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Vegan pet foods

Discussion in 'Animals' started by lion, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. lion

    lion Member

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    Do you think that feeding your pet vegetarian/vegan pet food is cruel? Obviously I'm not talking about feeding herbivores like rabbits vegan, rather, people who feed their dog/cat vegan food. These animals are natural carnivores - especially cats, who are obligate carnivores - meaning they can't digest plant-based foods efficiently, and need meat for survival. Dogs on the other hand can eat plant matter if necessary but are still carnivores.

    The companies that produce these foods claim they provide adequate nutrition and that animals can thrive on them. But I fear there could be health repercussions even if they have supplements for the things they need from meat like taurine. I feel as if it's cruel to force your diet choices onto a carnivore who naturally eats meat. I'd say if you don't want to buy meat-based pet food, get a herbivorous companion instead or keep no pets at all.

    However, I am not that knowledgeable on the topic.

    What do you think? Do you have dogs or cats? Do you feed them vegan/vegetarian or not? And why?
     
  2. kim1984

    kim1984 Member

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    I have both a dog and a cat. To be honest, I had never thought about feeding them a vegan or vegetarian pet food. I think if they are carnivores then realistically it would be odd to feed them anything else. My dog is happy eating healthy vegan treats, such as carrot sticks or sweet potato, but his dog food does contain animal products. My cat on the other hand will not eat anything that was plant based only -- seriously, he would starve to death if I tried a vegetarian or vegan alternative, I almost guarantee it. I guess it would work better for my dog than my cat - but I don't even know where I would acquire vegan or vegetarian dog food to be quite honest with you.
     
  3. thisnthat

    thisnthat Member

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    This is a very interesting topic. I had never really given this any consideration. Honestly, I never thought of feeding pets according to the owner's diet, but for "ethical" vegetarians/vegans, I can see where this could create an issue. Still, is it in fact cruel to an animal that is by nature a carnivore? If so, it would kind of defeat the purpose, no?

    This is one of the "chicken or the egg" questions. Hmm.
     
  4. Connie
    Cloud_9

    Connie Active Member

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    I can make the choice to be vegan. Should I impose that decision on a pet? I impose it on visitors to my home, but they are all warned in advance. They all know that if they want cow's milk in their tea/coffee then they will need to bring their own because I don't have any in the house. They know that anything they eat here will be vegan and they all enjoy eating here because they are invariably surprised by what is on offer. Should I impose that on a pet? Personally I don't think so.

    I don't actually have a cat/dog but I frequently dog sit and I don't impose it on him. He is more than happy to eat anything I give him by hand and licks out a soya yoghurt pot with relish, but he hates his dried dog food that his owner insists he have. I don't blame him, but it is nicer for me than any tinned dog food which is usually the worst that the food industry have to offer and I have food a much easier way to get him to eat his dried dog food. I simply ask at the deli counter if they have any "ends" available, or purchase the cheapest/reduced proper meat. Sometimes he has had an entire roast chicken as a result - end of day reduction £0.50 or ox tongue 300g for £1.48 (there's 3-4 days supply). I don't have any qualms about handling it or preparing it for him. He is a dog, he is meant to eat anything including meat and who am I to re-design/evolve an entire species without giving them a choice! A tiny bit of meat (usually no more than £1-£2 a week) and he will eat his dried dog food and I don't have to smell that awful tinned dog food. It's easy for me, he's a dog, treats can be vegan, but his main meals? Not for me.
     
  5. GeeCee

    GeeCee Member

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    Actully I have a dog that can't eat wheat. He's a boxer, so any food that I get for him has to have no wheat in it. He tears up, and loses weight if I don't give him food that is wheat free. So, I think it depends on what your vet says. Just because you want to be a vegetarian, doesn't mean that y0u dog should be.
     
  6. Danielle Davidson

    Danielle Davidson Member

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    I never thought about doing that with my dog. I mean right now we are just giving him basic kibble. I'm sure that since he eats anything that he would eat vegan food. I think that since he loves meat, that I would just give him what he wants. I think that since he can't make the decison on his own, that I would keep on feeding him the food that he is eating now.
     
  7. gettingskinny70

    gettingskinny70 Member

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    honestly I think cats and dogs need to be fed meat and animal products because naturally they eat it. I think it's not right to decide for an animal or another person quite frankly!
     
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  8. winter.frost

    winter.frost Guest

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    I feed my cat Ami vegan food. It has added taurine. She always preferred dried food, not wet food.
    Every so often we go to the fishmonger and take some of the cheapest scraps home. This is a treat and is the only non-vegan product that ever crosses our threshold.

