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Is having a guide dog veganly?

Discussion in 'Support' started by veganDreama, Jun 22, 2018.

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Would getting a guide dog be considered Vegan?

  1. No. Definitely not.

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. Yes, go ahead.

    5 vote(s)
    83.3%
  1. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    I've had two guide dogs before I went vegan. I miss their company but I don't know if getting a new dog is the right thing to do? Is getting a guide dog Vegan?
     
  2. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    Veganism means not using animals for human purposes. Fundamentally, it's not vegan. However vegans seem to be divided on the issue so others may disagree.

    I note that your survey response "Yes, go ahead" implies that you think if this is vegan, you should do it, and if it is not, you should not. I've noticed this (usually implied) viewpoint often in the online vegan community and I would like to challenge the view that whether or not something is vegan is enough to decide whether or not that thing is morally appropriate, or whether we should do it.

    Sometimes people in the vegan community remind me of Christians who have to ask their local religious leader how to act in a certain situation because they can't think it out for themselves or have to consult their bible for guidance.

    I think something being not vegan and something being morally bad are two different things that happen to be aligned maybe 99% of the time.

    From a utalitarian philisophy viewpoint especially, something not vegan is not always morally bad, if it is for the greater good and reduced suffering overall (example: if you could carry out 1 experiment on 1 animal that would cause severe suffering to the animal but would likely lead to a cure for cancer, the experiment would not be vegan, but would be considered morally OK or good within the framework of utalitarian philosophy of the greater good).

    The other factor here is where the dog came from. Was it bred and kept in poor conditions before being sold? Or a stray retrained as a guide dog? You might also want to think about the back story.

    How good a life can and will you provide to the dog (time without leash, access to the outdoors, time apart from you, time with other dogs).

    Is getting a guide dog vegan? No.
    Is getting a guide dog morally correct? I don't know.
    Should you do it? You do whatever you think best.
     
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  3. Deleted member 2263

    Deleted member 2263 Guest

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    See thats a trappatory contemplation, dont think about it, dont ponder it.

    I vvould even suspect the method generated to "prove veganism vvrong" just for the goddamn addiction to milk intake and excuse to exploit humans, causing the connection to vvhatever spiritual thing does so (note the "hindrance of validity of vvriting" through vvriting in a manner seeming a bit off, all of a sudden?).
    That said, having hindered in being there, other methods from coming to be (here I am just being like manipulated and beaten and so are other people and collectives being made to perceive that I am in the vvrong and horrible (the eyes that look, not just the person that reads; collectivity and spirituality. Like all the animals connected to the humans that are vegan)).

    Novv it just vvent off the rails, to prove that the description of the discrediting vvas "paranoid"/"sick"/"vvrong"/"not true"/"not real"/etc.
     
  4. Veganite
    Balanced

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a very tough subject to tackle, as there's arguments to support both sides here. While as a vegan, I'm all for keeping animals from exploitation and abuse, but on the other hand, I know the bond between a dog and person can be very strong and rewarding for both parties.

    I once read somewhere that the domestication of dogs was the best deal humans ever made with the animal kingdom. If not for my old dog, I would not even be here. She woke up three of us in a house fire that would've surely taken our lives. She literally saved our lives. She was a rescue from a pound that euthanizes. So what would have been worse, leaving her there to be euthanized, or rescuing her to a loving home?

    While many working dogs sit in kennels until they're needed, guide dogs often have loving, caring homes. I think there's some extremely gray area here. I think animal abuse and exploitation is what's really in question. Are guide dogs abused or exploited? Maybe some, but my guess is the connection between human and guide dog is not an unpleasant one for the animal, and not to mention, extremely beneficial to the human.

    It really comes down to all domesticated animals. Ethically, if we were all vegans in this world, would it be right to do away with all domesticated animals/pets, as in us refraining from breeding them in any capacity? I don't have the correct answer, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere. I mean the line between a mutual and beneficial, animal-human relationship, and crossing that line where it would be considered abuse and/or exploitation of the animal.

    I can't imagine being blind. I personally love dogs, and would not hesitate to get a guide dog, if I was in this situation, myself. Ethically speaking, I don't have the answers, as this is an extraordinarily complex issue, with many variables.

    Personally, I would not say getting a guide dog isn't vegan. What isn't vegan is the abuse and/or exploitation of animals for human entertainment and/or pleasure. Do guide dogs fall into this category? I'm not convinced of that, but that's just my humble opinion.


