Saturday 12 March 2011

Never Let The Dog See The Rabbit

Just to briefly revisit yesterday's article on veggies being banned from fostering in Crete, the Curmudgeon asked a pertinent question in the comments.

"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.

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.
Veganism for dogs? Yes, it really is what is being described here, even though dogs are clearly not designed for consuming such a diet.

[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.

"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."
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.

"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.


Angry Squaddie said...

Words fail me.

Actually, no they don't. Dogs are evolved to eat meat with a very small element of their diet coming from non-meat sources (mainly from the stomach contents of their prey).

They are not, and never will be, vegetarian. Anyone trying to feed their dog this sort of diet on idealogical grounds is too stupid for words and is, in my eyes, guilty of animal cruelty.

Having said that, dogs are not purely carnivorous in the same way that cats are but should be fed an evolutionally appropriate diet.

I feed my dogs just such a diet and they thrive on it. Google "BARF diet" (Bones And Raw Food) for more information.

At a push, I would feed them commercial dog food but the very thought of inflicting this sort of rubbish on animals who have no choice in the matter makes me really quite angry.

Militant, ignorant, cuntish bastards.

Curmudgeon said...

I can certainly confirm that I do know some vegetarians, and those that have children do feed them a vegetarian diet. I'd defend their right to live according to their own principles.

Cats, of course, are obligate carnivores so can't survive without meat.

Christopher Snowdon said...

My missus is a vegetarian and not only has she said she'll be feeding our child meat, she has decided to eat meat while pregnant for his or her own good.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what the truth is about biological law, just as all other laws of science matter not, when it comes to leftist (especially) ideologies needing the push. When push comes to shove, ideology always trumps the reality of science, that is just the belief system of the morons who demand special "rights" to go against nature itself. If scientific reality were valued, then the smoking ban based on the fraud of second-hand-smoke would never have gotten out the starting gate. The media's managed to sell everyone on a pack of lies and the gullible, who are in key positions, are eager to eat up on it, stroking their egos, knowing more than anyone else who might foolishly still register belief in reality. It's a sad reflection of how far down things have degraded, forcing pets to eat a diet they weren't designed to eat is just cruel punishment for the benefit of some idealogical nut job's ego. Black is white. Up is down. Inside the looking glass is outside the looking glass. And so on.

Anonymous said...

forcing pets to eat a diet they weren't designed to eat is just cruel punishment for the benefit of some idealogical nut job's ego.

And I'm not saying vegetarians are idealogical nut-jobs. I'm saying those who would put ideology above common sense, law of nature or rule of science fact - they are nut-jobs. It's a distinction, just to be more clear.

Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur said...

Dog farts smell bad enough without filling them up with beans and other vegetables.

Snowdon - your wife's attitude is incomprehensible - either she thinks being a vegetarian and the associated farting and bad breath are a good thing or she does not.

PT Barnum said...

I'm a vegetarian of 25 years standing and the notion of feeding our cats a vegetarian diet is repugnant. They get ordinary cat food and, when they're not well, I cook fish or even chicken for them.

Cats aren't actually exclusively meat eaters, by the way. Various of ours have loved crisps, blue cheese, lentil curry and crumpets. And no cat has yet to decline an egg mayo sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Lady V.

That's a bit cruel, don't you think?!!

Isn't our whole point re smoking etc that an adult can choose?

If Snowdon's wife is a vegan by choice (maybe she doesn't like eating things which were once living 'beings', for example), then she has every right. In other words, I would think that her vegan decision is not based upon some 'religious' belief, but upon her personal likes and dislikes. Her intention to give up the veggie state during pregnancy is wholly admirable, don't you think?

richard said...

I have two dogs, one (a collie) will eat raw vegetables, mushrooms and fruit which could constitute part - maybe even a majority in autumn - of a dog's (ie a wolf's) diet in the wild, which would be "evolutionally" appropriate. There seems to be anecdotal evidence that a vegetarian diet increases longevity for dogs, maybe because it slows their metabolism. But dogs are certainly omnivorous beasties and are capable of going veggie if necessary.

Curmudgeon said...

