Friday, June 26, 2009

vegan is a dirty word to a dog

What is a vegan?
Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. Most vegans also avoid the use of all products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived non-food products, such as leather, fur and wool.

What is a vegetarian?
When most people think of vegetarians, they think of lacto-ovo-vegetarians. People who do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products are lacto-ovo vegetarians (“lacto” comes from the Latin for milk, and “ovo” for egg).
is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products.
refers to people who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs.

What is a dog (canidae/Canis familiaris/canine)?
Zoological categorization of dogs - CARNIVORES - from the Smithsonian.
ORDER CARNIVORA - Suborder Caniformia ("dog-like")
Even if someone doesn't subscribe to that, you HAVE to admit that they cannot be classified as HERBIVORE. So feeding them a herbivore's diet is clearly unnatural.

From Robert K. Wayne:

Dogs do not produce amylase in their mouths which is common for animals who are known herbivores or omnivores. Dogs have dentition and digestive systems designed for the ingestion and digestion of prey animals. Dogs have the psychological/behavioral instinct geared around hunting. Hell, even the social structure of wolves is to facilitate successful hunting of large prey animals. (And before we get into another debate about this, the domestic dog is the closest relative to the grey wolf - so close that they differ by only .2% of their mitochondrial DNA)

Iams did a study comparing animal based proteins to plant based proteins.

They found that compared with dogs fed a diet with 100% chicken protein, dogs fed diets with decreasing levels of chicken and increasing levels of corn gluten meal had

* decreased lean tissue
* increased body fat
* decreased levels of blood proteins routinely used as markers of superior nutritional status

They also found that senior dogs fed a 32%-chicken protein, chicken-based diet had better body composition and a muscle-specific protein pattern identical to that in healthy young adult dogs. Whereas the dogs fed a 16% chicken or a 32% chicken/corn diet did not have the good results.

So, what about your dog? Carnivore's diet? Omnivore's dilemma? Or forced herbivore?
And, most importantly, WHY?

If I'm asked for my opinion I'll provide it, but I'm not about to start a one-woman raw crusade. I'd rather put that energy into doing something positive for my dogs and my relationship with them, personally. To me, that positive thing is a raw, biologically correct diet. And damn, do my dogs look good!

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