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conflicted...

to feet pets meat or to not feed pets meat

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a. a. VIC Posts: 82
1 6 Jun 2011
I am so confused about the the "right" thing to do is what regards to ethically feeding your pet. Who here feels that it is right/wrong to keep a dog or a cat on a vegan diet? Is it fair on the pet itself? Id like all opinions!
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EarthDefender EarthDefender QLD Posts: 270
2 6 Jun 2011
Not fair.

I would not be trying to change my cats diet to suit my own morals and beliefs because I know that it would harm him. If you want to own pets you need to do what's right and healthy for them.

I've heard that you can veganise a dog. But cats are different. I know for a fact if my cat has a slight change in his diet he suffers massive urinary tract problems. So no deal to that.
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Tanyaka Tanyaka VIC Posts: 1219
3 6 Jun 2011
I just feel like they should be eating how they would in the wild. I don't think vegan omnivores and carnivores are natural. If they are in our care we need to give them the best. It is hard enough keeping a pet healthy in this day and age without hoping that making a carnivore vegan wont have long term effects.

I don't want to ever deny my pets meat, but I want to give the best source possible. I think scraps that would otherwise go to waste are a great source of meat for them. But whatever diet, they need to be balanced and complete foods regularly.

It's hard. I personally don't think owning animals is very vegan because we still are supporting animal products. And if we don't.. we are pushing our beliefs on to them and whilst it may be safe and keep them happy, it may not also... I don't want to risk it.
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OinkMoo OinkMoo NSW Posts: 1340
4 6 Jun 2011
my dog ( st. bernard )  is vegan ~ only due to medical resons, as she cant digest meat and bones so she has vegan pet food - which i will add is expensive.

my cats on the other hand eat meat, as much as i hate it , i dont think it would be fair by them ~ so we buy free range meat for them. but then again i wouldnt have cats but they were rescues ( im not a cat fan tongue)
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Emilia Emilia WA Posts: 285
5 6 Jun 2011
Cat's can't be vegan full stop.

happy
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xMISSMONSTERx xMISSMONSTERx WA Posts: 2582
6 6 Jun 2011
Emilia said:
Cat's can't be vegan full stop.

happy
I agree here, Cats are obligate carnivores, and both my cats eat meat.
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Beemo Beemo United States Posts: 1259
7 6 Jun 2011
Cats and dogs both have the potential to live on vegan diet. Though with cats more care needs to be taken, but it can be done. I don't think there is a problem with someone trying a vegan diet for cats, as long as they are prepared to feed their cat meat if they do not take well to the diet.

Dogs take extremely well to a vegan diet as they are omnivores. I personally don't think that feeding them a vegan diet is any less natural than feeding them meat that has come from farms and factories.
Commercial dog food which is made from meat is actually so processed that most of the vitamins and minerals etc. are removed and have to be synthetically added back into the food after processing. So a dog that is eating commercial pet food is getting hardly any of its nutrients from the meat, they are getting them from synthetic sources. So going by this information, a dog eating veganpet food is getting exactly the same nutrients as one eating commercial pet food. I know not everyone here feeds their dog commercial pet food, though it is an interesting fact for those who do.

Thousands of dogs are now successfully living on vegan diets, and some of the oldest living dogs in the world have been vegan and vegetarian, who lived well into their late 20's.
In the end it is your choice what you decide to feed your companions, though there is absolutely no problem with a vegan feeding their pets a vegan diet, as long as they plan and ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.

If an animal can live healthy and happily and get all the nutrients it needs from a non animal source, then I don't see any problem with it.
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Contreras Contreras NSW Posts: 349
8 6 Jun 2011
This issue has been talked about a large amount but ill copy and paste some interesting points from last time:

I found out an interesting fact, that commercial pet food companies use synthetic taurine because the meat is so processed only a very small amount remains. So this means health wise vegan pet food is no less healthy then commercial pet food. It also shows just how bad  commerical pet food is, if the animal acids are lost because of processing.

I also found a study that showed vegan/vegetarian pets had adequate taurine and cobalamin levels along with some improved health benefits and here is a link to the study - http://www.vegepets.info/assets/Vegetarian%20Cat%20Study%20Wakefield%20et%20al%202006%20JAVMA.pdf

Here is an overview of the study:

"Objective—To determine motivation and feeding practices of people who feed their cats vegetarian diets as well as taurine and cobalamin status of cats consuming vegetarian diets.


Design—Cross-sectional study.


Animals—34 cats that had been exclusively fed a commercial or homemade vegetarian diet and 52 cats that had been fed a conventional diet for ≥ 1 year.


Procedures—Participants were recruited through a Web site and from attendees of a national animal welfare conference. Caregivers of cats in both groups answered a telephone questionnaire regarding feeding practices for their cats. Blood was obtained from a subset of cats that had been fed vegetarian diets. Blood and plasma taurine and serum cobalamin concentrations were measured.


