Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
This was inspired by another "pet" discussion, which unfortunately generated a lot of nasty accusations and unsubstantiated rumours. I hope this thread will be a place to discuss the practical matter of feeding our dog and cat babies in a supportive and non-hostile atmosphere. My own dog has been nearly vegan since 2008, but occasionally she's had nonvegan cat food and other stuff she shouldn't have had. Once this summer, I panicked and intentionally fed her some nonvegan food because she was refusing foods she normally likes--fortunately it was just a temporary reaction to the stress of too many foster animals being introduced at once. My fosters have all been adopted, and I've decided I'm going to focus on my own three babies for now.
My dog's main food is Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula, but lately she's been having some digestive problems and I'm thinking of switching her over to homemade food. I just bought some VegeDog supplements and I can see that the enclosed recipes are very simple (but will need to be cut way down because she's so tiny). I'm a bit nervous because I'm not used to preparing food and worrying about how long it's been hanging around, etc., but my dog does seem to like home-prepared food better than kibble. I'm also concerned because Natural Balance has vitamin D, and I don't see that listed on the VegeDog label ... plus I was surprised to see that the recipes call for salt. My dog is on heart medicine, but the vet says her problem isn't serious enough to require a special diet. Still, should I *add* salt to her food or would it be better to omit it from the recipes? She can be a picky eater at times, but nutritional yeast and baby food are usually enough to entice her to eat.
My cats still eat flesh, but the kibble portion of their diet is vegan now (Amicat). At first they really seemed to hate Ami, but when I finally tried again and sprinkled it with some nutritional yeast they started eating. Now they'll eat it even without the yeast, but they *really* like canned food and beg for it often.
I'm really hesitant to make them eat nothing but kibble, and I'm afraid they may be eating too much kibble as it is ... I've heard this can cause kidney problems, but I don't know how reliable that information is. I've bought some VegeCat and was glad to see the recipes are very simple.
BUT my cats are super finicky eaters. I'm not sure if they'll eat what I prepare--so far I haven't had much luck getting them to eat fruit, vegetables, grains or tofu.
There's also the question of medicines/pesticides and which ones are really necessary. My animals were vaccinated recently, mainly because I was planning to take in fosters, but I really wonder if I should allow future shots. What are everyone's thoughts on these matters?
I have one cat who has kidney and urinary problems, and have found no solution to feed her with vegan food.......
but, the other one is fed on amicat and benevo, and just loves both. The important thing is to have taurina in cat food, as they need it, but amicat and benevo do add some in their food, so no problem. I found a study on vegan cats, everything seems OK. I put it here.
We only recently have had vegan food for animals in France, as veganism, even for people is only starting here.....but now, we can order them from "un monde vegan", an online shop that only sells vegan products. It's a good thing.......my cat has been having vegan food for about a year, and she's in perfect health so far....
but I must say I find my cats "natural vegetarians", as they just love vegetables! when I cook cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, ...they really ask for some, and eat it right away with much pleasure! my big cat even loves......melon!
as for medicines, I stopped putting "spot on" products, as they are vey dangerous for cats and dogs in fact.
I found a gorgeous thing in my organic shop: a medal to protect cats and dogs from fleas and ticks, it's difficult for me to explain in english how it works, but it's very effective! both cats haven't had a single tick or flea this year! I'll tell you more about it....
here are informations about that medal, but it's in french.......
The tic-clip medal contains a bioenergetic imprint . It has great ability to store multiple layers of information like homeopathy. This results in a vibrational field around the animal, which will confuse the sensors of the tick or flea.Tic-clip medal will prevent them from reacting. Parasites no longer have the same behavior: they no longer recognize the animal as a blood meal.
Thanks, Panther, I read the French link and understood most of it but was unclear on a few points, so I looked around for the English version: http://www.greenweez.com/fiche-produit/medaille-anti-tiques-tic-cli.... (Actually the parts that confused me in French are still a little confusing in English too.) My kitties don't wear collars but maybe I should consider it for my dog.
I found this link through the NZ Vegan Podcast and haven't taken a close look yet, but it sounds very interesting: http://www.leadwithyourheart.net/Homemade_Vege_Meals.php
On a related note, this site questions some of the common medicines and pesticides people use for their animal friends: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/
Hi red dog and blackpanther! First, some cut-&-dry stuff: a lot of people, even vets, are just vaccinating cats & dogs when they are very young, and then only keeping up with rabies, which is legally mandated. Plus feline leukemia for outdoor cats. Seems good to me. I don't know how well herbal antiparasitics work.
Quite a few vets are recommending that all cats -- but especially those with urinary or kidney problems -- eat only wet food. Kibble is apparently just too dehydrating, even if it's moistened with water. I think there's also a lower protein ratio or something.
I tried Vegecat pH with my late cat, but she kept getting urinary crystals and dropping weight. Ami was not available then, and Evolution has a bad reputation. I hated using the very expensive prescription diet, so I ended up using meat that had been either donated to a shelter or taken from a dumpster (still frozen).
My present feline companion is FIV+ and has chronic gingivits/stomatitis, and I think the Vegecat recipe was hurting him, so we're trying Ami. However I want him on wet food as much as possible, so he's getting a regular fairly high-end canned food. He likes both just fine.
For your dog, just skip the salt and see what happens. I think it may be optional anyway, isn't it? And make a batch and freeze some, so you don't have to worry about spoilage.
