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Los Angeles Shelter Dogs to go Vegan?

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  1. Casey

    A vegan diet would kill my dog. Seriously, he’d scratch himself to death. This man is sadly misinformed. And I guess that all the insects, mice, rabbits, groundhogs, and foxes killed through farming monocultures of plants is totally cool by him.

    Surely they can do more to help shelter dogs than make them vegan?

    1. Aj

      Animal agriculture requires far more plant based feed than a “vegan” dog food (or vegan humans) could require. So even if lots of animals were killed by non animal farming (most animals would run away when a harvester comes rumbling along) it is still less damaging to animals and the environment to eat vegan than not.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Vegan pet ‘feed’ is far different than a human food vegan diet. They are not the same thing. Feed can be (and often is) contaminated with all types of toxic things. Just to be clear, I personally have no issue with a human choosing a vegan diet – I commend that. However a vegan pet feed diet for dogs is something I cannot get on board with.

      2. Jeri

        Feeding a species-appropriate diet is more important to me than the “environment”, frankly. I won’t feed a carnivore a vegan diet. That’s just cruel. Nor would I recommend one anymore than I would insist that herbivores be fed meat. Susan is spot on. Nutritional concerns aside (which are many), the “feed” part is concerning in and of itself and frankly this looks like a move to feed the cheapest garbage possible to shelter animals, while pretending it’s all for some noble cause. Our carnivorous shelter pets deserve so much better.

  2. Donna Muse

    I am a vegan who cooks for her two dogs and to try to make them vegan is unadulterated BS. They eat meat, fish and eggs along with vegetables, carbs and eggshell powder for calcium. I would never try to impose a human diet on an animal-enough stupid is enough. The mentality in this nation has gone to hell due to the Internet and all the misinformation purported on it. Stop the Voodoo medicine in the vet world.

    1. Jeri

      The voice of reason! Thank you!!!

      1. Ten Year Follower


        14 oz. 90% lean ground beef (or 93% lean)
        2 tsp hempseed oil or 3 T ground hemseeds
        ½ Tsp Carlson’s cod liver oil, or 2 sardines
        ½ Tsp ground ginger
        ¼-1/2 Tsp. kelp powder (provide 0.2 mg iodine)
        1 egg
        ½ eggshell
        1 oz. beef liver
        1 oz. broccoli
        1 oz. red bell pepper
        1 oz. spinach

        Mix together. Can be heated or served raw.

  3. Cheri Fellinger

    Just insane.

  4. Tiana Vandestaan

    Vegan diet for dogs? How many idiots exist in our country who have their say in ours or pets’ health? Because of those degenerates our cats and dogs have so many cases of diabetes and other deadly problems with health.

  5. Dan Bilancio

    All I can say is…Only in California!

    1. Lynn

      you mean Kalifornia

  6. Sandra Short

    It’s just wrong…

  7. Pegg Bauer

    Susan: NO ONE on the board is going to read an email of that length and complexity. It needs to be one or two VERY SHORT comments or sentences — something that they can glance at and get the meaning. .

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      You don’t have to use my example letter – it is just there as example.

  8. Audree Berg

    This sounds like something from the Onion News Network!

  9. Katie Rainey

    This is a ridiculous concept. Shelter diets have no relationship to shelter euthanasia rates. Canines are not herbivores. Human’s keep attempting to correlate their dietary choices to animals. Dogs are omnivores. Increases in adoption rates have no correlation with Shelter dog’s diets. So, the shelter boxes a potential adopter into a diet which is not they may not be able to keep up.

    If you want do a radical dietary change because you feel your current shelter diet is not having the dog’s gain adequate weight, and not yielding the body conformations you want. IF LAAS wants to make radical changes in nutrition Then maybe LAAS should start a Veterinary kitchen and consults with a company like “just Food for Dogs.” Consult with Company’s that don’t Co pact their foods. Company’s that have their own plants and oversee their own product. Choose a Company free of recalls.

    Research the number of Food recalls and Food Contamination incidents in the US within the past 3 years. Pay attention to the Contamination incidents from non animal foods sources.(spinach, packaged salads, humus etc). Being non meat does mean the food source is safe. Being non meat does not protect from contamination. A high number of Food contamination’s occur due to processing equipment.

