Monday, March 8, 2010

Your companions' food: the plant-based, vegan way?

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist nor a veterinarian. I have not investigated it any further if a plant based diet is adequate. However, having roamed around the message boards and hearing people's positive experiences with this issue inspired me to post the suggestion that there are possibilities.

I remember being a kid and hearing the following for the first time: "don't give them table scraps! They're going to get sick!" I don't know if I possessed critical thinking as a child but for some reason that statement was peculiar to me. I, like many others, went along with this notion because it seemed to be the tried and true method. Sure, nonhuman animals cannot consume certain foods and that was reason enough for for us to trust our vets' word. However, in 2010, there has been increasing concern over politics--food politics, human rights, nonhuman animal rights, the bourgeoisie vs. the working class and so on. Thanks to these ever growing concerns, people no longer trust "authority" for they have betrayed in too many ways we can no longer count.

Now, I'm not here to employ scare tactics. Then again, what's scarier? A company who has included a carcinogen in your companion's food or the naysayer who is saying "NOOOOOOOOO! Don't do it!" We also have to think "Is someone getting paid for circulating the information they're circulating? Or are they not?"

If you haven't forgotten there was a fairly recent scandal about the presence of melamine in food. Strike one. Because we love and respect all nonhuman animals, another concern came to mind: the exploitation of nonhuman animals for food, clothing, entertainment, chemicals and other ventures (such as breeding). Strike two.

Some vegans don't have a problem with nonhuman animal exploitation for their companions because they feel that it is okay. Other vegans find it sickening. Interestingly, there have been dogs (as far as my knowledge goes) who are able to adapt to a plant based diet. Even more interesting is that some have been able to thrive. Hmmm. And we thought they were carnivores. (You can look to Alicia Silverstone and Prof. Gary Francione's experience with putting their nonhuman children on that type of diet)

To make matters even worse, the pet food industry uses animal products that the public is unable to consume which translates into health problems for your companions. Strike three.

I know what you're going to say. "THEY NEED MEAT!" You exclaim. I do find it odd that Little Tyke the lioness was vegetarian (not vegan, but still...). She has served as an example of a carnivorous nonhuman who was able to survive on an almost-plant based diet. There are also veterinarians who acknowledge that a raw food diet is adequate for dogs and cats. Hmm again. I have provided some links to have a look see. Perhaps this may be an ethical, healthy solution for your companions. Meanwhile, as for you, it has been proven that veganism is adequate (if not more!) for human health. I will be elaborating on this in future blogs.

To go plant based or not? Hmmm....

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