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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:17 pm 
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What do you think about feeding animals boca burgers and other fake meat stuff. My parents dog really likes those types of things.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:21 pm 
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GRardB wrote:
I wouldn't really consider humans omnivores. Although we can obviously digest meat (although we usually need to cook it first), I think it's safe to say that before any kind of technology, meat was not 20% of our diet. Think about it, can you kill a wild bull (cow) or a wild boar (pig) without the use of any technology? Even if you could, how would you cook it without technology (fire)? I don't believe the first humans had fire, spears, knives, swords, etc. Some make the argument that since most of humanity "evolved" with technology, that determines are diet. Well when do you draw the line? If you're talking about the first humans until now, then yeah, we've spent lots of our lives with technology. But from the beginning of time, from whatever organism our ancestry started from? No way. We haven't had technology for most of our development.

http://www.celestialhealing.net/physicalveg3.htm

That link shows the many similarities we share with herbivores. I don't think it's fair to compare humans to dogs in terms of diet. Dogs can hunt naturally, they have canine teeth (yes, we have four, but they are so small and inferior compared to most other animals' canine teeth). Dogs are much closer to carnivores in the wild than humans would be. That's just obvious in my opinion.

I'd say that any meat humans ate in the wild came from insects, the same as apes and monkeys, which are our closest relatives. Even if we taught them how to hunt, they probably wouldn't eat the raw meat.

Cholesterol that our body does not make is bad for us. The saturated fats from meat is bad for us. We don't need any of the nutrients found in meats. Meat takes way longer to digest in humans and causes so many problems that it's obvious we weren't meant to eat it. Maybe a few bugs here or there, but I certainly won't eat any.

Dogs don't die earlier from a non-vegan diet. They die earlier from living in an unnatural environment and diet (vegan or non-vegan in my opinion). As for my dog, he's about 9 or 10 (I forget) and he still runs around and acts like a puppy. I guess he's thriving off a meat-based diet? Many dogs die at that age from what I've seen.

Still open for debate, not saying I'm right or wrong. Just expressing my opinions.

Gerard

You make some good points Gerard, but what I refuse to accept is anything has a natural purpose to kill another living thing. I think the food chain was the cause of some malfunction in nature, and that animals did what they had to do to survive, which has been passed down for thousands of years now. Ofcourse, I have no proof of that, but it's just a thought. I'm glad your dog is doing well, what breed is he?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:26 pm 
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BodhiDave85 wrote:
You make some good points Gerard, but what I refuse to accept is anything has a natural purpose to kill another living thing. I think the food chain was the cause of some malfunction in nature, and that animals did what they had to do to survive, which has been passed down for thousands of years now. Ofcourse, I have no proof of that, but it's just a thought. I'm glad your dog is doing well, what breed is he?


I respect your thoughts on how animals began to eat other animals. It makes sense, but it's safe to say nobody knows why animals eat each other. As for my dog he's a beagle/basset hound. Split right down the middle as far as I know. Got him for free at one of those humane-pound-place-thingies? I forgot what it was called lol.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:29 pm 
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GRardB wrote:
I wouldn't really consider humans omnivores. Although we can obviously digest meat (although we usually need to cook it first), I think it's safe to say that before any kind of technology, meat was not 20% of our diet. Think about it, can you kill a wild bull (cow) or a wild boar (pig) without the use of any technology? Even if you could, how would you cook it without technology (fire)? I don't believe the first humans had fire, spears, knives, swords, etc. Some make the argument that since most of humanity "evolved" with technology, that determines are diet. Well when do you draw the line? If you're talking about the first humans until now, then yeah, we've spent lots of our lives with technology. But from the beginning of time, from whatever organism our ancestry started from? No way. We haven't had technology for most of our development.

http://www.celestialhealing.net/physicalveg3.htm

That link shows the many similarities we share with herbivores. I don't think it's fair to compare humans to dogs in terms of diet. Dogs can hunt naturally, they have canine teeth (yes, we have four, but they are so small and inferior compared to most other animals' canine teeth). Dogs are much closer to carnivores in the wild than humans would be. That's just obvious in my opinion.

I'd say that any meat humans ate in the wild came from insects, the same as apes and monkeys, which are our closest relatives. Even if we taught them how to hunt, they probably wouldn't eat the raw meat.

