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My cats primarily eat dry food, but I occasionally give them the Evolution canned food as a treat. One cats loooves the damn stuff, runs to get it, and will eat whatever I put out (she's a little chubby, that one). The other one doesn't seem to be attracted to it, but it's hard to tell because the other one so dominates the dish.<br><br><br><br>
I would like to move totally to Evolution (dry and canned), but like you am a little nervous about it. Evolution does claim that their food meets the AAwhatever standards for nutrition profile for cat food (as do Vegecat recipes), and I can see that it includes taurine and Vit A and Vit D. But I can't help but be a little nervous. Like you, I'll probably try a little at a time, keep a very close eye on them, and see how it goes.
 

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Ha, me too epski. They were on Wellness but they were toooo too fat [it was causing, um, grooming issues]. I like the Innova, but my b/f has a theory that companion animals evolved to eat what WE [their "keepers" eat] and that it is therefore in no way unethical to feed them a well-monitored vegan diet. It's not science, it's just a feeling of his.<br><br><br><br>
This thread has refuelled my interest in vegan cattitude. Formicalinoleum, do you get your Evolution food online, or if you get it from a store, what country are you in?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>brahmacharya</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Ha, me too epski. They were on Wellness but they were toooo too fat [it was causing, um, grooming issues]. I like the Innova, but my b/f has a theory that companion animals evolved to eat what WE [their "keepers" eat] and that it is therefore in no way unethical to feed them a well-monitored vegan diet. It's not science, it's just a feeling of his.<br><br><br><br>
This thread has refuelled my interest in vegan cattitude. Formicalinoleum, do you get your Evolution food online, or if you get it from a store, what country are you in?</div>
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I'm still interested in vegan feeding for cats, but I want to learn more first-hand, and I haven't yet had the opportunity.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>epski</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'm still interested in vegan feeding for cats, but I want to learn more first-hand, and I haven't yet had the opportunity.</div>
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Me too, we're going to adopt a cat in the spring and I'm just not confident in feeding it a vegan formula. Our dog eats vegan dog food and is an 85lb healthy guy, but I haven't been convinced yet that having a cat eat vegan is the best choice for it's health <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/"> If you find any unbiased reports Epski, would you let me know? TIA
 