Results—People who fed vegetarian diets to their cats did so largely for ethical considerations and were more likely than people who fed conventional diets to believe that there are health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet and that conventional commercial cat foods are unwholesome. Both groups were aware of the potential health problems that could arise from improperly formulated vegetarian diets. All cats evaluated had serum cobalamin concentrations within reference range, and 14 of 17 had blood taurine concentrations within reference range.


Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Vegetarian diets are fed to cats primarily for ethical considerations. Results of this study should aid practitioners in communicating with and providing advice to such clients.

FYI the cats with taurine below reference range were not low enough to be considered critically deficient." - http://www.vegetariancats.com/study.htm

END OF STUDY

Another thing to add, is that just picking up pieces of human grade meat isn't enough for cats, you need to be feeding them organs with high amounts such as hearts and even then they recommend taurine supplements. The fact of the matter is for a cat to get enough amino acids from meat they need to be eating whole corpses of small animals and nothing else, because the meat you buy from stores will be one part you have to constantly be buying different parts and mixes to attempt to get all the animal amino acids and even then they will probably still recommend a taurine supplement.

Lets also talk about the natural diet, cat and dogs descendent's ate meat in the wild but when we get to domestication for thousands of years they've been living on human scraps and i doubt that had enough of the animal amino acids yet they continued to survive for years. After that came commercial pet foods, which when processed provided little amino acids so cat's were deficient for years until they discovered that they needed animal acids like taurine and cobalamin so they started putting in synthetic and that's where they are at today.  

The fact is vegan pet food gets a bad rap when the exact supplements are used in commercial pet food, which is further backed up by the above study. So a few conclusions can be drawn from all this, a common ancestors natural diet isn't the same as an domesticated animal, vegan pet food contains the same amounts of amino acids as commercial since they both use synthetic sources, to have a cat with those acids from meat would require them to be only eating small animals whole so they can receive all the nutrients from various body parts which would be destructive of natural wildlife and finally we can see from all these facts that there is nothing wrong with vegan pet food since cat's and dog's have lost their natural diets and can live fine on a vegan diet(as seen in the above study).

My point of this post isn't to argue all animals should be on a vegan diet, it's to provide the facts about a non-animal diet for pets after researching the idea with a un-biased approach seeing as i have neither of these animals and wanted to know the facts for myself. On the research against, i mostly found information about the impacts of amino acid deficiently which didn't take into account artificial supplements and the fact that commercial pet foods also use these supplements.

The issue some vegan cats (male) can have is urinary problems from the larger intake of carbohydrates, although the same issue can arise from commercial pet foods and the percentage is still small the cat may need to have a percentage of meat added to it's diet.

Products like veganpet are meant to be mixed with over foods for meals like tofu, potatoes, TVP etc. the same goes for feeding a cat commercial pet foods, do not just give them tins/dry food and expect it to be nutritionally sound.

Either way if your cat is vegan or not it should still have it's diet nutritionally tested but i do think if a person reads enough into keeping a vegan cat as well as having vet checks to see if the particular cat takes well to it then there isn't a problem, although in situations where the cat isn't taking well to the diet the person needs to add meat if necessary. If you don't want the extra time researching into the diet or taking some of the risks then it's probably not a diet you want to explore with your pet.
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rottweiler rottweiler SA Posts: 1907
9 6 Jun 2011
I think it sounds great! Because I know sometimes I dont actually feel vegetarian when feeding Cargo meat.. But at the same time.. If i was to turn him vegetarian, there's no way of him telling me that it's not the correct food. Your pet can't tell you what it's meant to eat, and if it feels 100% or not. And for that reason alone, i'd never make him eat anything other than what I believe he should be.
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Pinkhotstar Pinkhotstar QLD Posts: 163
10 6 Jun 2011
Ayshe said:
I am so confused about the the "right" thing to do is what regards to ethically feeding your pet. Who here feels that it is right/wrong to keep a dog or a cat on a vegan diet? Is it fair on the pet itself? Id like all opinions!
I will go without medications and meat and dairy and what not, because I do not believe my life is of more value than another sentient beings, however, I am a huge hypocrite because even though in my head I know every animals life is of equal importance and value, unfortunately I place my animals above every other animal on this planet, and I know it is wrong, but there is no way I could deny my animals life saving medication, surgery and a diet that consists of meat. They are carnivores  and to inflict a vegan diet onto them is endangering their lives. I used to be a vet nurse, and despite what these "so called vets" who advertise vegan food for animals say, vegan diet endangers and shortens animals lives. I know a few pathologist who can attest to that fact, from the necropsies they have performed. But in saying that I am sure there are pets on vegan diets living happy healthy and forever lives, but I still would never risk that. Its like there are people that feed their dogs chocolate, and they never get sick, while another dog could have a small amount and end up with chocolate toxicity. Humans are meant to be herbivores and cats and dogs are meant to be carnivores, and denying them that diet is dangerous to their health. I know these so called vegan pet diets are meant to have all the vitamins and nutrients and what not, but animals, in particular cats, are very sensitive to things that humans may not be and it is too easy to endanger their health by messing with what mother nature intended.
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