Cholesterol that our body does not make is bad for us. The saturated fats from meat is bad for us. We don't need any of the nutrients found in meats. Meat takes way longer to digest in humans and causes so many problems that it's obvious we weren't meant to eat it. Maybe a few bugs here or there, but I certainly won't eat any.

Dogs don't die earlier from a non-vegan diet. They die earlier from living in an unnatural environment and diet (vegan or non-vegan in my opinion). As for my dog, he's about 9 or 10 (I forget) and he still runs around and acts like a puppy. I guess he's thriving off a meat-based diet? Many dogs die at that age from what I've seen.

Still open for debate, not saying I'm right or wrong. Just expressing my opinions.

Gerard


As much as I like what you're trying to say about physical traits...(And I used to use the same arguments that you're using until I had someone poke holes through every single theory) time and adaptation has proven otherwise. Take, for example, the Innuit people. They have adapted over time (because of our omnivorous nature) to digest raw seal meat, blubber, raw fish, etc. They can subsist on a diet much different than most of the industrialized world because the human omnivorous nature allows for adaptation.

The most concrete argument that I've found through the years is this: Just because we're CAPABLE of doing something like eating meat, doesn't mean that we SHOULD.

The same goes for our (canine at the very least) non-human companions.

FYI -- My dog, Bean has been a long-time vegan, is 16 years old, and still runs around like a puppy. It's a testimony to the versatility of the omnivore and their adaptive traits.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:10 pm 
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tatman6006 wrote:
As much as I like what you're trying to say about physical traits... time and adaptation has proven otherwise. Take, for example, the Innuit people. They have adapted over time (because of our omnivorous nature) to digest raw seal meat, blubber, raw fish, etc. They can subsist on a diet much different than most of the industrialized world because the human omnivorous nature allows for adaptation.

What I'm saying is this: Just because we're CAPABLE of doing something like eating meat, doesn't mean that we SHOULD.

The same goes for our (canine at the very least) non-human companions.

FYI -- My dog, Bean has been a long-time vegan, is 16 years old, and still runs around like a puppy. It's a testimony to the versatility of the omnivore and their adaptive traits.


You've brought up some good points about humans being able to adapt. There still is a difference between the scenario of the Inuit people and dogs though. The Inuit live(d?) high up there in the north, where fruits and vegetables aren't as abundant as they are in the opposite direction (except for Antarctica 8-) ). Even though Wikipedia says the Inuit were surrounded by an abundance of vegetation, I think it's safe to say there wasn't really an "abundance" the way we think of it. True, the Inuit apparently developed to eat raw meats, but they didn't appear to "thrive" off of it according to some research I just did.

Quote:
For example, Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.


I got this from this website. They directly associate the low life expectancy with their meat-rich diet. They also compare their life expectancy to the Maasai in Kenya, who have a meat-rich diet and say that they are similar.

So what I'm trying to say is that even though we might technically be omnivores, we really shouldn't be eating any meat. In my opinion, it's purely a survival technique.

According to Wikipedia, felines and canines are carnivores. Dogs seem to eat most fruits and some vegetables without any hesitation. In fact, when we're in Michigan on vacation, my dog eats blueberries from the blueberry bushes. To me, this means that dogs are omnivores although they're diet usually consists of meats. My dog once hunted and ate a wild rat in the very same place (I was impressed, since he has extremely stumpy legs and doesn't run as fast as most dogs lmao). I believe dogs should eat some vegetables/fruits since they obviously do, but I wouldn't eliminate meat from their diets.

Although I'm not sure if I can say the same about cats. I've never heard of a cat eating raw fruits or veggies (although I could be wrong). Verification or correcting me on this would help a lot.

What I'm trying to say is that dogs and cats eat mostly meat in the wild. Humans eat mostly vegetables in the wild. In my opinion, converting a cat or dog's diet into something like ours would be equivalent to converting a human diet to that of a carnivore. The Inuits didn't live to be so old.

I can't really back that example up seeing as how your dog is 16 (happy to hear that, most dogs don't live to be that old) and has a vegan diet. Although from what I've been reading, vegan pet food is supplemented with things that they would normally get from meat. Like I said before, that, to me, is the equivalent of supplementing meat with nutrients found in plants, which I don't approve of.

I'm liking this debate :-D

Gerard

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:13 pm 
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Thanks much to those who commented on my reply earlier.