    Therefore, do due diligence in investigating and researching. I strongly recommend.
    Please consult with Veterinary Nutritionalist before implementing nutritional changes. This was response to the LAAS email contacts you provided.

    However, LAAS is the City of Los Angeles Animals Services. Not the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control (LACACC).

    Katie Rainey DVM

    1. Jane Doberman

      Dogs are not omnivores either. They are carnivores, not obligate carnivores like cats, but the PRIMARY source of their nutrition is from meat. A very small percentage of their diet comes from fruit and the contents of their herbivorous prey’s intestines. The digestive system of carnivores, like dogs, cannot handle large amounts of carbs that they would get from any vegan or vegetarian diet. It’s diabetes waiting to happen.

  10. Caron

    This is horrifying. Dogs are omnivores. I’m tired of the cult of veganism determining what animals should eat. I have no problem with humans being vegans, and I was a vegetarian for 10 years. But this is anthropomorphism at its worst.
    Thank you for letting us know. I will send my letters.

    1. Jane Doberman

      Dogs are not omnivores either. They are carnivores, not obligate carnivores like cats, but the PRIMARY source of their nutrition is from meat. A very small percentage of their diet comes from fruit and the contents of their herbivorous prey’s intestines, but this is like 2%.

  11. Sometimes a Player

    The first rule of government is that NOTHING is ever done for the good of the population unless an ulterior motive serves the better interests of the government! The trick here, is figuring out what’s really in it for LAAS.

    1. Did Canidae agree to a cheaper supply feed contract if they could exclude meat?

    2. And is LAAS is trying to sell the opportunity to avoid bad publicity?

    3. Somebody crunched the numbers to determine how much meat protein is in the volume of feed sold to the Shelter. And therefore how many animals it took to manufacture that protein. Of course they’re not calculating that it’s really waste protein anyway. But the theoretical question is, how would not using those animals, be backed up the supply chain?

    4. Does it mean the livestock industry has agreed (or would) to NOT slaughter that many animals in response? Which means they’re also willing to take a loss?

    5. LAAS is referring to the humane treatment of *all* animals, except how do they justify feeding contaminated feed, not only to Shelter animals, but to all animals period, including those in the livestock supply chain? Shouldn’t they be questioning PF manufacturing practices, AAFCO, FDA, USDA and the failure to enforce existing regulations??

    No doubt PETA is behind this idea, selling it both an affordable opportunity to LAAS and to progress their ultimate goal of eliminating (not only the inhumanity of factory farming) BUT the elimination of companion pet ownership. Don’t believe it, read the history of PETA’s core philosophy. And remember politics is often at one end of an extreme. While there’s nothing wrong with noble causes and a higher purpose, the implementation of one extreme (irrationality) at the expense of the majority must be examined. Which, given the climate of this country, makes compromise and common sense, very unlikely!

  12. Jacqueline White

    It’s a great idea for dogs to go vegan. I have many FB friends and other friends whose dogs are and have been vegan for years. Done properly there is no reason why it’s a bad idea. Dogs do not need animal products to live or thrive. Because of your attitude towards this issue I will no long subscribe to your emails. Go Vegan!

    1. Jeri

      The vegan diet to carnivores assumes that all protein is equal. It is not. Not even remotely. Dogs do need animal protein. It may not fit your worldview and may not be what you wish to hear, but it is the truth.

    2. Kristen

      If you knew anything about canine biology and physiology, you would know canines NEED a mostly meat diet to thrive. They have a SHORT digestive track and teeth that slice meat and crunch bone for a reason. They don’t have multiple stomachs for fermentation, they can’t move their jaws in any direction but up and down (can not chew), and they lack the amount of specific enzymes to properly digest large amounts of carbohydrates and plant matter. Those are just a small handful of reasons.
      Please stop pushing human moral ideals onto our meat eating animals. If left to their own devices, they will prefer meat and go after live prey and scavenge carcasses. They are not herbivores. If you want a vegan pet to feed a vegan diet to, get a rabbit or a cow.

    3. Kristen

      ““Dogs are considered “facultative” carnivores, meaning that they are true carnivores (flesh eaters), but they need not depend solely on animal matter to meet all of their nutritional needs. They can **survive** on other sources of food, such as plants and insects, **for a time** or **as a supplement** when meat is scarce.””