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We should all keep each other posted on this...don't you think? If this does work it would be a great thing to keep the momentum going. I'd be interested in hearing anything from anyone that had a vegan cat, even if it is negative, so I can figure this out.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>brahmacharya</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
my b/f has a theory that companion animals evolved to eat what WE [their "keepers" eat] and that it is therefore in no way unethical to feed them a well-monitored vegan diet. It's not science, it's just a feeling of his.</div>
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There's a way in which that's true, and "natural" as far as companion pets (dogs especially) are concerned (for those interested in that argument): commercial pet foods haven't been around all that long - people used to just give their dogs table scraps/whatever they ate - it would have been *inconceivable* to go out and buy "dog food" kibbles until relatively recent history.<br><br><br><br>
For people worried about cats and veganism, maybe try going half-and-half vegan and omni food until you feel o.k. about it? (and even if you never do, that's still halving the amount of animals fed to companion cats).<br><br><br><br>
When I've talked about this with people, the thing that always surprises me about vegans especially is how many will trot out the "red herring" arguments about "natural" (as if anything about domestic animals' lives is natural); and "what they would choose in the wild" (funny because domestic animals aren't wild); and "enforcing morals on others" (when they may have no problem feeding a veg*n diet to children who also aren't choosing); and how "cruel" it is to deprive dogs and cats of meat because they like it (seeming to forget how cruel it is to deprive the meat animal of his life), etc. I thought most of us went through similar types of arguments in terms of humans and veganism, and found them lacking. *To me the only serious debate/argument is about nutrition.* Some vegans remind me of closed-minded omnivores discussing veg*nism for human children - like it's just to radical to even *consider* (one may end up rejecting it, but many just turn away before even looking at it seriously). I'm also surprised at how many think that dogs are carnivores. I understand being concerned with cats - because cats require special supplementation, it might be worrisome without a history yet of cats who have been very successful - but dogs really are not a big deal at all in terms of vegan diets.<br><br><br><br>
I think someone mentioned it, but the book Obligate Carnivore was interesting.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Irizary</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
but dogs really are not a big deal at all in terms of vegan diets.<br><br><br></div>
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My friend who had 4 vegan dogs end up with dilated cardiomyopathy might disagree with you on that. While I agree it's easier to make a dog veg*n than a cat, it's not just 'no big deal.' Some dogs NEED l-carnitine and taurine added. My friend's dogs were not related and not even the same breed or size and all ended up with DCM. Two died, one was able to be maintained and not get any worse for several years (eventually having to be euthanized due to cancer, not the DCM) and the fourth, who hadn't been vegan nearly as long as the others, actually had the heart damage reversed by addition of l-carnitine and taurine and is still alive today, though getting quite old. (All this was around 10 years ago.)<br><br><br><br>
And for everyone who says their vegan dog is perfectly healthy, which I see a lot as a response on this subject, DCM doesn't always show symptoms until the later stages. It takes an echocardiogram to diagnose it. Two of my friend's dogs had no symptoms and at first even the veterinary cardiologist thought she was being a 'worried mom' when, after her pit bull was diagnosed with DCM, then looking up the autospy records for the first dog who'd already died and learning his cause of death was DCM, she wanted her third dog, who'd also been vegan for years, to have an echo. At first, the vet didn't think it was diet related but my friend was getting the gut feeling that it was. After doing the echo on the third dog, his attitude changed. He immediately said, "I want to see the dog I haven't seen yet and the Vegedog supplement you've been using in their food." That dog had early DCM as well, even though they hadn't had her nearly as long so she hadn't been vegan much more than a year or two.<br><br><br><br>
I'm not trying to frighten any owners of veg*n dogs or tell anyone their dog shouldn't be veg*n. I'm just trying to stress some veg*n dogs must have those 2 amino acids supplemented. I don't know of any way to tell if your dog is one who'd need supplements, so I'd recommend supplementing any dog on a veg*n diet. I've only found one vegan dog food that adds both taurine and l-carnitine, and that's Evolution. The cost of the food plus the shipping makes it pretty pricey, however. Some of the others do at least add taurine now.<br><br><br><br>
My own dogs are half and half. I guess you could call them flexitarians. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> They eat half veggie dog food and half meat dog food.
 

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I would seriously NOT suggest getting a cat if you want a vegan pet. Get a horse or a rabbit or something. I don't understand vegan who are so set against the meat industry that they won't feed their animals meat (fair enough) but then run out and deliberately get a carnivoruous animal.
 

