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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think about feeding our pets meat? Dogs are omnivores, cats are carnivores. There must be a way to feed dogs healthy vegetarian diets, and there must be a way to make cat food with a small amount organic or kosher or free range meat and give them dietary supplements. I feel that we are not helping animals when one gains happiness at the expense of another's suffering. How can we make vegetarian (or near vegetarian) food for our pets?<br><br>
-Eric
 

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There is a way to feed dogs vegetarian diets, vegan even. There's vegetarian dogfood in many pet stores, and Whole Foods.<br><br><br><br>
There is a vegan cat food available online for about 3x the cost of non-vegan cat food, but vets aren't too fond of feeding carnivores non-carnivorous diets. Perhaps feeding your cat a food that doesn't include any by-products (i.e., Nutro) is an acceptable compromise for now.
 

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I'm dog-sitting for a major activist from Wednesday through next Wednesday, and her dogs are on a vegan diet. They are two very healthy, happy, rambunctious animals.
 

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I am not sure I agree with forcing a human's dietary views onto your pets, thus altering your pet's natural diets to suit your own dietary views.<br><br><br><br>
Just because you have made a conscious decision to alter YOUR diet... does that make it okay for you to make that decision for your pet and change it's natural diet?
 

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I am very against this.<br><br><br><br>
It's not natural. The animals would clearly not choose this for themselves and I don't feel I have the right to force my dietary choices upon my 'companions.' I'm also not thoroughly convinced that it's healthy. I'll admit most pet foods aren't 'healthy' but you always have the option of buying higher quality foods.<br><br><br><br>
If people do it and their animals are healthy and 'happy' then that's great but I would never do it with one of my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
my puppies are vego... they eat lots of bread and veges and eggs, which have the omegas that are good for their coats. i also give them some kelp powder on a fello vegan's recommendation...<br><br><br><br>
when i first got them i was worried about my choice but i spoke to teh local pet specialists about it and they didn't seem woriied at all... i thought they woudl scream blue murder, but no!<br><br><br><br>
i'm keeping a close eye on them because i am very aware that the choice i've made isn't conventional, and i love my puppies and i'd never do anything to jeopardise their health, so if ever i saw that their health was suffering because of their diet then i would change it immediately.<br><br><br><br>
the pet food industry is sickening, and i cannot support it. i don't see it as making them eat unnnaturally for them, as dogs don't need meat as humans don't need meat.<br><br><br><br>
and processed dog food certainly isn't 'natural' by any means!<br><br><br><br>
but it does feel right to feed them eggs at this stage, until i can afford vegan pet food, which i can only get by mail order.<br><br><br><br>
it is a very interesting topic which shoudl continue to be discussed.... there are no simple answers...
 

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The fact that dogs are, like us, omnivorous tells me that it's more than fine to "impose" a veggie diet on them. Cats, however, I've become more and more convinced that we vegans simply have to live with their carnivorosity (new word!) and work to improve the sources of meat for our animals. Nutro's the right direction, but I want to see organic, farm-raised, etc. animal sources, not the same meat we see at the grocery store. If I don't think it's healthy for me, why would I feed it to a beloved animal?<br><br><br><br>
I would like to see all non-carnivorous, domesticated animals discontinue eating meat, and we will obviously still have to cultivate a certain number of cattle for carnivorous domestic animals until we reduce their number to the point that we don't need to adopt and feed them anymore. Considering that will probably never happen, we will have to focus on improvements in the meat industry. If we can reduce the number of animals slaughtered every year, it could slow down the speed of slaughter, possibly allowing for greater worker safety, increased attention to the welfare of animals, etc., making me feel far more justified about "allowing" the process to continue.<br><br><br><br>
That said, maybe they should be slaughtering mice, rats and smaller birds instead of cattle and so forth... Not that they are any less worthy of existence, but because they must be easier to farm and probably even easier on the environment, in terms of waste production. I think far fewer people would object to billions of rodents and birds in cages than larger mammals, too. Of course, that's not an efficient production process at all, but it would be a much more natural diet for the cat, wouldn't it?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Michael</i><br><br><b>I am very against this.<br><br><br><br>
It's not natural. The animals would clearly not choose this for themselves and I don't feel I have the right to force my dietary choices upon my 'companions.' I'm also not thoroughly convinced that it's healthy. I'll admit most pet foods aren't 'healthy' but you always have the option of buying higher quality foods.<br><br><br><br>
If people do it and their animals are healthy and 'happy' then that's great but I would never do it with one of my own.</b></div>
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I disagree with this. A vegetarian "dog chow" is just as unnatural as a meat-based "dog chow". We are always going to be "forcing" our choices of food onto our pets because we don't let our dogs go out hunting for their own food choices, we buy it at a store and make them eat it. If they refuse to eat a certain brand, we go get a new brand, but were still not letting them choose what they want to eat. If we did they'd be eating our cookies and pizza instead of their Kibbles and Bits. It's up to us to buy food that's healthy for them. And I believe that a vegetarian dog food is healthier than a meat-based dog food considering what is put into the commercial dog foods. Commercial dog foods use the scraps of meat that are marked unconsumable for human standards. You can (and should) buy higher quality food, but it's still low-quality meat by-products.
 