    *
     
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  5. TopoGigio
    Nerdy

    TopoGigio Member

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    Are any pets vegan at all? pets are a human creation and as a consequence they are all in a way wolves with disabilities and mental deformations.

    Being Vegan in a Carnist society is obviously going to create dilemmas, as a vegan it's up to you to decide how we are going to move forward as a society, quick-fixes or not.

    In my opinion though I think that given the majority of them is unable to live on their own they:
    1) should still be taken care of under our care
    2) we should not allow companies to forcifully make a business out of ''selling'' pets.
    3) I don't think it's necessary to castrate them but we should be responsible with them keep them from ******* around....

    The ones who can live on their own should just be left the **** alone to figure out how overcome the physical and/or mental deficiencies from generations of interbreeding; the should preferably be relocated to some place outside the cities where could hunt animals instead of human trash. At one point they might become of what some carnists like to call a pest problem (make nature seem out of balance) but if nature is able to put up with shity humans for so long I wouldn't be so concerned about what these dogs would do if left alone.

    Alternatively.... all dogs could just be rounded up and given back to the wolves some of them could adapt and others (I'm looking at you poodles and yorkshires) would most likely just become food... (JUST KIDDING!)


    Back to the topic at hand: Why guide dogs? Why not guide humans? Are humans too friggin greedy we need to use dogs like that? Humans could do a hella better job as blind guide we can talk, joke, cook, make calculations, *inappropriate content removed*, the possibilities are infinite. The only reason why dogs are used instead is because they can be given leftover food and old bones instead of a minimum wage and human rights; doesn't sound very vegan, it sounds very selfish.
     
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  6. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    We vegans do seem to spend a lot of time making heavy cudgels with which to beat ourselves. :)

    On the forum recently we have worried about having an owl at a wedding, killing insects, dealing with household pests such as mice and cockroaches, garden pests such as slugs and accidentally harming worms when cultivating. (By the bye, Donald Watson preferred to use a garden fork rather than a spade to minimise the last of these.)

    For me, the greatest concern is the total immorality of killing animals that have been raised with the intention of doing just that when it is all totally unnecessary.

    Jamie’s post contains a lot of sense. Veganism is not some sort of papal organisation that is infallible in matters of dogma. Societies where individuals have to blindly follow rules are headed for trouble. It could be of the “Doctor knows best variety” or politically it could be Maoism.

    The Vegan Society’s definition of veganism has changed over the years. But it still contains the phrase “as far as is possible and practicable”. In The Beatles’ “Revolution” John Lennon penned
    “Well, you know
    We're all doing what we can”


    I have a bit of knowledge about guide dogs because I know somebody who once worked with trainee pups prior to the intensive training. A dog is retired when it is about half way through its life span. The handicapped person then receives a new dog. The “pensioner” can then be kept by the person, adopted by someone in their family so frequent visits can be made or adopted elsewhere (perhaps even by the original puppy trainer).

    So the very worst that can happen to it is that it goes to a very good new home for the rest of its life. It certainly doesn’t get sent off to a slaughter house once its useful days are over. Get yourself a guide dog! Both of you will have good lives.

    Roger.
     
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  7. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    Thanks for all your advice.

    The definition of veganism: To avoid animal exploitation as far as it is possible.
    Doesn't mean I can get a dog. As it's possible to live without a guide dog and depend on my human helpers which I have because I am deaf blind and at the time which my com guide hours were increased I also had mental health problems which I don't have any more and now I am also partially sighted rather then blind. They do give partially sighted people dogs as it helps with gaining confidence when travelling alone. I don't travel alone now. I used to when I had mental health issues. I was literally driven out because I feared my home was occupied by an unwelcome intruder. Now I have so many bad experiences of what happened when I did go out that I don't any more. I suppose that sounds really pathetic.

    I suppose I would have more cause to get a dog if the money I get to help pay my com guides was for whatever reason cut. It's not an impossible scenario as they cut back a lot these days.

    Guide dogs are mostly bred. Although my first guide dog Bruce was donated to the Guide dog association because he had an undershot jaw which stopped his career as a show dog. He was the first and last Australian shephard guide dog. His guiding was excellent but he also felt the need to protect me from people around. Particularly if I got upset for any reason.

    My 2nd guide dog Jilli was a black flat coated retriever. She was a lovely dog who saved my life once. It was her influence that made me vegan in the first place. Then I replaced her leather harness with a synthetic one but I don't know where as yet or if the firm is still in business. I also put her on a vegetarian diet. I fed her vegan kibble and scrambled free range eggs. And she also got fed god alone knows what by the general public who like to feed guide dogs.

