I adore dogs, I always have. They are my favorite thing in all the world, and that is not exaggerating. I am lucky, because dogs love me too. Mean dogs, shy dogs, they all approach me and get along with me. I have been involved in dog rescue and rehoming for many years, and pick up strays like a magnet. I used to fantasize about winning the lottery and starting a dog rescue. My problem now is that even though dogs can eat strict vegetarian, they typically eat animal based dog food. I want to work at the dog shelter and adoption events and foster dogs. I am at a great point in my life to start fostering shelter dogs and finding them homes. The horrible problem that I think about now that I'm vegan is that each canine life that is saved is saved at the expense of the hundreds of animals they will eat in their lifetime. I want to save dogs from death and I want to find them sweet loving happy homes, but I also want to save the farm animals. How can I rescue dogs and be consistent with my morals? I am starting to wonder if it is not more morally consistent for me to let the shelters euthanize strays than to take them home with me and try to find them families. It really is a sticky moral situation but utilitarian ethics point to killing the dogs overall causing less harm and reducing more suffering than in helping them stay alive. I am looking for other vegan's thoughts on this as I am quite torn and don't like the answer I am leaning to.
It's definitely a tough call. Don't all animals have the right to live healthy, happy lives?
I totally understand how you feel. I would have my home full of rescued dogs if I could. (My husband has convinced me that our 5 year old Golden is plenty though ... lol) It's just hard to see any animals being harmed, or in a bad situation.
My suggestion would be to continue to help the dogs, if you can. I think that helping animals in any way is a positive thing. When you foster the animals, you can still follow your morals and feed them vegan dog food. Once they are placed in a permanent home, perhaps you could tell the new owner the food you fed their new canine companion, and convince them of the importance of keeping them on the regimen. I know when we got our dog, we made sure to keep her on the same food that she had been on. I would hope most other new dog owners would as well.
Ultimately, it's the new owner's choice what they feed the dog, but you've at least done what you can, both in fostering the poor pup, and feeding them a diet that is in harmony with your vegan lifestyle.
Also, in the meantime, as a foster parent for the dogs, you might be able to be in communication with the shelter, and talk to them about feeding the dogs there vegan food. And you can always donate a bag of vegan food to the shelter for the dogs. I know the shelter near us is always accepting food donations for the animals, and my husband and I have donated food a number of times. (Since making this switch, the next time will be a bag of vegan food). I'm sure the shelter will use the food (I doubt they would turn it away just because it's vegan ... heck, they might not even realize the food is vegan), and it's making a difference, however small.
Just some thoughts. I'm sorry if I've said too much. I just couldn't bear to see dogs euthanized, even if their food is meat-based.
Good luck with everything!! And whichever decision you make, it must be the right one for you.
Of course, this is coming from someone who does not feed their dog a vegan diet ...
But there seem to be plenty of options out there ...
Granted, they're not exactly cheap, but if it is important to you, it's worth it.
Choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea is a distressing situation. In the French language they choose between the plague and cholera.
I would think that your intention here is all that you can cling to. Your intention comes from deep love and respect for non human animals. And that is what counts. But you are not going to find a solution that you will be 100% comfortable with.
The world is as it is. And sometimes we just have to grin and bear it.
Thank you for what you do for the dog kingdom !