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WHY do people have carnivorous dogs, cats, etc, as pets?

Hello all,

FIRST: Let me state that I love dogs and cats and all animals for that matter. Their well being and access to their natural rights are a primary reason why I am VEGAN. Please don't take this post as a negative carnivorous animal owner bashing rant. But rather a search for you opinions, understandings, and knowledge.

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This is an ethical question that has been rattling my mind for quite some time now.

Why do human beings (veg or not) own carnivorous animals, like dogs and cats, for pets and THEN deny them the food that their bodies have been designed to most effectively digest,  like raw meat and bones? Why do they give their adored companion animals Kibble and Bits? Or any type of rice or grain or potato or plant material that goes against their natural digestive systems?

Now for the vegans...and vegetarians out there,

I am going off the assumption that vegs do not give their animals meat or animal products.  But rather try to turn their carnivorous animal vegan or vegetarian despite millions of years of evolution.

This behavior baffles me. 

Would you feed a rabbit ground meat or a koala chicken wings? Would you give an elephant a rack of lamb or a goat steak bits?

Then why do you give your dogs and your cats Natural Balance or homemade vegan/vegetarian dog food?

Imagine if humans were not at the top of the food chain and we were owned by some other being and fed MEAT all the time, every meal of the day? Our body's' natural herbivorous/slightly omnivorous digestive system that has been created and developed over millions of years would never adapt although our taste buds would. We would never be at our peak of living. Never one with nature around us because we are held back by what we are fed.

These animals do not have a choice in what they are being fed! Vegetarian dog and cat food goes against their ultimate well being! This is wrong. AND YES, I have seen carnivorous animals thrive on vegan and vegetarian diets and live LONG lives. Just like I have seen life long tobacco smokers die in their nineties without developing any type of cancer. Just like I have known people that have grown up on, lived, and died eating the SAD without developing any major ailments.  It still doesn't make it right.

Now my question to you vegan and vegetarian dog owners out there,

Would you be willing to give your carnivorous companion animal their proper natural diet consisting of raw meat and bones supplemented with various green vegetables even though it goes against YOUR ethics? Or would you just continue to implement YOUR way of living on a defenseless hungry animal just because YOU think that it is right?

In essence, making you no less hegemonic than the political and religious systems that plague our world today...just with animals.

I look forward to hearing you opinions,

Peace and blessings,

Laura

You're nuts

Dogs aren't carnivores

There are other threads about this topic

Go read them

The end

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Oh and what do you suggest we do then? Should we just let all domestic cats and dogs run free and fend for themselves? Times change and people and animals change along with them.

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So glad you posted this. As I don't understand it either, my dog is a meat eater- I am not. I'm okay with this as he was designed to eat meat. I know dogs can eat vegetables, my dog happens to love carrots, however I believe he should also eat meat as that is what his digestive system is designed for. I'm sure this a touchy subject for a lot of people but I don't think it should be,

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Animal House isn't the place for this topic; please contact admin to request this thread be moved to the appropriate forum.

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Animal House isn't the place for this topic; please contact admin to request this thread be moved to the appropriate forum.

Agreed

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Animal House isn't the place for this topic; please contact admin to request this thread be moved to the appropriate forum.

You are able to do this, as well. Just hit "report." It's already been done, though. There's just something weird about animal house, and it doesn't have any options.

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Animal House isn't the place for this topic; please contact admin to request this thread be moved to the appropriate forum.

You are able to do this, as well. Just hit "report." It's already been done, though. There's just something weird about animal house, and it doesn't have any options.

My intent was not to offend.

But to gain MORE knowledge on this subject that vexes many in the vegan world. People hold so many different opinions on this topic.  I still want to learn more about this issue and I am still open to a viable open minded discussion, if anyone has any.

I did not expect to be reported. That really disturbs me as well.

The forum homepage indicates Animal House as "Fur, feathers, scales, and beyond—brag about your cute, cuddly, and smart companion animals. All animal-related discussions welcome!"

Thus, I felt this post was more than appropriate for Animal House.

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Animal House isn't the place for this topic; please contact admin to request this thread be moved to the appropriate forum.

You are able to do this, as well. Just hit "report." It's already been done, though. There's just something weird about animal house, and it doesn't have any options.

My intent was not to offend.

But to gain MORE knowledge on this subject that vexes many in the vegan world. People hold so many different opinions on this topic.  I still want to learn more about this issue and I am still open to a viable open minded discussion, if anyone has any.