    4. Jane Doberman

      Is canine diabetes a bad enough idea for you? Any vegan diet is going to be way too high in carbs. Not all protein is equal. The digestive system of carnivores, including dogs, is very short and designed to break down animal protein, not carbs. Feeding your carnivore a vegan diet is very bad for them!

  13. Woofielover

    Not to mention that Canidae is made by Diamond Manufacturing, the leading pet food recall manufacturer in the country. Canidae, Natural Balance and other pet foods producing a “vegan” pet food absolutely do not care about the well-being of the carnivore eating their products. These products are a money grab.

  14. Woofielover

    Dogs are NOT omnivores, they are carnivores. The fact they will eat something forced upon them because they have no other options or will occasionally consume a fruit or veggie makes them facultative and smart enough to choose life over death by eating what’s presented. In order for a dog to thrive, meat is REQUIRED. Just look at the digestive tract, jaws and physiology of dogs to glean what they NEED to eat. It’s bad enough that they’re fed kibble while in a shelter system. Removing meat is inhumane.

    1. Jeri

      Well said. Choose what you wish to eat, but feed a diet appropriate to the species to them. Pretending that dogs are thriving on a veggie/plant matter only diet is ridiculous in itself. There are amino acids which are only available in meat. Period. Not all protein is equal, folks. Stop forcing your dietary philosophies on carnivores!

      1. Lisa Marie

        And legumes by the way, which make up a large percentage of that silly Halo Vegan crap for dogs, legumes are high in lectins which can cause inflammation.

    2. Lisa Marie

      Exactly Woofielover, very well said. I would say it even borderlines as animal abuse – imposing a vegan diet on a carnivore. A dog in its’ natural habitat would not be hunting for legumes and potato protein.

    3. Kristen

      Thank you. The omnivore thing is old and outdated, yet most people still swear by it. More people need to look up the meaning of Facultative Carnivore.
      Taken straight from the main google answer:
      “Dogs are considered “facultative” carnivores, meaning that they are true carnivores (flesh eaters), but they need not depend solely on animal matter to meet all of their nutritional needs. They can **survive** on other sources of food, such as plants and insects, for a time or as a supplement when meat is scarce.”

      1. Jeri

        The reason so many people believe the omnivore myth is that we have been brainwashed as a nation into believing they are courtesy of the pet food industry and the krapple they produce (which is mostly grains, fillers, and species inappropriate carbs and starches). If dogs were unable to adapt to what we have been feeding them they would be dead. As it is, they are not living longer, higher quality lives and have a plethora of health issues which once plagued only the very old (cancer, for example). We need to get them back to the diet they were meant to consume: real food, including animal protein. High quality protein and ingredients which do NOT include what is in the bags or cans found on grocery shelves.

      2. Debbie

        Agree. The people that started the omnivore thing was the pet food companies. That was the only way to get people to buy their crappy food. Dogs need meat..but a small small portion of raw pureed veggies is beneficial for nutrients. They cannot digest whole pieces of veggies.

    4. Debbie

      agree completely

    5. Jane Doberman

      People are confusing facultative carnivores with omnivores. Not all carnivores are obligate like cats, but all carnivores prefer and need meat as it is the primary source of their diet. Omnivores don’t have a biological preference between meat and plant-based foods, since they are equal. I agree, removing meat from a carnivore is inhumane.

  15. Kathryn

    Beyond belief!!! This man and his ‘staff’, Board, Commissioners, etc., are blooming Idiots! but, in all respect for those of you that DO live in California, it’s IMPO something that is not beyond the pale for the citizens of that state.

  16. Lisa Marie

    Oh good God no!!!!! A dogs pancreas doesn’t produce enough amalyse to digest all those carbs, it’s bad enough with the carbs in the processed meat diets, shame, shame, shame on those who want to impose a vegan diet on our carnivore friends!!! I will contact those you have listed, I also hope that vets such as Dr. Becker, Dr. Royal, Dr. Judy Morgan, etc., will also contact the names you have listed, how awful.

