"But is it really credible that vegetarian adoptive parents would feed their child meat? I don't know any who give meat to their biological offspring."Well, I don't know any vegetarians full stop so can't comment even anecdotally. It did appear, though, quite damning of veggies in general if they are viewed as always ideologically driven to enforce their lifestyle choice on others.
I'd like to think that isn't generally the case, but this CNN piece doesn't inspire confidence.
"Her health and well-being is the main thing for us, but that fact we have a vegan option is a double-benefit because it means our dog can live with the same ideology," she says.Veganism for dogs? Yes, it really is what is being described here, even though dogs are clearly not designed for consuming such a diet.
With the vegan diet enjoying a period of (mostly) positive widespread exposure, it should come as little surprise that vegetarian or vegan pet owners might want to project those ideals onto their canine companions.
[Donna Spector, a veterinary internal medicine specialist who runs SpectorDVM, an animal nutrition consultancy] and six other pet experts who spoke with CNN conceded -- some more reluctantly than others -- that most dogs could biologically live on a vegan diet. But doing so requires substantial attention to creating a balanced diet that makes up for the loss of animal protein with substitutions of beans, soy and, to a lesser extent, vegetables and grains.Crikey! If such hoops are being jumped through to prohibit a primarily carnivorous animal being allowed to get so much as a sniff of meat, it suggests an almost religious - and dangerously authoritarian - mentality. Or, as dog expert Tracie Hotchner diplomatically explains.
"Vegetarian pet foods require the addition of synthetic amino acids to fill nutritional gaps or a much higher overall protein level to supply all of the essential amino acids. Overall, it is much easier and more reliable to supply a dog's essential nutrients in a food containing both plants and meat," she says.
The vegan diet also lacks some essential fatty acids that are only available in animal products like butter and fish oils, says veterinarian Michael Fox, former president of the U.S. Humane Society and author of "Dog Mind, Dog Body."
"If a dog has a choice he's not picking a pile of beans over chicken or meat, and he's not going to be lapping up soy," she says. "If you're going to be harmonious in your choices, be harmonious. I say respect each species for what it was meant to be, and if you feel that strongly about being vegan, get a vegetarian animal. Bunnies make wonderful pets."Perhaps those Cretans had a point, after all.