throw the- ball!!!!- PLEASE!!!
|Barked: Mon Apr 28, '08 7:33pm PST |
|The classification as a carnivore does not necessarily mean that a dog's diet must be restricted to meat alone. Unlike a true obligate carnivore, such as a cat, a dog is able to digest a variety of foods including vegetables and grains.
Taking dogs as our species in question, we have to answer, what species is the dog? Dogs are a domesticated variant of the grey wolf, canis lupus. Their taxonomical classification is canis lupus familiaris. They are the same species as the wolf. They can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. They are more similar by far to the wolf than any other canid species, such as the coyote or the fox.
Wolves, including the domesticated wolf we call the dog, are classified biologically as being in the order carnivora. There is absolutely, positively no scientific debate, dissension, or discussion on this issue. Why, then, do so many “experts” say the dog is an omnivore?
The only reason any "expert" would ever say a dog is an omnivore is because he or she is an "expert" in a field other than the taxonomy of a species. No wildlife biologist or zoologist would ever tell you a dog or wolf is not a carnivore. But pet food manufacturers will tell you dogs are omnivores, because to them, "omnivore" means an animal who can eat both animal and plant foods. The problem is, if that were the scientific definition of "carnivore," there would be no carnivores on this earth. Why, then, is there so much disagreement on this issue?
I believe it is because we don't share a common definition of our terms. Scientifically, the species of the dog is canis lupus familiaris. The dog is a grey wolf. The grey wolf is a carnivore. Those things are crystal clear in a scientific sense, but hearing this distresses many people, because they are using the more common meanings of those words, and in common usage, obviously a dog is not a wolf and they are not "carnivores." In common usage, a "carnivore" is an animal that eats only meat, and a wolf is a wild animal. And so we go round and round arguing, and getting nowhere.
Going back to our list of questions, we now look at the natural, evolutionary diet of the grey wolf. To do that, we look at the research and writings of the most respected, best-known wolf researcher in the world, David Mech. We crack open his book The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species, where we find that worldwide, all evidence tells us that the wolf, today and in the past, ate mostly large ungulates (deer, gazelle, and similar prey), with a small amount of hare and beaver filling in seasonally and regionally. They ate almost no vegetation, not even the stomach contents of their prey, although "almost none" is not "none."
Some carnivores eat a lot more vegetation than the wolf, and a few, such as the big cats, eat less. One carnivore eats only the trace amount of animal protein that comes with the bugs that live on the vegetation it eats... the panda bear. Pandas took an odd evolutionary turn as they adapted to their vegetarian diet, but this quirky adaptation has left them extremely vulnerable in their environment, and the only carnivorous mammal that literally eats every waking hour. They are an anomaly in their order, but they do go to show that the scientific definition of "carnivore" obviously is not the same as the popular definition, or a panda bear couldn't be a carnivore.
(this --above -- was from an article I had saved, ic ould prob find it if needed....but I dindt want to take credit bol!)
Also it seems that we seem to think that dogs are omnivores b/c they "can" eat other things. Dogs are carnivores, but are also oportunistic creatures, so sure if I make some mashed potatos and drop it, they will eat it. Would they eat it in the wild? maybe a little here and there who knows...but they are still carnivores. Carnivores means meat eating, as in the majority of their diet, not that they cant even have anything else. Just b/c purina et al puts corn and grains and uses vegetable protein in their foods b/c dogs can tolerate and eat it, doesnt mean they are not carnivores! Purina does not rule the world nor the order of species just b/c they found a cheap way to sell food they can spray and make palatable and dogs, when given no other choice, will eat! Its not like the dogs can go shopping for their own food! bol!
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