  17. Eve

    Beurcracy gone barking-mad. Forcing dogs in fact any carnivorous species specifically designed by nature to ingest a vegan diet is abuse. After 25 years in animal care with veterinary background of both domestic and wildlife I can assure the unbiast educated people that a Vegan diet wi ultimately set your pet up for dis-rase bkth physiologically, emotionally and psychologically. I knew this time would come. I myself am Vegan and have been for 6 years. I detest animal cruelly. And yes Im fully aware of the strong debate between animal slaughter cruelty to feed a pet – I agree it is with internal conflict; but humans chose this fate. Humans domesticated dogs and cats and so we as a species have through reaching spirituality have opened our awareness to all living beings as we are all connected share equal valueof ones life and emotions. Growing laboratory meat could be a valid option it is grown without harming animals and our land planetary resources, however, it is GMO and this is where I havw grave concerns for pets. As I mentioned carnivores digestive system their complete biological systems are not designed to ingest GMO meat this in itself is just another form of animal abuse….no different from force feeding carnivores vegan feed! I strongly oppose the vegan diet its ripe with abuse and illness. We all wish we could gently sing euthanisia lullabys to the cattle who are forced to endure such attrocities but until we reach that state of consciousness we must choose to do whats biologically correct for our pets.

  18. Mary

    I just sent my grievance. Thank you for notifying us! Insane of them to do this…..

  19. Ellen

    Several years ago I corresponded with the nutritioinist PhD for V-Dog. You have to supplement the food for any type of complete nutrition, especially for their feline line of foods.

    While I respect Nathan Winograd for promoting No-kill, his insistence on visiting his and his wife’s vegan philosophy on their cat is insane. I wonder if he’s still alive. This shelter move is either on the heels of this or driven by PETA. Both of which should scare the 💩 out of all of us. Please send your letters of disapproval to all the board members.

    One thing bothering me about your email is the comparison of two degenerate foods. What would prompt anyone to maintain the crappy “meaty” food if it’s as bad as the plant based? I would stick to carnivore, meateating animals, what their teeth are designed to do, and the switch back after adoption. Dogs need meaty bones to clean teeth, and an all plant based diet will cause plaque and tartar and lack of teeth/gum stimulation.

    Than you, Susan, for jumping on this.

    1. Debbie

      Does he really? His cat is being fed vegan? Cats MUST have meat or they will die. OMG.. I agree with you Ellen. Glad to see people here that know what they are talking about.

    2. Erich Riesenberg

      Dogs do not need meaty bones to clean their teeth.

      A raw food diet will keep their teeth free of tartar and plaque.

      I don’t understand the arguments about which kibble is best, when no kibble is best. Raw food is always going to have more nutrients than processed food.

  20. chris

    I am on facebook and help rescue dogs from the LA area (mostly German Shepherds) because most of their shelters are high kill shelters. Most of the shelters there do not do what is best for the dogs to begin with -leave them with wounds untreated, neuter them without pain medication, label a lot of dogs aggressive because they are scared in the shelter. This would just add to the problems that LA shelters already have. Right now at least they get dog food and then when they are rescued , people try to do better by them. I personally think that Los Angeles is a bad area just because of the celebrity status down there and that a lot of people think pets are throwaway. Lets hope this does not get passed.

  21. Sandra Schermerhorn

    My dog’s are vegan and still act like puppies. One is 12 and the other 13. They have no health issues what so ever. Too many of my friends dogs have died from tainted meat.

    1. ellen dorfman

      I have heard many good things about v -dog food. PRocessed dog food the meat is so bad I think they are better off without it. I dont know why V dog food is so spendy, its not organic but clearly vegetable sources of protein are much less contaminated than meat sources.

  22. Heidi Greene

    All animals need to be fed a biologically appropriate food for whatever species they are.
    You can’t turn a zebra into a lion by wishing it so. It’s so illogical that I’m practically speechless.
    If they go ahead and feed the animals that way I hope they are sued for abuse and neglect of every animal in their possession.

    1. Dianna

      Now THAT is a great idea. Unfortunately, how many dogs would have to get sick and/or die for a lawsuit to pound some sense into these idiots?

  23. Dr. Oscar Chavez

    Susan, very interesting, thanks for sharing. Where can we read the scientific proof that a ketogenic diet can cure cancer? I clicked on your links you provide here but they didn’t point to a peer reviewed paper or study (or maybe I missed it). I would be interested in reading about this.