I did not expect to be reported. That really disturbs me as well.

The forum homepage indicates Animal House as "Fur, feathers, scales, and beyond—brag about your cute, cuddly, and smart companion animals. All animal-related discussions welcome!"

Thus, I felt this post was more than appropriate for Animal House.

It's more appropriate for "food fight," because this a highly controversial topic. That's the only reason it has been reported, to be moved there. Food fight is for debatable topics, such as this.

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Animal House isn't the place for this topic; please contact admin to request this thread be moved to the appropriate forum.

You are able to do this, as well. Just hit "report." It's already been done, though. There's just something weird about animal house, and it doesn't have any options.

My intent was not to offend.

But to gain MORE knowledge on this subject that vexes many in the vegan world. People hold so many different opinions on this topic.  I still want to learn more about this issue and I am still open to a viable open minded discussion, if anyone has any.

I did not expect to be reported. That really disturbs me as well.

The forum homepage indicates Animal House as "Fur, feathers, scales, and beyond—brag about your cute, cuddly, and smart companion animals. All animal-related discussions welcome!"

Thus, I felt this post was more than appropriate for Animal House.

It's more appropriate for "food fight," because this a highly controversial topic. That's the only reason it has been reported, to be moved there. Food fight is for debatable topics, such as this.

Completely understandable.

But I feel that is equally appropriate for Animal House because it is an animal related discussion.

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Oh and what do you suggest we do then? Should we just let all domestic cats and dogs run free and fend for themselves? Times change and people and animals change along with them.

Ah, having domestic cats and dogs run free and fend for themselves? That's a completely different topic, falling along side the issue of if the domestication of animals was even a moral thing to do...

Would we even be having the issue at hand if animals were never domesticated?

However, I am not suggesting anything. I am stating my viewpoint on an issue that perplexes me constantly.

What is yours?

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I'm going to be egocentric and quote myself:

All I saw was stuff posted by vegans with an agenda. Anything by someone with a phd? Or a non-biased party? A link for a forum on vegweb, and then a link for a vegan trying to sell a book. Funny. I'd like to see a real scientific study.

From the newer edition of this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Small-Animal-Clinical-Nutrition-Michael/dp/0945837054/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271896307&sr=8-1
"Small Animal Clinical Nutrition"

"Much can be learned about an animal's nutritional requirements simply by analyzing its natural food source. True carnivores, such as cats, are limited to what is available from prey tissue such as skeletal muscle and liver to provide energy and nutrients, including protein, taurine, arginine, arachidonic acid, and niacin. Consequently, carnivorous animals (e.g. cats) developed more efficient pathways to use these nutrients, and have lost the ability or have a decreased ability to synthesize them from precursors. being omnivorou and feeding on a varied diet of plant and animal tissue, dogs maintained or improved the ability to synthesize nutrients from precursors. These differences lend more evidence to early evolutionary divergence and further support the premise that dogs are omnivores.
"Table 12-5 compares the recommendations for daily nutrient intake of adult dogs to the nutrient content of meat (ground beef). This comparison confirms that an all-meat food would be unbalanced for dogs."
"The characteristics of the canine small intestine are consistent with those of animals that digest an omnivorous diet. The small intestine composes approximately 23% of the total GI volume of dogs vs 15% for cats. The ratio of GI tract length to total body length is 6:1 for dogs, 4:1 for cats, 10:1 for rabbits, and as high as 20:1 for some herbivores. This anatomic relationship is consistent with ingestion of an omnivorous diet with intermediate digestibility (i.e., between low digestible herbaceous forages and highly digestible animal flesh). Dogs digest starch effectively via pancreatic enzymes and mucosal disaccharides."
There is no specific of vegetarian/vegan diets for dogs, however. But there is some for cats:
"Although the nutritional needs of cats are best met by a carnivorous diet, vegetarian diets can be designed to provide adequate nutrition. Vegetarian formulas are commercially available and several commercial supplements are available to provide nutrients normally missing, inadequate or poorly available in plant-based diets. The commonly reported pitfalls of commercially available feline vegan diets include taurine, arachidonic acid and vitamin A deficiencies. Several nutrients (below) require special attention in vegetarian formulations." (the nutrients are protein, taurine, B12, vitamin A , iron/zinc/copper if the food is high in phytates, and arachidonic acid). Cats have a higher total protein requirement than dogs (if I remember correctly, about 22-23% vs ~18% for dogs), and most foods for either animal far exceed this level. Excess protein is not beneficial, and it is suspected that it may contribute to chronic kidney disease (but this is debated).
Vegetarian/vegan diets are more of a concern for cats than dogs because of their meat-specific nutrient requirements.
They don't mention this in the book, but one of the risks for plant-based diets (at least for cats) is struvite urinary stones. Plant-based foods tend to be higher in magnesium and cause a higher urinary pH, which predisposes them to struvite stone formation. Some cats are more prone than others, though. I recall that the vegan-cat-food-people had to deal with this, and recommended getting a vegan cat's urinary pH tested periodically. (on the other hand, a low urinary pH can cause calcium oxalate stones, which is by a small margin the most common urinary stone in dogs & cats).