I think that a LOT of the misconceptions out there are formed simply because most modern veterinarians are afraid of vegan diets for animals, and therefore they typically discourage them right from the get-go. Here's the thing - many veterinarians know about as much about proper animal nutrition for dogs and cats as a doctor knows about human nutrition (which often is not a great deal.) How many of us have had physicians tell us that they thought that perhaps a vegan diet wasn't a good idea? Doctors these days are experts in prescribing "cures" for problems in the form of a pill, cream or injection, but they're not good when it comes to preventative measures through diet. Same thing for most vets - we take our animals to them when we have problems, we get a fix (if possible), and keep doing the same thing. It's just like human physicians - they're not trained primarily at how to PREVENT problems through better nutrition, but rather, their main purpose is to correct problems once they've already happened, and often they're not versed in anything other than the standards they were taught in school and do not look beyond this. There's a STRONG similarity between the problems of human physicians and veterinarians in how they view nutrition, but perhaps years down the road the concept of animals being vegan and healthy will no longer be such a strange thing to those in the veterinary community.

Then, there are people like James Peden, one of the founders of Hoana vegan cat and dog food, who has actually spent over 2 decades studying proper nutrition for cats and dogs, formulating foods based on the needs rather than just throwing some renderings and fillers in a can because "it's kind of like what animals would eat in nature." There's someone who has been making vegan animal foods that thousands of people have used for ages to have happy, healthy vegan companions, yet why don't we hear anything about this in the mainstream media? Like anything else, natural alternatives are taboo in the medical community and get shot down before they're even considered. I'm learning this firsthand from my own treatments for my vision disorder - even making some dietary changes toward better foods are speeding my healing post-surgery and are providing me more promise, just for cleaning up my eating. What makes it so difficult to believe that animals can't benefit from the same thing?

Again, your cat or dog is not goint to choose first to eat ground hooves, wheat gluten and other nameless things found in standard foods - why on earth does anyone want to feed that kind of thing to their animals if there's a better alternative? Like I said before, unless you're opening a can with an entire dead animal in it, NO food is even remotely close to what cats or dogs are getting in nature. We have to remove the entire "natural" process from this. Also, do those who are intent on feeding their animals meat-based products honestly believing that these foods have the human-grade ingredients in them? Seriously, you're not getting choice cuts of beef, or real chicken breast, or the "good stuff." What is in those cans are the leftovers, the articles that weren't usable for "people food" and the stuff that was too nasty/dirty/contaminated for human consumption. Do you think that the downed cows are just discarded when they can't be put on the line? Guess where they end up. Strange tumors or unusual findings in a cut of meat that prevent it from making it to the butcher's block? It goes into your cat and dog food. There are likely a FEW (and I do mean few) brands that may have some standards that are higher, but the overwhelming bulk of cat and dog food made is done with the nastiest stuff off the slaughterhouse, so please bear that in mind that you're giving your cat or dog the worst of the worst when it comes to the meat that's in their foods.

Anyway, just wanted to speak my peace on those two parts.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:32 pm 
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GRardB wrote:
I can't really back that example up seeing as how your dog is 16 (happy to hear that, most dogs don't live to be that old) and has a vegan diet. Although from what I've been reading, vegan pet food is supplemented with things that they would normally get from meat. Like I said before, that, to me, is the equivalent of supplementing meat with nutrients found in plants, which I don't approve of.
Gerard


Do you also not approve of vegans supplementing B-12? Most vegans supplement B-12 that's not generally found in a vegan diet... but you're vegan anyway...

I fail to see the difference.

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Last edited by tatman6006 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:45 pm 
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tatman6006 wrote:
GRardB wrote:
I can't really back that example up seeing as how your dog is 16 (happy to hear that, most dogs don't live to be that old) and has a vegan diet. Although from what I've been reading, vegan pet food is supplemented with things that they would normally get from meat. Like I said before, that, to me, is the equivalent of supplementing meat with nutrients found in plants, which I don't approve of.
Gerard


Do you also not approve of vegans supplementing B-12?


Well I don't supplement separately, I get mine from fortified foods (especially Soy Milk). Although B-12 doesn't come from meat. It comes from bacteria that is found in the wild and destroyed in the process of bringing food to our store shelves. To me, that's a totally different situation.

Although...After reading VeganEssentials' post..