    Also – interesting that there is now compounding scientific evidence in humans (published, peer reviewed studies) that eating meat increases cancer rates in humans, for specific types of cancers. This is fueling groups in human nutrition that advocate for plant based diets. I wonder if they are transferring that logic to dogs?

    I’m with you – dogs need meat. They likely don’t need the excessive amounts of meat found in most modern raw and low carb recipes. It’s a nutritional fact that once they meet their amino acid needs, all dogs do the same thing with excess protein: 1) they excrete it in the urine, or 2) they store it as fat. Dogs actually meet their protein requirements quite early, at only 25 grams per 1000 kcals, per the NRC 2006. Many modern foods are many times this – making the diet unnecessarily high in protein and (worse for the pet parent) unnecessarily expensive. I always wondered what happens to the liver and kidney after many years on these “species appropriate” foods.

    I agree we should feed dogs species appropriate foods. I simply disagree with the group on the links you provide that a high protein food is appropriate for a dog. They are not cats, they are not wolves. Species appropriate (for a dog) means a rounded diet with modest to moderate protein levels – not too dissimilar from our own balanced meals.

    1. Ten Year Follower

      Dr, Chavez, I believe I’ve met you in person at a conference hosted in Sacramento. And also used Sabine’s nutritional services long ago when JFFDs was beginning. Thank you for writing this comment! Which basically addresses moderation. I wonder whatever happened to the old fashioned concept of rotation diets too. I’ve read that dogs, in the process of being domesticated, were opportunistic feeders. Existing off of, or in conjunction, with populations who depended upon their foraging/hunting skills, meaning dogs were never handed a dish of nicely prepared balanced food. But scrapped off of leftovers, which could be a variety of non-perfect food stuff. The difference between then and now, is that the food wasn’t artificially processed, preserved, GMO’d, sprayed with pesticides, or cultivated in excessively contaminated agricultural areas.

      Dogs raised by our grandparents and older generations were fed household food scraps, usually home grown, again a varietal and seasonal diet! Also wondered why Vets prescribe a bland, combination diet of rice, cottage cheese and low fat protein to help support recovery. And seldom is the recommended diet a plate of pure, raw, fatty veined stew meat. In the wild, I’ve read dogs wouldn’t feed solely and only on the meat carcass, but also scavenged on the fermented contents the dead animal’s stomach and intestines, particularly after larger game had their fill of prime cuts.

      Somehow the myth has been perpetuated by PF manufacturers that pet diets should never be changed, or changed so slowly as in taking weeks. When actually the pet’s natural ability (via enzymes and a strong metabolism) to benefit from variety has been depleted due to not having enough, fresh, wholesome, variety in their diet in the first place! I feed combination food (turkey or minimally cooked beef, steamed veggies, cottage cheese, hardboiled egg and other goodies) but just make sure to add a balanced kibble, or digestive enzyme and pet kelp. And keep the excessive fat content to a minimum.

      PF Supply owners often sell those highly rich, all protein “raw” diets because they seem like an expedient “solution” to so many of their customer’s pet’s eating problems! When actually it’s the poor ingredient quality of commercial PF and the excessive use of trendy “pea” starch in so-called “grain-free” diets, which is not a natural food for dogs either. Nothing wrong with occasional raw food, or any other aspect of varietal feeding, just as long as the nutrient content is accumulated over time (from species appropriate) all wholesome, healthy and richly bio-available sources.

    2. Jane Doberman

      Only about 2-5% of a dog/wolf’s natural diet is from plant sources, generally from scavenging fruits or the contents of their prey’s intestines. The rest is from meat, but it’s not all muscle meat which provides the protein. This includes offal and bone matter, so one of the first things you’ll learn when researching a BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet is that you need the right percentage of muscle meat, organ meat, fat, and bone. But a 95% meat diet is not excessive for a dog, it’s actually appropriate as long as it’s balanced. Humans are omnivores, and realistically we only need 3-5 ounces of meat in a meal, when in reality we generally consume 2-3 times as much. That and the meat source is from feedlot-style production which is unhealthy compared to grass-fed pasture-raised animals which is actually healthy. So the human cancers you’re referencing are more a result of the source and amount of meat in our diet, rather than meat in principle.