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Wolfie, that's great that you found a way to compromise and feed them 50:50, even though you had some concerns. Respectfully, 10 years ago there weren't the commercial, balanced veg*n dog foods there are now; and if she was making up her own diet, I don't know if that was any good (same as people who do homemade dog food for their dogs, even if it includes meat). There is now some history of success with dogs. Even Purina says that dogs do not *need* meat. I think the nutritional arguments for dogs are somewhat similar as those for people - and some people insist too that they *need* meat, but like dogs, we're omnivores - although we may have to supplement with nutrients that aren't necessarily to be found in the foods we would eat anyway, even if we did eat meat, because of the ways that modern foods are grown and prepared. Separate from your friend's story: One thing that happens, with people and with dogs - is that if that person or dog gets sick, and was vegan, the diet will be blamed, and people will imagine that it must have been a really good, balanced vegan diet and yet they couldn't thrive *because* it was a vegan diet; when maybe the person or animal in question was given a very poorly balanced one. But of course people should research it and make up their own minds. My hope is that people at least are open-minded about the idea, and focus the discussion on the nutritional aspects, not on the social ones. And maybe consider something like a 50:50 diet, or even 25 veg:75 animal, until there is more case history that they can feel comfortable with <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Kiz - I could be wrong, but I don't really know that most people go out and get cats. I think the common case is that they end up with ones that need homes for whatever reason. I actually only know one person who went out and "purchased" cats. Others were rescues and such.<br><br><br><br>
Here's something interesting from Obligate Carnivore re. cats:<br><br><br><br>
"The greatest irony in this whole...taurine issue is the simple fact that most cats living today have been relying on synthetic taurine all of their lives anyway!<br><br><br><br>
In the late 1980's, tens of thousands of regular old meat-eating cats were dying mysteriously each year from dilated cardiomyopathy... Although these cats were far from vegan--they were being given a variety of popular brands of meat-based cat food, including many whose commercials you have seen and probably know by...heart--it was ultimately traced to a deficiency of taurine. At first glance, this seems counterintuitive: taurine, after all, is supposed to be found in meat.<br><br><br><br>
In fact, isn't that the whole reason why cats aren't supposed to be vegan in the first place? The problem is that while historically, in nature, cats had no trouble deriving plenty of taurine from meat, historically, in nature, the "meat" they were eating was the whole bodies of raw, freshly-killed rodents, birds and insects with bellies full of enzymes. Whereas now "meat" refers to the byproducts of the animal slaughter industry, along with other assorted odds and ends, that have been mixed together and rendered at an extremely high temperature. Just as how soaking your laundry in hot water instead of cold causes blood stains to set, the high temperature of the rendering process was causing whatever taurine was present at the outset to denature.<br><br><br><br>
These days, most manufacturers of meat brands are aware of this potential deficiency, and compensate by adding taurine supplements..."<br><br><br><br>
Here's something about dogs and taurine supplementation: <a href="http://www.helpinganimals.com/h-vegcat-addendum.html" target="_blank">http://www.helpinganimals.com/h-vegcat-addendum.html</a> Veg*n diets may be supplemented by taurine and l-carnitine, but meat diets may need to be too.<br><br><br><br>
This kind of reminds me of people who eat animal products to get "natural" B-12 - but because the ground is so depleted, synthetic B-12 is added routinely to animal feed - so they're getting B-12 that had its origins from synthetic supplements anyway.<br><br><br><br>
But I have to say too, I hope that people who feel that nutritionally dogs and cats are far too different from humans to feed them similar diets (that humans can thrive on), are against animal testing for human medicine - because there's a big argument for you right there, if you think it through for a sec.
 

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Since this thread was bumped after more than a year, I would like to retract my last statement about Solid Gold being better than Nutro.
 

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I'm curious what you learned about them, Kpickell.
 

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Actually nothing. I don't know enough about Solid Gold to make the claim that I made.<br><br><br><br>
I currently feed my pets Eagle Pack brand food, which is comparable to Nutro in ingredients and grade.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kiz</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I would seriously NOT suggest getting a cat if you want a vegan pet. Get a horse or a rabbit or something. I don't understand vegan who are so set against the meat industry that they won't feed their animals meat (fair enough) but then run out and deliberately get a carnivoruous animal.</div>
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I got my cats 13 and 8 years ago. For the vast majority of the time, I never even thought it was a possibility to feed them anything but standard cat food. Once I realized it could well be, I asked myself how I could not, just like I can't justify feeding myself meat if I can be healthy and happy without it.<br><br><br><br>
Like I said, the only issue for me is the one of nutrition. If a vegan diet can meet all of my cat's nutritional needs, I don't see any valid argument against it.<br><br><br><br>
Also, do you really think it's better for a cat to be put to sleep than to live with a caring person who feeds him/her a vegan diet? A vegan diet is worse than death?
 

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Izizary: My friend was using recipes from Vegedog and adding the Vegedog supplement. According to their claims, that was all a dog would ever need, even though they admitted when informed about her dogs that they knew some dogs might need supplements. So if it was poorly planned, Vegedog was responsible. At least they do add taurine to their supplement now.<br><br><br><br>
There are a lot more veg*n dog foods to choose from now, but some don't add either amino acid, a few add taurine and only one that I've found adds both.<br><br><br><br>
You are correct: There is a lot more known now about veg*n dogs. When this first happened with my friend's dogs, I stopped trying to convert my own 2 dogs to a vegan diet because I was thinking if we didn't know about l-carnitine and taurine, is there something else we don't know about? Now it appears that's not the case - dogs can get whatever else they need from a veg*n diet. But, honestly, I can't afford the supplements I would need for my 4 dogs. Plus, they don't really like the veg*n food unless I mix it with the meat food.<br><br><br><br>
Every time I read "my dog is a veg*n and I don't do anything special with his diet" it makes me cringe, just like I do when I hear vegans say they don't need B12 supplementation. It's true that meat-based diets can be deficient too, but just going by the fact that I've known dozens of dogs over the years and the only ones out of those dozens to develop DCM were the 4 vegan ones shows the need to be even more careful with a meat-free diet.
 