Quote:
I think that a LOT of the misconceptions out there are formed simply because most modern.....


This post made some very good points. I started to loosen up on my beliefs and I showed my dad the post to ask for his opinion. We've decided to order some vegan food for our dog and see if he likes it. I'm not sure about vegan treats (although I don't really give him that store-brought crap; my dad does), although we might be on our way to making our dog vegan. I guess it makes sense that an unnatural vegan diet with the right nutrients is better for a dog than an unnatural carnivorous diet with tons of bad meats.

I still believe the best diet is the diet that animals instinctively get in the wild, but I now realize that pet food is so much different from that anyway that it doesn't matter whether or not it's vegan, but whether or not it poses any health threat to my doggy :-D

I probably won't be posting much in this topic now that I've sort of changed my mind, but I'll still be watching the discussion!

It was a fun debate.

Gerard

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:00 pm 
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GRardB wrote:
tatman6006 wrote:
GRardB wrote:
I can't really back that example up seeing as how your dog is 16 (happy to hear that, most dogs don't live to be that old) and has a vegan diet. Although from what I've been reading, vegan pet food is supplemented with things that they would normally get from meat. Like I said before, that, to me, is the equivalent of supplementing meat with nutrients found in plants, which I don't approve of.
Gerard


Do you also not approve of vegans supplementing B-12?


Well I don't supplement separately, I get mine from fortified foods (especially Soy Milk). Although B-12 doesn't come from meat. It comes from bacteria that is found in the wild and destroyed in the process of bringing food to our store shelves. To me, that's a totally different situation.

Although...After reading VeganEssentials' post..

Quote:
I think that a LOT of the misconceptions out there are formed simply because most modern.....


This post made some very good points. I started to loosen up on my beliefs and I showed my dad the post to ask for his opinion. We've decided to order some vegan food for our dog and see if he likes it. I'm not sure about vegan treats (although I don't really give him that store-brought crap; my dad does), although we might be on our way to making our dog vegan. I guess it makes sense that an unnatural vegan diet with the right nutrients is better for a dog than an unnatural carnivorous diet with tons of bad meats.

I still believe the best diet is the diet that animals instinctively get in the wild, but I now realize that pet food is so much different from that anyway that it doesn't matter whether or not it's vegan, but whether or not it poses any health threat to my doggy :-D

I probably won't be posting much in this topic now that I've sort of changed my mind, but I'll still be watching the discussion!

It was a fun debate.

Gerard


B-12 was just one example of an ingredient that is typically associated with meat / dairy consumption. Some people have gone to call it the "meat vitamin" erroneously.

Just a thought -- is it really so objectionable to making sure that an animal who requires certain concentrations of aminos and fats, etc. that occur in meat can also derive those nutrients from plant sources? An amino is an amino, whether it occurs in plant sources, or animal sources. Just because certain nutrients come in a more concentrated form within animal products doesn't make it necessarily impossible to re-create those concentrations using vegetable sources. We do it all the time with vitamin supplements -- and I know plenty of meat eaters who aren't opposed to taking vitamins to make sure that they're getting the concentration of nutrients that they might not otherwise get from their standard diet.

The thought that I leave you with is this -- most animals who are categorized as "true carnivores" get the same nutrients that herbivorous animals get. Herbivores cut out the "middle-man" so to speak, and go right for the plant sources. Carnivores, on the other hand, are just re-ingesting what the herbivores have already eaten. Same nutrients... more concentrated.

That said, feeding a dog (I used dogs specifically in my argument here, because cats are a whole different story) with the right ratio of nutrients that are strictly from plant sources, and meet their needs, nutritionally, shouldn't have any less problem than an animal ingesting something from a meat-source.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Hmm this has been an interesting discussion besides the people calling each other asshats or some other such nonsense.

A couple of things i would like to express is that the argument that we live in an unnatural world as a reason to change an animals perceived eating habit seems to have logical inconsistencies. It is one thing to agree on the fact that domestication of animals has resulted in a different lifestyle for animals that may have sustained in the wild but it is quite another to say that gives us the right based on that argument alone to change an animals diet.

Now dont take my statement the wrong way because i am not advocating a meat centric or vegan diet i am merely talking about attributing a corrective measure for something.

I tend to agree that if we make decision based on what is best for our companions than we can also make decisions for what they eat.