      So yes, dogs don’t need excessive protein (it actually leads to kidney disease), but their diet should be almost all meat, with a small percentage of fruits/vegetables added. None of their diet should come from any grain, corn, or soy product. Excessive carbs leads to diabetes and cancer in dogs.

    3. Jane Doberman

      Also, not all vegetables are created equal. Potatoes are empty calories and full of unhealthy starch, for example. Peas and other cheap veggies that are often found in dog foods are also not great, especially in excess. Leafy greens and carrots, blackberries and blueberries, are the sorts of things that dogs should be eating, in addition to balanced meat sources.

  24. Reverend Jane Eagle

    I sent this letter (followed by yours):
    I adamantly disagree with the potential decision to move LAAS shelter dogs to a vegan diet.


    I would love to put my dogs on a vegan diet, so I have researched it as extensively as possible. I would never do this to any predator who I cared about.So far there is no hard evidence that dogs can be healthy for the long term on a vegan diet.

    If you truly care about the welfare of animals in your care, then please start by instituting a No Kill policy immediately; and this does not mean that you can classify dogs as “unadoptable” just because they have been there longer than you want, as my local shelter does. For steps to accomplish this, see: ;

  25. Debbie

    Dogs are neither omnivores or herbivores. They are Carnivores. Basically this place is trying to KILL the dogs before they ever get started. I agree with Heidi Green above. Anyone feeding vegan should be ashamed of themselves for ever doing a dog this way. It is NOT healthy..I don’t care what they say or think. SAD that they think this acceptable without talking to some of the largest experts on the planet about why a dog should NOT be fed vegan diets. Its inhumane. Healthy my A$$! Ha! Tainted meat..thats YOUR fault for feeding tainted meat.

  26. Dianna

    Did it. Thanks for making this so easy to do, Susan. Just when you think that people who should know better couldn’t be less informed, they come out and surprise us. If they fed these animals FOOD grade meat, they would solve a lot of the problems they say they have and would save money in the long run. I’m sure tainted meat poisoning animals is costly for shelters. I wonder just how much the “budget” has to do with this??? Follow the money, they always say.

    1. Jane Doberman

      Undoubtedly it has everything to do with the budget. Plant-based proteins are WAY cheaper than meat-based ones, and the only reason things like corn and soy have found their way into dog food is because of cost.

  27. maxie

    while peta kills with an injection, it’s a quicker way to die, a vegan diet will kill them slowly, that’s a horrible way to die. neither is acceptable for any healthy animal’s life to end. canines are not plant eaters and I have read many reports of people forcing their cats/dogs to eat vegan and the animals had many health issues because of it. kill them with kindness? I think not, make them so ill that they will need to be put down, and what happens when a person does happen to adopt/buy one of these shelter animals and they start feeding them a normal diet again? hopefully, they do it slow enough for them to get their systems back to functioning normally again without any medical issues. dumb, ignorant, uneducated on the shelters part to even want to do this.

  28. Sandra Murphey

    Unfortunately I just saw this, only one day before the vote. But I jumped into action by posting a question on Quora, which asks what people think of this….. Then I requested answers from specific dog people, so hopefully it will have more visibility. Facebook is next.

  29. Sammi Maon

    Ugh, I’m late on this, but sent an email anyway. Does anyone know what the result is?

  30. Trent G

    It’s interesting how people here talk about “animal abuse feeding a vegan diet to dog,” yet these same people, in feeding modern dog feed are doing exactly the same things given the fact “meat” based dog feeds are not addressing any of those elements either – ie most barely have any meat in them and the meat they have is of the worst quality and probably contain carcasses of anti-biotic, toxic laden flesh – and it’s not animal abuse to feed our pets that garbage?

    Not to mention, speaking of species appropriate, what’s species appropriate about feeding a cat tuna? When have you ever seen a cat swim out into the ocean and pull in a 400lb tuna?

    Need I point out that being carnivorous is not solely about what is consumed, it’s about how it is consumed. Even the most home-made, species appropriate fresh food diet we can offer our pets are not going to exercise our pets full carnivorous nature. So let’s not be destroying the vegan diet idea by the very same arguements you could apply to a meat feed diet. You can’t cherry pick facts just to suit your argument.