    I decided this would be a good way going forward. I was deeply unhappy with feeding my cat beef or pork considering she would not be capable of killing either of those animals in the wild. She is also a runt so it is unlikely she could successfully pounce on a chicken too, but fish seemed reasonable.

    Yes I would consider placing her on a 100% vegan diet, even though Ami is scientifically balanced with added taurine, cruel. Because that would be too much of an imposition of human will, of making an unknowing innocent cat pay for the mistakes of 7 billion homo sapiens and more in our history. This way, however, I feel like I have struck a healthy balance.
     
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  9. Remi

    Remi Member

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    That's only because it's never grown up to have to hunt for it's food, I had a cat that was properly fed, but would still hunt rodents for fun as we lived in the countryside. How often does your cat have animal products and what is she like? Just wondering as I've never come across a vegan cat.

    It would be best to feed a clearly carnivorous animal the animal products it desires. We fed our dog raw free range chemical free chicken or cow from the local butchers, she use to sometimes bury it and then eat it later; something they would naturally do in the wild. She use to love carrot and some other raw vegetables but she wouldn't survive on it. She passed away at the age of 14 from natural reasons and was always healthy.

    She was always a big scaredy cat, running away from sheep or chicken, but they are designed to digest raw animals. I think it's best to feed a carnivorous animal meat, who knows though I'm not an expert, if I didn't want to feed my pet meat I'd just get a bunny.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  10. winter.frost

    winter.frost Guest

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    Being the authority on my own cat, I hope you will forgive the fact that I have more of an inkling about her. When I say 'runt', I mean she is tiny. She is almost three years old and many neighbours believe she is just a few months old. She was bullied by her litter and only responds to my husband and I. What is more, I have several years of experience volunteering at a local veterinary centre.

    She is not vegan - we give her fish. Every so often she will also kill a frog, mouse, or some form of hatchling. She almost never attempts to eat these, however, but rather places them at my feet as if to say 'for you, in thanks'.

    'The animal products it desires' is a misguided statement. Is/was your dog likely to be able to take down a cow? Whilst it might be agreeable to give a carnivorous animal access to the meats it would otherwise have access to of it's own accord you are quite possibly really feeding it the but-ends of tissues and sinews unfit for human consumption coming from an animal it would not ordinarily eat. But I don't really want to get into that argument - it's unwise to go after other people where their pets are concerned, it's almost never pretty.

    All told my opinion is to give a pet access to the foods it would eat of its own accord and that it would be capable of attaining; if you like you can see how they go with nutritionally-balanced vegetarian sources in addition to this. My cat has always preferred dry foods, and quite besides the fact that the food she eats is vegan she prefers the taste of it over chicken or fish-based dry foods which we have had to give her on the occasions when her vegan food ran out. You must make sure that such vegetarian options have added taurine, however, otherwise they could pose a danger to your pets nutrition.

    We do not give her fish very often, but I am very astute to my own cat. If we feed her fish more often than once every few weeks she will not touch it - she very clearly prefers the dry food we have been giving her. So these days we make it a treat or a bribe to go to the vets. We have been able to cure various problems and complaints she had when she was adopted by us with this diet.

    I have also been asked to care for a number of cats whilst their owners were away. In addition to the foods their owners would instruct I give them, I took a little Ami to see if they would like it. So far I have not met a cat who did not like Ami - it appears to be quite popular.
     
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  11. Remi

    Remi Member

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    If she was brought up in the wild with a big pack of dogs she would, we bought her chicken thighs and stuff, she would eat the entire thing unlike us hoomans :p her poos were looking a lot healthier compared to when she use to eat dry/wet foods.

    A dog in the wild wouldn't only eat plant-based foods, it would most likely be unhealthy as the Ami stuff that you mention has probably had tonnes of research and is tailored to a dogs/cats need, which I have nothing against as long as the animal is healthy and happy.

    I can't agree with this argument, just because something is popular does not mean its good. Bacon is very popular but it is definitely not healthy for us.
     
  12. winter.frost

    winter.frost Guest

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    You seem determined to take the wrong meanings from every sentence I provide. As such this will be a short reply.

    Ami is a healthy alternative and has been widely covered even in mainstream media if you care to search for it. It is made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Our cat is thriving and, like I said, we have cured some of the conditions she was born with. Her coat is extremely healthy on this diet which, I repeat, is a hybrid of vegan dry food and fish straight from the fishmonger.

    Your dog, however, I suspect was not raised that way. Neither is a great portion of omnivorous humans probably capable of slaughtering their own meals. But that is merely an observation I make - you'll notice I haven't picked an argument here. Lastly I was not making 'an argument' with that last statement but responding to a much earlier post in this thread which questioned whether a cat or dog would even find vegetarian foods tasty. Again, I will waiver your determination. Thanks.
     
  13. Remi

    Remi Member

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    I have done and it looks well thought and researched.

