doggie 7

Wednesday Round Up 01/27/11

Jonathan Safran Foer may be a staunch vegetarian, but his pets aren't.


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This is just a little bit late, but here is an interesting piece of news that is circulating the veggie web.

Jonathan Safran Foer is best known in vegetarian circles for “Eating Animals” which looks at the horrors of factory farming and provides ample motivation for not supporting the meat industry.

While there are many vegetarians who impose their eating habits on their pets (which if you think about it is kind of hypocritical), Jonathan is not one of them – in spite of his strong views about vegetarianism.

In an article on the Guardian.co.uk, when asked if his dog is vegetarian Jonathan replied: “My dog isn’t vegetarian. I tried, but it just didn’t sit well with her stomach. I don’t feel guilty about it – dogs aren’t people. But I buy dog food for her that is advertised as non-factory farmed. Curiously it’s no more expensive.”

What do you think about imposing a vegetarian diet on pets?

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Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.


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7 Responses to this article

 
Roline January 28, 2011 Reply

Well, I personally have never met a dog that prefers its pellets over a piece of steak. But I’ve also never seen a canary that likes flesh compared to its seeds. Give the pet what it likes and what lets it run around and be happy rather than what’s best for you! I wouldn’t exactly cook a bone or a piece of meat for my dog, but if it finds it, or a restaurant has a few scraps, and it will make my dog happy… why not! Just sayin’…

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editor January 28, 2011 Reply

I was raised vegetarian, and our dogs did largely subsist on pellets and leftovers and were pretty healthy. But it is something that I have never really given much thought.
@Roline – just wondering – do you often try and feed canaries flesh or are in situations where the choice is put before them 😉

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Michelle January 28, 2011 Reply

This is something I’ve thought about a lot. I put my dog on Vondi’s vegetarian organic pet food for a while but I gave up after a month because of the mess (it’s wet food that has to be defrosted) and the expense – it was much pricier than almost any pellets. But my dog absolutely loved it! Now he’s on pellets which contain meat, as they all do, because it’s most convenient. Dogs don’t actually need meat to survive – they can live healthy lives without any meat at all (although obviously they do like it). My aunt’s dogs have always lived on rice, lentils and canola oil, and they’re hale and hearty.
Cats, however, do need meat to survive – I think I read that they’d go blind if they didn’t eat a diet largely made up of meat. And every month I have a huge dilemma about whether to get my cat the tuna or the chicken flavour Hill’s pellets – which is worse: factory-farmed chicken (because you can bet that it’s not made of free-range birds) or tuna (which is so scarily overfished)?

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Vondis August 4, 2011 Reply

This Wednesday, 10th, i am giving a talk on vegan diets for pets:
Venue: Health Path, Houtbay
Time: 7pm
Please join us.

In Europe, there are plenty of commercially available, healthy vegan diets for pets. There is no reason why vegan / vegetarian pet lovers in our country shouldn’t have the same choice.
Some may argue that a vegan diet for a dog is unnatural in some way, but its important to note that in nature dogs wouldn’t eat anything like what is commonly found nowadays – in a can or in pellet form. Most commercial pet food is made of very questionable meats, not fit for human consumption that would otherwise be thrown away. These foods are filled with preservatives and other additives that, over time, can detriment the health of your pet.
Vegans and vegetarians are often faced with the dilemma of choosing the best diet to feed their companion canines, taking into consideration not only their own ethics, but also the best interests of the dog/s they are taking care of.

Fortunately, even though many people would assume that a dog couldn’t possibly be fed a 100% vegan diet, nothing could be further from the truth!

Unlike an obligate carnivore, a dog is neither dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill its basic dietary requirements. Dogs are able to healthily digest a variety of foods including vegetables and grains, and in fact dogs can consume a large proportion of these in their diet.

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Claire January 31, 2011 Reply

My dog loves the food I cook for her, much more than any pellets I have ever bought for her. But I don’t have the time or money to only feed her cooked food. But it is a nice supplement, especially because I have heard that the pellets are not great for dogs – some being “allergic” to them and showing symptons of mange. For me, the most inexpensive way to feed my dog is to use the following:
Chicken livers
lentils
rice
Left over or old veggies (cut into smallish pieces)

No salt must be added. Add some oil to ensure that the dog doesn’t get constipated.

If your dog seems sick or listless, feed him or her Vit C. Apparently its a wonder drug for dogs and helps them to heal well.

By cooking your own food for the dog, you can ensure that they eat the meat that you want them too. I used to feed my dog venison, which i think is the best choice. Its just quite expensive here.

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Vondis August 4, 2011 Reply

This Wednesday, 10th, i am giving a talk on vegan diets for pets:
Venue: Health Path, Houtbay
Time: 7pm
Please join us

The modern dog cannot be considered any more a Wolf than we consider ourselves an Ape. This is an antiquated belief and certainly presenting nutrition based on this ideology is incorrect. The same is true for our pets that over thousands of years have evolved to eat a balanced home prepared diet. Thus, if vegetarians feel comfortable eating an enriched diet of vegetables, then the same must apply for their four legged companions.

In fact, one should be very weary of diets fed to our pets that contain copious amounts of raw meat. Just as raw meat can be dangerous to humans so it can be so for our pets. There are many reputable veterinarians and researchers who warn of the dangers of raw meat.

Still, in preparing a vegan or vegetable diet for your dog, one should adopt scientific procedures and utilize nutritional data to formulate a recipe that is balanced and nutritious.

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Johan Wessels March 12, 2012 Reply

Here’s two good articles from http://gentleworld.org: Good Nutrition for Healthy Vegan Dogs [http://gentleworld.org/good-nutrition-for-healthy-vegan-dogs/] and Feeding Vegan Dogs (with recipes!) [http://gentleworld.org/feeding-vegan-dogs-with-recipes/]

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