I have a question though what about so called natural foods companies like newmans own organics who offer pet food, It is not from a factory farmed source and it stays away from miscellaneous meal. If we disqualify them we would be better to boycott there complete product lines. I guess my question is can anyone think of a natural pet food company that isnt a product or offshoot of factory farming?

I also agree that to be an AR person, as i am, that i should not put in chains an animal because i thought i want companionship but rather should open my home for soon to be euthanized or rescue animals. This is what i have done thus far. For me i guess it comes down to choice, the only thing left for me to choose is to buy a bag of the food and allow my cat to chose what it would desire as pet food and go from there.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:44 pm 
First off...these animals wouldn't even exist if it weren't for us. Breeding them has caused enough damage. Why adopt one animal if it essentially means killing multiple others for that one animal to live??? You're better off euthanizing every domesticated carnivore on the planet. Why add to the killing...adopt a cat and don't kill anything for it to live...or adopt an animal you don't feel you need to feed meat.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:43 pm 
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veganpotter wrote:
First off...these animals wouldn't even exist if it weren't for us. Breeding them has caused enough damage. Why adopt one animal if it essentially means killing multiple others for that one animal to live??? You're better off euthanizing every domesticated carnivore on the planet. Why add to the killing...adopt a cat and don't kill anything for it to live...or adopt an animal you don't feel you need to feed meat.


I'm pretty sure that's why at least a few of us are advocating for a meatless diet for our companion animals.

Breeders aren't going to stop breeding as long as there's money in it, and as long as there's money in it, there will be homeless animals in shelters that need homes... After all -- it's not the animals' fault.

You do bring up an interesting point about not adopting certain animals which are construed as carnivores, though. That in itself could be considered a speciesist gesture. It's definitely thin ice to tread on, and I don't believe that there's any right or wrong answer... just a thought...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:23 am 
For sure its speciesist but so is picking a dog over a cat or a cat over a dog. I think there are a lot of cases of this that you could plausibly relate to real life. If two people(strangers) are falling off a cliff and I only have one free hand to help someone...and one was wearing a vegan shirt I know who I'd save.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:07 am 
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veganpotter wrote:
For sure its speciesist but so is picking a dog over a cat or a cat over a dog. I think there are a lot of cases of this that you could plausibly relate to real life. If two people(strangers) are falling off a cliff and I only have one free hand to help someone...and one was wearing a vegan shirt I know who I'd save.


I totally understand what you're saying, and I relate to it in a way. If I were in the same situation, it would be a hard decision for me as well. However, that's where I think we're comparing apples and oranges. People have the ability to choose to live compassionately or not. Animals live on the instinct and physiology that they were given at birth. Humans can decide to eat a vegan diet. Carnivorous animals don't have that option.

I also realize that there are sentient beings out there who were bred into existence by careless people. I can't fault an animal for it's physical traits, no matter what. Someone preferring the needy personality of a dog over, say, the aloof personality of a cat isn't necessarily speciesist, although it is personal preference. It doesn't have anything to do with one species being lowlier than another.

I guess the underlying point that I'm trying to get at is this: we have an abundance of animals that are in shelters and continue to be "euthanized", when they could be adopted, veganized, and given loving homes and long, happy lives.

When dealing with speciesism the problem is this: If it's not okay to kill an animal for food or clothing or whatever other means, how does it become okay for us humans to cull "surplus" animals?

They're all valid questions, and I don't believe that we have any right or wrong answers to these questions, other than the fact that we should step up to the plate, open our homes to animals in need, and feed them vegan as long as it's in the best interest of the animal's health. Aside from that -- I just can't take the stance that the lives of my ferrets are completely worthless just because I don't have the ability to veganize them -- it's not their fault. They didn't ask to be bred.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:56 pm 
The thing is our domesticated animals don't really have much of their instincts anyway. Most of our companion animals wouldn't last long in the wilderness so I don't think thats valid. As for euthanizing I don't think its OK but its better than the other option. I worked in a shelter in college and the shelter had no choice. If every kennel is full and you raid a home with 40 cats you have no other option. 40 cats will be euthanized on that same day.
As for choosing to feed an animal meat I think thats basically the same as saying my individual animal is more important than the many animals that will be killed for the life of one. I think thats selfish and unfair to make that call on your own. Maybe an eye for an eye is fair(although no guilty being would be dying) but an eye for 100 eyes is never fair.


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