    Super duper, my opinion is that a carnivorous animal wouldn't do well on a plant-based diet alone but do eat plant-based foods as well, which is what your cat is doing :p

    This is the only point that I don't actually get, are you saying because a dog couldn't kill a cow it shouldn't eat it?


    It's not really an argument just a discussion :L that's usually how forums work. I respect your opinion and success with your cat...
     
  14. emilynt3

    emilynt3 Member

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    I have both a cat and a dog and I personally think that as cats are obligate carnivores that they shouldn't be vegan but dogs on the other hand I would consider. It seems to me that to avoid this issue you should just buy a vegan pet (like a tortoise, so cute) but then that would mean that more cats and dogs would be left I shelters and ultimately put down. Its a complex issue >< but seriously tortoises are adorable
     
  15. Blueberry
    Sunshine

    Blueberry Member

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    Interesting discussion here.
    It is something that has been on my mind since turning vegan. I spend hours looking at labels in the supermarket for the slightest hint of dairy... yet buy packs of fish/meat chunks for the cats.

    I have two rescue cats that were weaned onto meat pouches at the rescue centre before I took them on, so I continued to feed them dry and wet food.
    I am going to look into vegan dry food and see if I can introduce it with the wet (fish only) pouches for now.
     
  16. Sally
    Joyful

    Sally Active Member

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    My cat is such a fussy eater that if I gave him vegan food he'd probably pack his bags and leave me for a carnivore.
     
  17. winter.frost

    winter.frost Guest

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    Hi all.

    For anyone interested Veggie Pets sell taster sizes of vegan pet food for about 80p. That way you can see whether your pet would take to it.

    For instance I've been living with family recently and the family dog is notoriously fussy but she tries her very best to eat all of my cat's vegan food whenever she can. When I mentioned this to Veggie Pets they sent us a sample of the dog equivalent and finally we have something we can reliably feed the dog as she loves it.

    You never know ;)

    For fish-only cat food (very hard to find) I use the Yarrah brand. And I believe they've just started offering vegan products too which is awesome - I had no idea 'til just now!
     
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  18. Vegan Dogs

    Vegan Dogs Member

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    yes i am delighted i found veggiepets website to get vegan dog food. they do vegan catfood too saw. my dogs LOVE the vegan biscuit treats etc love peanuts all sorts. due to not fnding vegan totally before they ate fish and rice or potato dogfoods before...as stated elsewhere on this forum i do not hold wth the imagination that my dogs or any of our dogs are wolves...that in fact only managed 1 n 10 animal hunts well...so ate berries etc also ...and wolves n the pyrenees wolf park are fed dogfood that as standard is 75 percent non meat ! our pets are not wild animals whether they could kill a cow or oversized abnormally bred pig of modern times is as irrelevant to me as whether they could bring down and kill and eat a human ! the wolf park in fact in their talk said feedng the wolves modern food made them fight amoungst themselves less. certainly healthy wolves and healthy pet dogs...who are NOt wolves but human designed freaks for the most part nothng very natural about most of our dog breeds. i see no merit in owning a pet for my pleasure that incurrs the suffering greatly of any duck chicken or pig factory farmed in huge quantities to supply an unnecessary diet to my pets. my pets exist for my pleasure not for their natural needs otherwise they wouldn't be on leads even ! the fact they could kill a bird or mouse is just part of their primitive instincts...certainly dangerous for their health as mice and rats carry leptospirosis diseases dangerous to our overbred unnatural pet dogs !

    i do add i found it unnatural to me to own pêt ducks and feed duck dogfood to my dogs ! no way ! my ducks had personalities intelligence feelings like any animal. i do add it was easy for my breed of dogs, sheepdogs, not engineered by exreme human selection to be hunter killers to protect my ducks not harm them. i do stress not easy for different exreme type bred dogs course. i am not into animal racism...to say a duck or chicken can suffer and be born just to supply my pet dog with unnecessary to it food.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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  19. Jules86

    Jules86 Member

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    My dogs get fresh meat mixed and also eat veggies. Vegan diet for your pet done wrong can do alot of damage. There are alot of things to consider, not just give them a vegan kibble. Everyones own choice, i find the diet my dogs are on is the most healthy for them.
     
  20. Madison Fragillan
    Cheerful

    Madison Fragillan Member

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    I don't have any cats, but I feed my dogs vegan food, because dogs are omnivores, so they can eat either meat or plant foods. I get it from a website called veggiepets.com, and it's really great. There is a whole selection there to choose from, as well as vegan chews and treats and biscuits. It all depends on the dog, every dog has different preferences, and some will just refuse to eat what you give them. But my dogs love veggie food, and have been happily eating it for years.
     
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