you that is the right choice

I'm talking about this and other few things on my latest post, @Werewolf Girl made even a thread in this forum, maybe you want to check it out and leave a comment for other people that are in your same situation!
https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/60...es-vegans.html


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#10 Old 11-12-2016, 05:02 AM
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I think you are doing good. Dont worry. I am Vegetarian for past 10+ months. I know how other people discourage. Dont think about those people. You are doing a noble thing. Best of Luck!
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#11 Old 11-12-2016, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Necter View Post
How can you be vegan and ok with feeding a dog meat?

The American Veterinary Medical Association has not made any definitive statement about the nutritional adequacy of vegan diets for dogs. There are people who successfully raise their dog friends on a vegan diet, but it makes sense to use caution.

Here is an informative study abstract, published by the American Veterinary Medical Association: "Assessment of protein and amino acid concentrations and labeling adequacy of commercial vegetarian diets formulated for dogs and cats": http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf...avma.247.4.385 . The study found that some of the commercially-available vegan dog and cat foods did not comply with the recommendations of the Association of American Feed Control Officials ( http://www.aafco.org/ ).

If I had a dog friend, I would attempt to raise him/her on a vegan diet, but I would be careful to select a vegan dog food that meets the AAFCO's nutritional standards. I would not attempt to formulate the dog's diet myself.

Domestic dogs are the cousins of wolves, jackals, and coyotes - animals that are predominantly carnivorous ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog ). Humans are cousins of chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos - animals that are predominantly plant-eaters. Our dietary requirements are not the same.

.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-12-2016 at 08:39 AM.
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#12 Old 11-16-2016, 10:51 AM
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I also deal with it by not giving a ****. It is my body, my life, and my choice to be a vegetarian. I gotta say though, just yesterday I had the funniest response from someone who learned I was a vegetarian. I was talking to someone else in my Earth Science class and this guy overhears the conversation I was having with my friend and he just cuts in and says "You're a vegetarian?" and he just gives me the weirdest most confused look I've ever seen. Another classmate proceeded to laugh and say, "You're looking at her as though she is an alien." I just thought it was very funny. I don't get insulted, I just laugh at other people's ignorance, because I gain nothing by getting angry or insulted.

While I do my best to encourage my parents and siblings to eat a more plant based diet, I do not feel the same way about my dog. Dogs and cats have different nutritional and dietary requirements than we do. While my dog LOVES eating veggies and fruits, along with other vegetarian foods, he still eats dry dog food with meat. The reason for this is that I do not know know what foods he needs in what percentages.

I suggest getting some blood work done as well as consulting with someone who knows about animal nutrition, and by that, I do not mean a regular vet, but one with nutritional training. Regular vets get very little training/ education in regards to food. That way, you know exactly what your dog needs and if his/her food needs adjustment. By consulting someone who knows about dog food requirements then you could eventually even make your dog's food.

However, I think it is risky to change your dog's diet. Just like with humans, there are certain vitamins that we cannot survive without, such as B12 and Omega 3 which come from animal sources, but of course can be gotten from supplements. Animals, are the same, there are a few vitamins that dogs and cats need that are not readily accessible from plants. That is why I would be wary about a dog or cat on a vegetarian diet. Animals were not designed to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. As such, I would tread carefully. http://pets.webmd.com/features/veget...diet-dogs-cats

Lastly, make sure that your dog gets more frequent check ups. While we may be able to express and feel changes in our body when something is off, they cannot.
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Last edited by WinterReign; 11-16-2016 at 11:00 AM.
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#13 Old 11-16-2016, 01:44 PM
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There will always be people who want to comment on your diet or have strong opinions about it; I still get amused when complete strangers feel they have the right to comment on my life choices which affect them not at all. You will get used to it in time, but for now, my humble advice: keep a journal, and write down your feelings. Write down what motivates you and why you are convicted. When you are faced with challenges, read them and remind yourself why you are doing this, and why it's important to you.

As for your dog friend's diet, I cannot add much to what others have said, but I personally (as a vegan) feed my catpanions meat-based cat food... as @David3 pointed out, they are carnivores, and while I do believe some can thrive on a vegetarian diet, I don't feel bad feeding them a diet based on how they were designed to eat. My sister (who is vegetarian, and has veterinary training) for years fed her dogs and cats a vegetarian diet and even with research and close monitoring, some of them developed medical conditions because of it and she has since switched them back to a meat based diet.

I think you have to do what is comfortable for you, and while others may have strong opinions on it, it's no one's decision to make but your own
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#14 Old 12-31-2016, 06:20 PM
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It's a lot easier when you are used to thinking large segments of the population are ignorant or wrong, or you are very confident in yourself, but it can be difficult if you are not adequately armed with plentiful information, especially if you are isolated or young.

Firstly, most meat eaters get their arrogance from group think, rather than facts, and knowing this will help you in every other aspect of life, not only in being a vegetarian.

So your second task is to educate yourself on nutrition facts. When people ask you where you get your protein, ask them where they get their vitamins and fiber. Up against a relatively healthy meat eater? Still not a problem. Vegetarians absorb calcium better than other groups and statistically have less heart disease, so if they try to bully you about nutrition they won't have a leg to stand on as long as you have a balanced diet.

Third, calmly tell them to please respect your choices, or avoid especially obnoxious people who do super rude things.
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#15 Old 12-31-2016, 06:43 PM
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I'm still working on this myself. The most recent conversation I had that left me wanting to scream went like this:

"Well, I am transitioning to a vegan diet" (on why I didn't want to eat meat).

"I would never do that. I like meat." (Said in a tone...you know the one.)

But I think mostly on some level people are defensive, because they feel guilty. Even if you just say, "I have made this choice," and nothing further, it makes them question themselves. Also, humans being a social species, it's hard to go against the norm, and the majority is always suspicious of people who march to their own drum.

What I've been doing is very selectively saying, "Do you really want to talk about this? We can, but you'll need to agree to really listen and accept that you won't change my mind. If you'd like to understand for the sake of understanding me, I'll talk. If not, let's just not discuss it."
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