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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Dangerous Feeding Practice I Can't Condone

By Dr. Becker

Today I want to talk about a dangerous practice that seems to be growing in popularity: feeding dogs and cats a vegan or vegetarian diet.

First of all you should know that I'm a vegetarian. Oftentimes people make the switch away from meat after learning about the realities of factory farming, especially the inhumane treatment of food animals, as well as the negative impact these practices have on the environment and potentially, our bodies. So I certainly understand and appreciate the decision many people make to adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

I also really appreciate people who do eat meat, but recognize the difference between factory-farmed animals and free-range, ethically grown animals. Free-range food animals are able to be outdoors in the sunshine where they can move around freely and live a wholesome, natural life.

While I appreciate the personal decision to adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, or alternatively, to eat only animal products from free-range food animals, what I will never understand is why many vegans and vegetarians think it's okay to force their personal viewpoints – their personal dietary choices – onto other species.
Dogs and Cats Are Carnivores

Humans are omnivores, meaning our bodies can digest both plant material and animal tissue. Dogs and cats are carnivores, which means they are meat-eaters and aren't designed to digest plant material efficiently.

Dogs are scavenging carnivores; cats are obligate carnivores. Nature designed the bodies of carnivores to thrive on nutrients provided by animal flesh and organ meat. Obligate carnivores (cats) must eat meat to sustain life. As scavenging carnivores, dogs can survive on plant material but they can't thrive on it alone. To thrive means to grow vigorously – to flourish.

Meat eaters must consume meat to unlock the body's healing potential, and to provide all the raw materials the body needs to function optimally. Carnivores, including dogs, fed a diet of plant material will not live a long, healthy life, and will have medical and degenerative conditions along the way.

When a carnivore is fed a vegetarian diet, or an herbivore like a rabbit is fed a meat-based diet, health problems are the inevitable result. Some species are better able to eat biologically inappropriate diets than others (I call this nutritional abuse).

However, a very delicate creature like a hummingbird, for example, if forced to eat anything other than it's evolutionary diet of nectar, will be dead within a few days.

Dogs and cats, on the other hand, are quite resilient. They can suffer a great deal of nutritional abuse and survive, however, their bodies will degenerate over time. Just because they can withstand nutritional abuse doesn't make it okay to feed diets that are inappropriate for their species.



Anonymous said...

Remember Mad cow disease? It was tied, at least in part, to the practice of feeding cows ground cow parts (hooves, ears, etc). Cows are herbivores not carnivores.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is concerned about what their pets are eating I would recommend Beaver Dam pet foods. Greenwood, Delaware family owned and operated since 2003.
No poultry bi products.
No dyes.

I've done the research and it's an excellent product.
They have a website if anyone wants more info.

Anonymous said...

c'mon 8:37, you must own Beaver Dam pet foods. a blog is no space for a shameless plug. Just feed yer pets table scraps, been doing it fer years and my dogs are healthy.

Anonymous said...

Put a salad in your dog's dish and see how happy he is about it. He'd rather starve.

Anonymous said...

Nope 1:13 I am not the owner of Beaver Dam. I wouldn't even know who owned the company if I fell over them. I heard about it from 2 different friends who used it for years. One a cat owner and the cat lived just shy of 21 years. The other a Golden owner and that dog lived just over 15 years. Both had no health problems until a few months before both had to be put down.
So when I got my dog, I looked into foods and since I had heard about BD I looked into it more thoroughly and found it was superiour to a lot of pet foods out there. My dog gets some table scraps but at nearly 150 lbs it's not practical. He wouldn't get enough protein and too much fat. Both cause joint problems in large boned dogs something that worries me and something the Golden didn't suffer from even at such an older age.

Anonymous said...

True 1:51. Mine will eat watermelon but that's about it in the fruit/veggie department.

Anonymous said...

My cats are "scavenging carnivores". The only time they eat grass is when they WANT to vomit.