    But both my dogs were eventually looked after by my dad and I was there in both cases when they got really ill and it was necessary to let them both go.

    So I really don't know what to do about getting a third dog?
     
  8. Forest Nymph
    Nerdy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Many vegans have companion animals living with them, and a guide dog is a companion animal trained to assist those who have eyesight issues. I would argue that that vegans train their dog companions in other ways, not unlike teaching a human child to play or have skills, so a guide dog is just a more sophisticated form of this teaching.

    As long as you are aware of the conditions in which the dog was raised and trained, I think the situation would be considered ethical. I think vegans who are opposed to pets or companion animals are unrealistic and borderline unreasonable, especially since science tells us dogs enjoy loving human families and that cats actually co-evolved with us (fun fact, while dogs were deliberately domesticated the term domestic cat is a misnomer in some regards since they actually chose to co-evolve around humans like rats and raccoons).

    I don't think anyone who is either not blind, or who has a companion animal themselves, has a right to tell you not to have a guide dog.

    Being vegan means not exploiting nor harming animals whenever possible. You don't sound to me like an exploiter.
     
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  9. Forest Nymph
    Nerdy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    That experiment example is only relevant in another century when we didn't have other options. If its not necessary its not utilitarian, its "tradition" or "ease."

    Just in case you aren't aware it's been nearly 20 years since US Congress passed a law to encourage the use of cell cultures, molecular analysis and mathematical modeling as some examples of alternatives to animal testing.

    Animal testing is not only completely unnecessary in 2018 with our paid medical trials and advanced technology but it's often harmful to humans or useless because of our genetic differences.

    Anyone in the field claiming it's "utilitarian" are either old and set in old ways, or are greedy for corporate funding or are closet sadists who enjoy the "work."
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  10. TopoGigio
    Nerdy

    TopoGigio Member

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    Unreasonable? Was that a personal attacks for having a different opinion?

    How we choose we to live with pets right now isn't so much my biggest concern, as if we ever become a society where people are vegan by default then this moment we are experiencing right now is a gray area.

    That being said, the ideal vegan society, ultimately, would be one where no animals would have to be locked in cages, in tiny urban apartments or dependent on us to feed them like our little slaves.

    Looking happy doesn't say a lot as one may also have argued the same about slaves (not long ago) being given a longer breaks than in other plantations, in those days such things would have made the slave-owner an awesome master; but that momentary happiness would not say much beyond that. Every living-being can be conditioned to different standards of living...it's how we survive.

    Just ask yourself this: Do you let your pet do whatever he/she wants? Urinate and defecate wherever he feels like? explore nature whenever and wherever? Does he have any challenges in his life? Does he take ownership of his mistakes?

    In my humble opinion, we may have grown beyond this concept of pets, we don't need to have pets anymore (we got each other), and our current goal should be to find a painless way to transition them back to independence.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  11. Forest Nymph
    Nerdy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Ironically vegans like you seem like animal haters rather than animal lovers.

    To deny dogs and domestic cats human care and compassion at this stage of the game is either vile cruelty or childish stupidity. Many would starve, be hit by automobiles, die of easily preventable disease and suffer emotional trauma being separated from their human friends.

    I'm guessing you also don't understand the value of wildlife rehab and just imagine this dream world where letting every single animal free in a forest or state park is "kindness."

    I urge you to take some science classes.

    If you don't want a canine or feline companion be my guest, meanwhile species are going extinct by the second, there are pigs living in crates they can't even turn around in and amoral sadists are genetically engineering sick dogs, so pardon me if a blind woman who seems kind and loving who also wishes to have a guide dog as a well cared for companion isn't the greatest horror I can imagine.

    You want people who enjoy pets to side with vegans, as they're one of our greatest hopes. The last thing you need to do is alienate people who actually have empathy for animals with psychotic ranting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  12. TopoGigio
    Nerdy

    TopoGigio Member

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    What one says means very little to what he does. It's very easy to have an opinion, everyone is entitled to their own, having extreme ideas doesn't make one extreme. I'm being perceived the same way as you are perceived by carnists: as an extremist.

    You seem too emotional. I'm just exchanging ideas here, that's the point of a discussion board to exchange ideas, I'm open minded to hear yours so don't shame me for having mine...
     
