an ethical question for vegetarians and vegans?

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Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
Barked: Thu Dec 15, '11 10:39pm PST 
Sorry I didn't know where to put this if this isn't the right forum for it.

I know someone who will not buy any food product with beef in it for her dogs or cats. She's a vegetarian and buys fish based for them (she will eat fish herself for only meat).

I don't get it though. I'm not critisising personal beliefs, I just don't get why does it matter if your pet eats certain meat even if you're a veg?

No right or wrong answer here I guess I just wanted your thoughts please and please know I am not judging them.
Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Thu Dec 15, '11 11:02pm PST 
Fun fact, someone who doesn't eat meat but will sometimes eat fish is called a pescatarian.

If she has a protien preferance so what? I mean, at least her dogs are getting meat protien. smile

I have meat protien preferances for Scruffy but mostly do to his food sensetivities.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Thu Dec 15, '11 11:02pm PST 
It could be a compromise. The owner realizes that their pet must eat meat to be healthy, but they are not willing to support certain types of farming (be it for cattle, poultry etc), so they compromise on a protein source.

I am not vegetarian, and while I will not eat conventially raised meat or eggs, financially, I am not able to do that for the dog.

We get as much wild game RMBs, meat scraps and organs as we can, as well as pre-made raw made from grass-fed beef, but the options for pork and poultry are pretty limited unless I go for the factory farmed stuff.


Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
Barked: Thu Dec 15, '11 11:47pm PST 
Ah no I was thinking of it more like putting the beliefs on the pets and that didn't make sense to me I just wanted the vegs to speak up about it big grin I mean not to judge them, but to just hear their pov you know?

I had to really talk her out of feeding her dogs vegetarian food. She explained that it's too hard for her to feed anything but fish now but yes it's still meat.
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 12:17am PST 
Many vegetarians HATE HATE HATE the thought of their money supporting the cruel meat industry. Even if they're not eating it themselves, just by buying it for their pets is an ethical problem. Their dollars go toward more animals living in horrible conditions and polluting the environment with their wastes. (Trust me, factory farms are one of the biggest sources of water pollution in the world from all the poop runoff.)

My sister is vegan and has a cat- she doesn't like where her cat's food comes from, but knows that cats can't be (healthy) vegetarians so that's that. She feeds it whatever is on sale (canned food only) and rationalizes that most of the meat in pet food is not human-grade anyway so it would go to waste if it didn't end up in animal feed. (Definitely true for cheap brands.) She says if she could feed her cat on roadkill meat that would be acceptable to her (since it goes to waste anyway), but that's not very available in New York City.

The fishing industry isn't without blemish, by the way... Pollution, seafloor destruction from trawlers, overfishing of rare species, "by-catch" of unsaleable species that goes to waste, dolphins and turtles drowning in nets, etc. It's pretty horrific.

I recommend reading Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog if you want to contemplate the ethical backflips most humans do to justify their feelings toward animals. (Hint: logic is rarely a deciding factor!)

Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 3:29am PST 
I am a vegetarian but there is no way I would expect Beauregard be one or make him be one. I know he is not meant to be a vegetarian and it is not up to me to turn him into something he's not meant to be. As an animal lover I do what's best for Beauregard and trying to turn him into a vegetarian is not what's best for him. We buy Beauregard organic meat that way we know that the animals are treated well not like the poor animals in factory farms. I think that this person you're talking about should respect the fact that her dog is a carnivore and feed him/her like they're a carnivore. By forcing her beliefs onto the dog she is not doing the dog any favors.(still waiting for email)

Edited by author Fri Dec 16, '11 3:31am PST


More Bored- Collies
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 3:44am PST 
While I do not believe in imposing such a lifestyle on a dog, there is a "right" and "wrong" way to do it.

If the vegetarian in question decided s/he was going to purchase a carnivorous animal and feed them *fresh* veggies/fruit only, I would see an issue. The dog could not possibly obtain the balance that they need from raw plant matter than they are unable to digest.

Personally, I don't even particularly like the idea of the vegetarian kibbles.
However, they have more usable protein in them than simply fresh raw plant matter. Since it is so processed, the cellulose bonds are broken before the dog ingests them (dogs do not possess the enzyme cellulase that would break down cellulose bonds for nutritional benefit - humans don't either but we need the "roughage" as our digestive tracts are much longer).

So with the kibbles, a dog is technically able to get proper nutrition from a "vegetarian" dog food.

bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 9:05am PST 
There is also factory farmed fish which causes just as much problems as factory farmed anything else. Not only do they cause pollution, but they can infiltrate already delicate wild fish populations and devastate them by spreading disease, competing for food/territory/breeding, and muddy up their genetics.

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 9:20am PST 
I've been a vegetarian by choice for something like 17 years now, way more than half my life, of that, I was a vegan during college for 4-5.

It's up to the comfort level of the individual. I feed my dogs prey model raw and attempt to get as much free-range local pasture meat, but at times I do shop the supermarkets and get conventional meat. I know where it comes from and I know what that entails, it's the reason I myself don't eat meat.

But we all make compromises - some vegetarians might not feel comfortable with that and might not own a carnivore for that matter then. And that's perfectly fine.

I choose to own carnivorous animals and so I choose to feed them biologically appropriately. I think about the hypocrisy in my decisions but they are what they are.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Dec 16, '11 1:53pm PST 
I'm a vegetarian, and my pooch is going to get prey model raw.
The main reason I don't eat meat is because I like animals (if you're wondering, the other reason is I absolutely despise plants shh).

So my choices for dog food are:

Not get a dog at all

Feed the dog vegetarian kibble (my dog is a carnivore, that would be ridiculous)

Feed the dog regular kibble (which isn't great for the dog, and still kills a bunch of animals)

Feed the dog raw (resulting in a healthy, happy dog who eats a biologically appropriate diet, and also a bunch of dead chickens/cows/pigs)

So vegetarian kibble, even though it's processed so much, would be like feeding a horse only hamburgers or something. If I used regular kibble there would just be less meat in it, and my dog wouldn't do as well as with raw because of the grain and how easy it is to eat. With raw, there's more meat, but my dog will be happier eating what he's designed to eat.

My dog > farm animals laugh out loud
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