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KPickell: I've heard good/read things about Solid Gold myself, though I don't buy it. I've been buying Natural Balance, which also doesn't test on dogs in labs and sells both meat and veggie dog food.
 

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Wolfie: That is very disappointing news about Vegedog. It seems all around that this is a new enough, and untested enough, field that if you are even considering this path for your pet you should be watching them like a hawk, and supplementing the bejesus out of them. What a terrible blow for your friend, who thought they were doing the right thing!<br><br><br><br>
Irizary: re: a/r and animal testing. I read an essay not too long ago that suggested that, although anti-vivisection and testing activists often use the justification that humans and animals are dissimilar in order to stop the testing, this argument is actually detrimental to the a/r agenda [i.e. if the animals are so dissimilar from humans that the testing won't work, then perhaps they are dissimilar enough to not require their own rights! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"> ]. It was a fascinating essay and it's online somewhere...this is not a very good summation of it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/doh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":doh:"> but perhaps, if you are interested in this idea, you can keep an eye out for it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>punkmommy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Me too, we're going to adopt a cat in the spring and I'm just not confident in feeding it a vegan formula. Our dog eats vegan dog food and is an 85lb healthy guy, but I haven't been convinced yet that having a cat eat vegan is the best choice for it's health <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/"> If you find any unbiased reports Epski, would you let me know? TIA</div>
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I will be certain to post here if I ever have the opportunity to learn more about this first-hand. No thanks necessary. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">My friend was using recipes from Vegedog and adding the Vegedog supplement...At least they do add taurine to their supplement now.</div>
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Take note, though, I checked out what the author of Obligate Carnivore was saying about the lack of supplementation causing problems in regular commercial (meat) foods years back, and it seems to be the case. Years ago, your friend might have been feeding a meat food, and ended up with the same problem (I know, she wasn't, but that's what happened with the cats), because they didn't know the story on supplementing back then. This is by a veterinarian, about cats, but it's interesting because it also shows that it's a little more complicated...<br><br><br><br>
"In the late 1980s taurine deficiency was discovered to be a major cause of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in cats. The taurine content of commercial feline diets has since been increased, and clinical DCM is now uncommon in cats. Because DCM does not develop in all cats fed taurine-deficient diets, factors other than a simple deficiency of this essential amino acid are thought to be involved and include genetic factors and a possible link with potassium depletion. Despite the presence of low plasma taurine concentrations in most cats with DCM, there may actually be no significant difference in the myocardial taurine concentrations in these cats compared with those in cats with other forms of heart disease."<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I've known dozens of dogs over the years and the only ones out of those dozens to develop DCM were the 4 vegan ones shows the need to be even more careful with a meat-free diet.</div>
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I agree that *any* diet should carefully monitored for a companion animal, but I would also say... How many commercial meat-eating dogs have gotten cancer, arthritis, skin disorders, and such (that veg*n dogs may be at lower risk from)? Similarly, veg*n humans may be at higher risk for B-12 deficiency (although it actually doesn't seem to be that much of a problem), but are we otherwise healthier? That is, the need for care with the diet shouldn't necessarily make one turn away from it, there may be other benefits that outweigh the possible risks.<br><br><br><br>
I don't want to pass over the concern - I understand people wanting to do the very best thing for their animals, and the story that you tell about your friend is horrible and disappointing - but to give it some perspective too. Also, I don't know about the commercial diets that don't supplement - it would be interesting to contact the companies and figure out their rationale. (As an aside, I'd also be interested in knowing more specifically what the vegan dog Brambles (the longest living dog) eats - I think he was likely around before people had much idea at all about supplementation. I think I read something about his diet somewhere, but it wasn't really detailed - lots of lentils or something).<br><br><br><br>
brahmacharya - that argument you mention isn't compelling to me. I don't need to put this point about vivisection in terms of animal rights. We know that animals can suffer. So, whether they have "rights" or not, is it ethical to force them to suffer in labs? - and *especially* when we see that the biology is so different, and so the science is faulty anyway? Besides, animal rights to me is not about equivalence in all ways. Things like "giving dogs the right to vote" is a common anti-AR, specious argument.
 
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