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Here's how I see it. If you take a dog... even a puppy... and put two bowls of food down... one being meatless and the other being meat, I am willing to bet the dog chooses the meat dish because this is what a dog's natural instinct tells it to eat... same with a cat.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Robert</i><br><br><b>I am not sure I agree with forcing a human's dietary views onto your pets, thus altering your pet's natural diets to suit your own dietary views.<br><br><br><br>
Just because you have made a conscious decision to alter YOUR diet... does that make it okay for you to make that decision for your pet and change it's natural diet?</b></div>
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I agree totally. Dogs and cats are meant to eat meat, moreso than humans. When I live on my own and have my own cat/dog I will feed him/her a higher quality pet food (not Iams!), but probably still one with meat. Especially in the case of cats, I would never risk compromising the health of my pet by forcing my choices on him/her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One of my cats, Fuzzy, finds about 10% of his own food currently, but before moving here, he hunted about 75% of his food. He doesn't choose to eat the spinach growing in my garden, nor the beans. He chooses the mice, birds and occasional praire dogs. When I had fish, I had to put a cover on it because he started hunting them out of the tank.<br><br><br><br>
I believe if you are uncomfortable with a cat's natural food choices then you should not have a cat. Simple as that.<br><br><br><br>
FYI, my other cat, Sputnik, is too stupid to hunt. He's there for looks, nothing else. If he were smart enough, he would be thankful that the laws of Darwin are not applied to home cats. Fuzzy once brought him home a "treat", but poor Sputnik didn't know what to do with it. His food needs to be hard kibbles in a bowl. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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There is a website, I believe it is <a href="http://www.halopets.com." target="_blank">www.halopets.com.</a> They have natural foods and such.
 

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I give up. Did no one hear me? Dogs are omnivorous, like humans. If you lay out a fresh-cooked a steak and a falafel pita in front of a hungry human that doesn't know any better, guess which one he or she is going to go for first? And don't argue with me for the sake of disagreement. You know humans go for the dense nutrients of meat. We abstain for intellectual reasons only.
 

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Epski yes... but you are making that decision for your dog... a decision the dog naturally would not arrive at on his/her own. I am just not so certain I agree with this approach since it is based upon a conscious decision you made that it is better than the dog's natural choice.
 

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Just thought I would point out (not trying to argue) that dogs have carnivore teeth (canines!) and enzymes that can digest raw and even rancid meat better that humans. However, dogs have intestinal structure similar to humans (maybe that's why they are victims of vivisection in some med schools <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> ). Dogs are omnivores but are probably closer to carnivore than herbivore.
 

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Interesting debate..but a tough one.<br><br>
With cats, I am pro meat all the way. With dogs, I think ideally, a diet with good quality meat (wether it is stuff you buy, and cook yourself, or "dog food") AND veggies as well.<br><br>
However, I think it is important to remember that our pets are just like us. They are individulas. Therefore a diet that works for one, will not be the optimum for all. Plus, as our pets get older, or if they get ill, their diets need looking at again.<br><br>
These things take time a dedication, and a lot of care. Perhaps even more care than is needed with small children. Our animals can't tell us that they like x more than y, or that they felt better after eating A, but B made them feel a bit ick.<br><br>
But, my gut reaction is to go with what is basic instinct. Dogs and cats eat meat. Simple as that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's surprising to see all the different reactions you all have. I agree closest with epski. Veganism is morally correct, period. It's just as unnatural for humans not to eat meat as it is for dogs. If we always went with what was "natural" we'd be raping each other, because that is natural instinct. There's no point in feeding cats at another animal's expense, you are doing no overall favor to the animal kingdom. I checked out that Halo foods site but they don't have any regular pellet food, nevermind vegetarian food.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Especially in the case of cats, I would never risk compromising the health of my pet by forcing my choices on him/her.</div>
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So you would (not even risk, but) ruin a cow's health, in order to give your cat some extra nutrition? This is clearly because you are more emotionally connected to your cat, and you are thinking more about what would be best for you. We need to treat all animals equally.<br><br>
-Eric
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Robert</i><br><br><b>Epski yes... but you are making that decision for your dog... a decision the dog naturally would not arrive at on his/her own. I am just not so certain I agree with this approach since it is based upon a conscious decision you made that it is better than the dog's natural choice.</b></div>
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We make decisions for our pets every day. Do you think our dogs and cats want to be sterilized? No, but responsible pet owners choose that for them. Do you think they want to be potty-trained and leashed and not allowed on the couch? No. We are their guardians, and as such it is our responsibility to make decisions for them.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know anything about dogs' nutritional needs, so I can't say what they need to eat. If they can be healthy without eating meat, I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping it out of their diet. It is my understanding that cats, as true or nearly-true carnivores, must eat meat, so I don't support removing it from their diet. But if someone proved that there is a sound way to keep cats healthy on a vegan diet, I wouldn't have a problem with it. There are lots of people who decry the idea of feeding dogs a veg diet, yet don't have the nutritional knowledge to realize that the pet store brand they feed their own animal is utter crap.<br><br><br><br>
As with having children, having animals entails that we have to make decisions for their benefit and our own, without knowing what they would prefer. It isn't easy, but that's what you take on when you accept responsibility for another life.
 

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i believe cats and dogs should not be fed a vegetarian/vegan diet. veg*ism is not inherently right or moral; there are carnivores in nature, and they are a product of evolution. a tiger or a snake are not cruel monsters, they don't choose to be the way they are. we are different, because we have the choice, we have alternatives. they don't, an we didn't either, until recently.<br><br><br><br>
feeding a cat a meatless diet is a lot worse than feeding a dog the same thing. cats are carnivores, not omnivores. if we think about the reverse, we would all agree that it's completely wrong! take the case of mad cow for example - i don't know of any vegetarian or vegan who would say there isn't something seriously wrong with making a herbivore eat a carnivorous diet. so why isn't the reverse just as wrong? i believe it is.<br><br><br><br>
if you really believe in the universality of vegan morality, then why keep a carnivorous pet? they're not our kids, guys. they're not going to grow up to be human beings and live in our society and culture, or have to make ethical choices. they're just there, being animals. we don't have the right to impose our human morals on them.
 
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