    That’s not to say I agree with a purely vegan diet for a carnivore, but then I also don’t believe in feeding a terrible commercial dog food of which no regulation is enforced. So, given LAAS currently feed a terrible highly processed and unregulated feed, the new vegan proposal can’t be any worse for the animal, especially in the small space of time the animals are in the shelter (<2 weeks on average). We all have to applaud LAAS for their effort to make a change when something isn’t working. LAAS are clearly recognizing that they can’t feed a 100% wholefood, raw, species-appropriate diet to their animals given funding etc etc, so they’ve taken a holistic approach for their community. We all know the destruction on the planet, ourselves and animals with the animal agriculture industry. The damage the animal agriculture industry is doing to the air and water we all breathe and drink (including these animals at the shelter) is probably having more lasting health issues than a shift in one nutrient deficient diet to another.

    More philosophical but highly relevant, should we continue breeding animals for domestication purposes given we have to kill other animals to feed them? At what point does that stop becoming “natural?” We all breed far too many dogs and cats as it is as evidenced by the amount of healthy animals killed at shelters every year. What happens when the world embraces compassionate living and animal agriculture industries are shut down, what do we feed our domesticated carnivorous pets then? We all love dogs and cats and other pets, but we have to remember they wouldn’t be here if we didn’t breed them into existence. Why is it we feel we need pets? Is it to cure our own suffering of loneliness or we like to take care of things, or we think they’re cute? There’s a lot of personal selfish decisions being made there and none of it is within the best interest of the other party to that contract – ie animals. Some things to think about because while I believe in ensuring every animal, much like every human eats what’s best for them, there are a lot of solutions created here to solve side problems to the actual problem humans created many years ago – animals were never meant to serve humans, they were here long before us and unless we take them into extinction with us and our destructive habits, will continue on much longer than us.

    1. Sometimes a Player

      This comment can’t go unchallenged.

      Striving for a perfect, morally idealistic world is one thing. But it hasn’t arrived. And so it’s necessary to deal with complications. And factoring in human nature with varying self-interests..

      The LAAS was called out for a misguided approach to pet nutrition, instead of attacking the manufacturers of bad PF and the agencies which give them a pass for doing so, with “compliance policies.”

      To do the right thing, it’s not about vegetables over protein, but human edible food (including variation) over repurposed garbage.

      If LAAS being socially responsible was about addressing an environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable world, then they should campaign on specific issues! On an incremental basis (meaning doable) they should Isolate the problem and demand regulation and enforcement.

      But substituting vegetables for meat, is a very deep stretch to say the least, which most consumers won’t understand, since livestock agriculture isn’t going away any time soon.

      The LAAS argument should be based on removing illegally processed commercial PF from the marketplace, period. And substituting human edible, wholesome, various “food” ingredients. The TAPF and been working on this problem for TEN YEARS! So welcome to the effort, if not somewhat belated!!

      Obviously, it’s an economically improbable expectation for a community Shelter. But it doesn’t mean AAFCO, the FDA, State Agencies, should continue protecting PF manufacturers in their unethical business practices. Which have now turned deadly, reference articles about Evangers. Which is a MUCH bigger issue, than “just” vegetables!!

      Rhetorical questions: Lions are fed with meat! Will a basketful of organically grown vegetables work instead. Would it be natural. Based on the comment above, then the argument should be consistently applied. Should animals be in a Zoo. Are there programs trying to protect the longevity of a certain species, but are being handled in captive situations. Would it be “better” for volunteers to going to the natural habitat (protected from predators) to insure “fresh kill” always being provided, without competition from larger prey. The point is, we live in a complicated world so situations are handled incrementally and practically, and within the powers of human interactions.

      Canines are more/mostly carnivorous than not. Left on their own, they are opportunistic scavengers, feeding on the remains of kill (which larger feeders leave behind. Including scraps, roadkill, the fermented remains of whatever the dead animal ingested. Fresh kill (non-toxic) might be preferable, but doesn’t exclude feeding whatever available edibles exist. Therefore a diet can (and should be) variable. And at least, rotated, to account for the widest range of nutrients.