Neither of my cats like veggies, but the former one fought me for every scrap of meat analog I brought into the house. And for soy or almond milk. She would stick her head in my cereal bowl so the milk spilled from my spoon onto her head, but she did not care one whit. She did insist on investigating everything else, but never ate veggies.
Hello Red Dog
Thought I would up date you on my companion animals transition from meat eaters to vegans.
I have not fed any meat or fish to my 2 dogs or my 9 cats for about a month now.
To be absolutely honest, one dog and one cat are not at all happy about it and both have lost weight.
The other animals are all doing well and woof down the vegan food, no probs.
I am making a real effort to make their meals as interesting as I can; cooking pasta and pies and sos mix sausages, marmite gravy and of course vegetables mixed in with their complete biscuits.
I would like to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences with dogs and cats turning their noses up at non meat food.
I have never vaccinated any of my animals, nor in fact my vegan child!
I believe in creating a good immune system, through diet and lifestyle, for animals and humans alike, so they can combat diseases naturally.
Where are you red dog, do you have access to a veggie dog and cat food supplier?
My supplier 'veggie pets' posts food, they are even distributing it to India!!!
Thanks for the suggestions, Susan, and sorry for the late reply. So you think even a mixed diet of kibble and wet food could be harmful for cats? That's what they're getting now, and one problem with adding more canned food (apart from the fact that it's made out of dead animals) is that they'll eat it really fast and vomit if they get too much. I have some Vegecat in the cupboard but they're totally uninterested in all the "human foods" I've offered them ... just getting them to accept Ami was a big step, but for all the reasons you've mentioned I'm not comfortable making it their sole food. Even fake meats don't appeal to them very much. The only thing I can think of is to keep trying new recipes and offering new foods in small amounts, but being prepared for them to turn their noses up ...
My dog's digestion is better and she seems to be OK on Natural Balance now, but she's elderly and is a picky eater, so I think I'd feel more comfortable getting her on more home-cooked foods and omitting the salt. I messed up some recipes when I tried, but I feel I should give them another try soon.
Thanks Den Friend, you sound very dedicated! Do you have a recipe for Marmite gravy? Do your cats eat it? I'm in Korea and vegan Natural Balance for dogs has been available from local vet clinics for a few years now, but it's only recently that the SM Ching Hai group has made Ami kibble and Vegecat and Vegedog supplements much easier to obtain (meaning they import it in bulk so individuals don't have to pay exorbitant shipping fees to import it personally).
I'm very conflicted when it comes to vaccines ... I think one issue to consider is how common the diseases are that people vaccinate against. I haven't had shots myself for close to 25 years because it seems unnecessary, and I held off vaccinating my babies for a while for the same reason. However, I gave in when more and more distemper and panleukopenia cases (among local rescue animals) came to my attention. My cats are indoor cats and my dog only goes out for walks on a leash in a nice suburb, so the risks seemed low, but I occasionally visit shelters where these diseases are common and I also took in fosters for a while. Right now I'm in Canada due to a sudden emergency and the babies had to go to the "pet hotel" for a week ... basically that means a cage in a vet clinic that also gets a lot of animals with serious illnesses like distemper and panleukopenia. The cats are very stressed out, so if they hadn't been vaccinated I worry that they'd be at risk in that situation. I can't say I'm not worried about the risks of the vaccines, though.
Hi Red Dog,
That's interesting, living in Korea.
I think people have to make difficult decisions based on their circumstances. I can quite see that you would have to take precautions with your companion animals health, which may involve vaccinations. A rescue I support in Phukett have had distemper running rife through the area. They have had to burn huge areas down, creating a sort of firebreak, to try and stop the desease spreading. They have been vaccinating hundreds of dogs, what a nightmare!
I live in Brighton, south coast of the UK. It is the vegan capital of England! I am part of an AR group, which is quite active. We have a vegan festival here next month, so thousands of like minded people descend on us! Are you involved in AR? Are you on FaceBook? If you are take a look at what we get up to: sussex action for animals.
To Make the gray I use Bisto gravy powder, I fry up some onions and put a teaspoon of Marmite in it.
Until all are free
Ack! Den, onions are toxic to dogs & cats. I occasionally fed my former feline companion meat that had been cooked with onion, and now I wonder if that contributed to her Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. We had to euthanize her when she was 10yrs old and in otherwise good health.
I've read the onion warning multiple times; here are two sites I just now googled for you:
Red dog, I don't know how important the wet/dry food difference is. It's a fairly recent issue, and certainly millions of cats have lived long lives on kibble alone. Who knows if their health was still adversely affected. I'm finding myself using more kibble now, seeing how quickly he goes through wet food. I've been unemployed for over a year now, relying on my partner's stipend as a grad student. Fortunately, G. greatly prefers kibble.
Basically, I think a mixed diet is a good balance, unless one of the cats has urinary or kidney issues. Oh, and maybe they wouldn't bolt down the wet food if you mixed water in, to dilute the taste and slow down the process? Better yet, try pureeing in small amounts of whatever else it is you're trying to get them to eat. They'll be a little less enthusiastic about the canned food, and will get accustomed to the unappetizing food. ;)
I would vaccinate in those circumstances as well. It seems like you wouldn't have to use the Feline Leukemia vaccine, if I recall correctly, and that is the one that is most often implicated in fibrosarcomas.
Oh, and remember that some baby foods have onion in them, so be sure to check the labels when you get some as tempting topping for your dog (or cats).
Have y'all seen some of the YouTube videos showing cats gobbling broccoli or watermelon? Too funny!