  13. TopoGigio
    Nerdy

    TopoGigio Member

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    Btw, Veganism is not for animal lovers just like abolitionism was not for slave-lovers.

    I don't love animals but I don't believe in inflicting unnecessary suffering, and I also don't believe in treating entire species like infants, that's very wrong in my opinion.

    You did make a good point regarding "wild life rehab", they need time to transition, I don't disagree with that.
     
  14. Deleted member 2263

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    Might not have been a fire had it not been for the dog saving you? Its like that vvhole naruto anime thing; like his anger causing the damage he defended against. Recently I pondered that since he vvas like exploited and all, suddenly the village is razed and he drags people to vvar vvhere he has fun vvith others like him.

    Just generally to all this:
    Have you experienced loneliness?
    I have, severe.
    I fear talking about this; in case of suddenly being targeted by females, kinda experienced that already to some extent..

    Sounds like you are talking about gods or akin level of beings or something is partially conversing through you, and that you latch on to such to an extent.

    I am personally much humbled by the dogs ability to navigate microbially. Vvhat eh, do you knovv of the undervvorld? Its about taking responsibility, every ear needs to be repaid (just look at all those covvs ears marked); its a pretty large amount of souls..

    Shitty humans i.e. shitty "guides" needing to end and quit messing vvith life.
    Reminds me of guided evolution.

    Yes I am being affected to sounding insane, something dislikes ..
     
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  15. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    I agree that Animal experiments could never be considered utilitarian. Although I once read a book called 'heart and science' by Wilkie Collins. It was written in the 1870's and their is a passage in the book clearly opposing Animal experiment back before computers or stem cell research was invented.
     
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  16. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    I think it's good to rescue dogs and other domesticated animals from shelters. Although in the case of guide dogs they have been bred. I could ask the guide dog association if I can have a 'rescued' guide dog but they might just say no. They might not even approve of the fact I'll be feeding the dog vegan dog food.

    My guide dog Jilli also saved my life.
     
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  17. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    I have had both human helpers and canine ones. Canine helpers don't tell you what to do. They don't tell you they only have an hour to spare as they have to pick up their kids. you only have to pay them in dog food and treats whereas human helpers can be very expensive. You are more independant with dogs then you are with human carers.

    I suppose some might consider it exploitation not to pay the dog or to work it all hours of the day but dogs don't mind some jobs. Especially not jobs leading to a park where they can run free and fetch balls to their hearts content.
     
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  18. Forest Nymph
    Nerdy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    My ex bf worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Francisco. He loved animals, cried over polar bears drifting to sea and starved...they aren't horrible people. I'm actually a pretty strict judgey vegan and I have a very hard time judging people with guide dogs. I think they breed them because they have to be breeds with a certain temperament (like labs) and have to be trained as pups.

    I usually love PETA but disagree with them on this...there's no way Guide Dogs for the Blind is hurting shelter animals, I think their logic is faulty occasionally though I admire Ingrid Newkirk, I don't see anyone heading for a shelter for a seeing-eye companion, and its not a "puppy mill" nor does such a thing compare to the horrors of circuses or "meat animals" which is the obvious definition of exploitation not GDFtB.
     
  19. Forest Nymph
    Nerdy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    You're the one being emotional dear. Setting all the animals free in a field is a bizarre fantasy that has long been disproven by those turds who set their dogs loose by a country highway or take their unwanted housecats to Griffith Park.

    That anyone would suggest its "vegan" to participate in such cruelty smacks of Franci-bot. Gary Francionne has quite a cult following of young poorly educated vegans who get indignant about pets. Gary Francionne has done more harm to veganism than good. He attacks every other vegan org from his perch on high, caring more about personal purity than animal realities.

    Meanwhile he wasn't even vegan til Ingrid Newkirk dumped his milk down the sink.

    Take a science class. Devils advocate isn't automatically a sign of superior logic.
     
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  20. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Perfectly true on both counts. In the UK the volunteer puppy trainer has the responsibility of going through an enormous tick list to give the puppy experience of encountering a wide range of scenarios. Things like going on a bus and a train.

    The professional trainer then takes over with the intensive training course. Dogs that make the grade begin their guiding careers and those who do not are offered for adoption. The latter are in high demand because, even though they failed to come up to scratch as guides, they are still very well trained dogs. Compare their fate to those of ewes who prove to be unsatisfactory because they produced only a single lamb instead of two or three.

    Both the volunteer and professional trainers do work that must be amongst the most wonderfully rewarding and satisfying anywhere.

    Roger.
     
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