Basically, a vegan diet is not harmful to a dog if it is well-balanced (just like any diet). For cats, it's debatable. Some people have great success, others have issues with urinary stones because of high Mg/cats that are simply prone to it. I could see this is a more controversial issue if it was undeniably damaging to a cat/dog to eat vegan (and then you'd be choosing between who lives), but that's not the case.

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My intent was not to offend.

LOL it sure didn't appear that way from all your ranting and raving about how horrible we are for feeding our pets a vegan diet :)

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But I feel that is equally appropriate for Animal House because it is an animal related discussion.

Food Fight is for debate.  Your original post was worded to spark discussion and debate.  That's one of the determining factors.  Yes, it's about animals, but it's framed around a discussion that we've had here multiple times before that either starts as, or it turns into, a debate - so some of it is just experience.

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I don't have much more to add to faunablues--she's pretty much the animal go-to person. here. That being said, I want to point out that your assumption that dogs are carnivores is already flawed, thus the conversation is already skewed from the beginning. Dogs are not carnivorous--they do not chew their food in a carnivores' manner, their stomach acid is higher than a carnivores', their stomach is smaller, their digestive track is longer, etc. There are plenty of facts that prove that a dog is not carnivorous, it's omnivorous, just like humans. Please understand this fact first and foremost.

If we want to just talk about cats, then, who are carnivores, then this is a different discussion. I do not personally own a cat, so most of what I say will be anecdotal. I think it's deplorable that the US pretends to be this superpower, first world country, and we cannot even care for the smallest of animals, those that have no power and no voice. people toss aside animals like they toss aside last year's SUV or their leather purses. We don't respect the animals in our lives (and why would anyone, since they eat everything that comes into sight anyway?).

When I volunteered at my Human shelter in college, I wanted to take home every one of the animals everyday.
The people at the shelters are trying their best, but it's still not the right life for animals. I want to take them home and make their lives wonderful, let them enrich my life and I enrich theirs. It pains me to know that there are animals out there that are being euthanized when there are perfectly acceptable homes they could be living in. I will not contribute to pet overpopulation by buying an animal or breeding an animal, but I believe that if there are animals in need of love and a place to call home, then it's my ethical obligation to help out as many as I can. I am not able to adopt a cat at this time, so I can't directly discuss feeding meat to my cat.

My dog, however, is vegan. He's incredibly healthy and happy and full of energy. I don't feed him meat, because he's not carnivorous.

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Simply for me its opening my heart, mind and home to the less fortunate.
How does one reason veg*anism to a non-human?
Humans themselves have a difficult enough time understanding the choice.
Do you reject family and friends if they are not veg*an?

Do we have a collective understanding that there is no one correct path?
Yes it would be a cool utopia if we all collectively would choose veg*anism,
but it would be dystopic if that idea were forced and implemented.

I feel this is in the correct forum.

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I believe some people feed their companion animals a vegan diet that contains the appropriate balance of nutrients in order to prevent them from having any illness that can come from many marketed meat dog food-. I'm not to well-versed in this but I have read that many store dog foods contain parts of slaughter house animals that are deemed not fit for humans because they are contaminated etc.

This is a topic that I want to learn more about too.Just for future posts you may want to reconsider the way you phrase questions and thoughts, as well as the way you use caps etc. because your post does come off as 'ranty' and accusational, which definitely will spark many negative and angry replies--which, as you state, is not what you want.

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How does one reason veg*anism to a non-human?

You can't reason veganism to a non human but I think that thought is kind of irrelevant to this issue IMO... My animals are like my children, I make their food choices for them since they are unable to do so themselves.

Do you reject family and friends if they are not veg*an?

No is their a need to?

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