There's a difference between being a vegetarian by taste and a vegetarian by principle.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Greeks simply have a better handle on the realities of life than we do here in the UK. Their bar-owners’ protests against (and widespread disregard for) the smoking ban, compared to our own publicans’ lily-livered capitulation, certainly illustrates this very clearly. There seems to be far, far less tolerance of difference in lifestyle, viewpoints and opinions now than there has been since, I’d guess, about the Middle Ages. I’d like to blame the anti-smoking movement for this widespread change in attitude, because their beloved ban and its outward ripples have had such a devastating effect upon me personally, and it would bring me great satisfaction to be able to blame them for such a retrograde step in humanity’s psyche, but in reality I think that’s giving them more credit than they’re due. What they have done, however, is shown everyone that if a few people shout louder than their opposers, lie to get people on-side, curry favour (and funding) from whichever Government is in power, and stamp their little feet hard enough, then any small minority with an axe to grind can force their own preferences on everyone. In this respect, I think that the anti-drinking movement, the anti-salt movement, the anti-sugar movement, the pro-forced-breast-feeding movement, the stridently anti-abortionists, the anti-driving lobby, the climate change enthusiasts, and – yes – many vegans and vegetarians are merely applying the same methodology to their own favourite hobby-horses.

It seems that the Greeks are more aware of this process than we are here in the UK, so perhaps they aren’t far off the mark when they think that there is a strong likelihood that they will force their dietary preferences onto any child in their care, because that does seem increasingly to be “the attitude” these days. Unfortunately, this means that free-thinking vegetarians who wouldn’t dream of doing any such thing get caught up in the net of discrimination because of a self-righteous few amongst their number. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us smokers out here who wouldn’t dream of smoking around children or babies, should it?

Anonymous said...

Tolerance is certainly on the wain. I wonder what flavour it will be next month?
The anti smoking brigade has certainly stirred the shit and then sat back and watched as people have a go at each other.
I like to start the kids must be banned from pubs panic next because of second hand beer fumes which will turn them into alcoholics.
Mainly because I'm utterly pissed of sitting quietly in a large beer garden enjoying a pint and fag and inevitability the extended family will arrive, sit at the next table and mutter about smoking whilst the brats shriek and run amok.

Neal Asher said...

The poor child, raised a vegetarian on Crete. None of those hot evenings consuming barbecued pork 'brisolas' washed down with raki for that one. Tragic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 6:19

Surely the banning of the kids from pubs panic is not about the fumes but about their impressionable little minds being corrupted by seeing the alcoholic produce on display.

The children are the future and the future is frankly an intollerant totalitarian nightmare. The 'health' legislation of today will not ensure that the children of tomorrow will live into their hundreds but will instead ensure their corpses will lay rotting in a field somewhere before they've reached the age of 30.

And you know what? I hope whomever they're fighting liberate this country! It may seem harsh on this country's next generation as it won't be their fault. They will merely continue upon the path of righteousness dug out by their forefathers. In the same way that the children of the American South, the Nazis or the British (American Revolutionary War, Hundred Years War, Zulu War, Boer War etc.) did.

Ian R Thorpe said...

Theres an hilarious sequence in the film Shirley Valentine about a vegitarian dog.
Needless to say when the eponymous Shirley is looking after veggie dog she takes pity on it and gives it the steak hubby was expecting for dinner.
Which propels the film really. Vegetarians do have their uses maybe.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps idealogical vegans should stay here for a while,I hear it is quite idylic.

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough, I had a (Greek) cat whos favourite foods were cucumber and pasta. He'd go crazy when I was slicing a cucumber - wouldn't let up until he got some.

That said, I've known several vegetarian / vegan couples with children, and they all, without exception, fed their kids on their veggie diet. And if the kids came to ours it was on the understanding that that dietary regimen should be maintained.

However, one must remember that millions of Indians are vegetarian by virtue of their religion, and they seem to have managed ok on it.

James Higham said...

Vegetarianism is a ridiculous concept, given the needs of the body.

BTS said...

Why is vegetarianism ridiculous? What 'needs of the body' that cannot be compensated for?

Vodka, tobacco, dope, hallucinogens - what am I missing..?