      The domestication of dogs doesn’t mean they were captured, dragged into captivity, and kept prisoner simply to “amuse” our ancestors. But because dogs have skills, they assisted humans with hunting and protection services. In exchange, regular feeding was provided. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement. Based on a need for the survival of both. Dogs (alone in the wild) don’t live longer than those with access to health and dental services.

      One comment in this thread said, don’t impose a human moral code upon dogs. Dogs aren’t “reasonable” creatures, much less idealistic, purists and self-directed! Humans “choose” being vegan. But they can access anything. Try offering a dog two separate bowls (vegan and just meat). Watch what happens. All will eat the meat first, and may not be interested in the other. But that’s also based on the degree of the individual dog’s survivalist gene! Others will eat everything, out of an instinctive “need” to stay fed.

      The other end of the rambling comment, speaks about the prevalence of Shelters, and the overabundance of breeding. While unfortunate and heartbreaking, do humans have a Foster Care system for children. Should we discourage procreation, because children end up in distressful situations. Again, it’s about choice BUT especially responsibility. This is not, and never will be a “perfect” society. So we must deal with issues. And, as the militant PETA of decades ago would do, (check your history) this isn’t about illegally invading a facility (using animal testing) to let animals go free, instead of insisting on laws to prevent it. Or about whether animals are “happy” or not. How large an area a chicken has to roam, before it’s slaughtered (??). But ensuring decent behavior in the first place, concerning ALL aspects of animal’s care.

      Start simple with “food” over feed, and then the fundamental understanding and acceptance of THAT particular principle will lead to rectifying much larger issues!! Because that is a HUGE hurdle for most average PF consumers to grasp!! Witness giant bags of kibble going out the door of warehouse stores! Economy over health!

      Dogs being in Shelters isn’t about “overpopulation”, but having a disrespect for animal life in subordination of human selfishness. And shortsightedness. Acquiring a pet, doesn’t mean one less will be bred, though it sounds like a perfectly rational argument. But human nature is a series of choices and free will. Truly honest, responsible breeding, is for purpose and improvement. Breeders provide owners with support and recourse! Accepting an unwanted dog back, and insuring health and temperament isn’t the excuse to dump a dog in a Shelter. But nobody can change “stupid” in the first place.

      Backyard breeding happens for profit, but also when laws aren’t enforced, and illegal activity isn’t reported. The community must insist on local responsibility and ostracizing offenders! People require education. And consequences! The rest of us (who are responsible) shouldn’t be positioned to correct the mistakes and stupidity of those who are not. A dog is to be valued for its lifetime, through all inconveniences, and for the best intention of the pet. If that owner is dealing with the right sponsor in the first place, then the pet won’t end up as another expense the community shoulders.

      Cohabitation of human and dog goes back centuries (eons) but the relationship is to be honored and NOT exploited. This historical interdependence won’t be changed by philosophical arguments and various judgmental platforms. It’s a product of natural evolution, long before we encountered the luxury of making exceptions to assuage our conscience!

      It would’ve been more productive for the LAAS to present their views in terms of a rotation diet, alternating Vegan with high quality, human edible protein. In life common sense and flexibility is what sustains the day! (And truly, I think we’ve had this conversation before). The world is complicated. And adaptation is the only we’ll survive.

  31. Something to consider

    From the article:
    Have you heard about the veggie-eating dog who lived to the ripe age of 27? That’s 189 dog years!

    The dog, Bramble, a blue merle Collie, lived in the UK and held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog at the time.

    What’s most amazing about this story is that the dog actually lived on a vegan diet of rice, lentils and organic vegetables.

    She ate once a day and exercised a lot.

    1. Jeri

      I believe that dog was a farm dog….no doubt supplementing the high carb diet. There is a dog in Australia who eats a balanced BARF diet…including meat who has outlived her. Forget the dog’s name.

  32. Amanda

    Excellent! My dogs and I are vegan and they are in so much better health. It’s kind of a shame that fake news about vegan dogs is so rampant. Vegan does not mean carbs, fyi. It’s also a shame that people think dry food is good for a dog. I always make my dogs food to match the dog…pug and min pin get different amounts of added veg and legumes and quinoa and chia seeds, etc. Shar pei mix and baby rott mix get different amounts too. It made a difference in their temperament and their looks too, both extremely positive. No reoccurrence of mast cell cancer in my 8 year old Shar pei too.

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