Your Dog Is Not A Vegan pt 2: The Ethical Dilemma.

In part one of Your Dog is Not Vegan, we talked about what is in a vegan diet. In part two, let’s look at one reason people choose a vegan diet. The ethical one. They don’t want to harm any animals. I understand that. They choose a vegan diet for themselves and want to pass on that diet to their animals. But there are some glaring problems with this way of thinking that many vegans tend to overlook.

We are going to continue with a quote. This one from Diana Laverdure-Dunetz MS from the website Plant Powered Dog:

You’ll feel good knowing your dog is getting the best nutrition possible, and you never have to harm another animal. My clients come to me because they don’t want to contribute 

to the suffering and slaughter of other animals to feed their dog. But at the same time, they don’t want to do anything to harm their dog.” 

That is all very noble and good, however not very realistic.  There can be no life without death. There can be no food without death. That is the way of the circle of life. In a recent interview with vegan Rich Roll, John Chester of The Biggest Little Farm talked about the animals killed on his farm to produce avocados. John said that to grow 20-40 acres of avocados he has to kill 35-40,000 gophers. When he sprays he kills hummingbirds, ladybugs and bees by accident in addition to the ground squirrels he kills intentionally. John says, “There has to be death for life”. On his farm every year, he estimates there are 50-100,000 deaths to grow his food.

In Australia, Matthew Evans, a food critic-turned-restaurateur and pig farmer,  

outlines the impact in his book, On Eating Meat, and cites a number of examples:

An opossum. One of the many animals killed doing the production of agricultural foods
  • About 40,000 ducks are killed each year to protect rice production in Australia

  • A billion mice are poisoned every year to protect wheat in Western Australia alone. 

  • Apple growers can kill 120 possums a year to protect their orchards 

    “So a duck dying to protect a rice paddy for me is not much different than a cow dying to produce a steak,” Mr. Evans said.

    “They are both animal deaths that happen in the name of us being able to eat.

    “So there is nothing that we can do that doesn’t have an impact on animals.”

    Well said Matthew.

  • You might say:

    Oh, but there are SO many mice, opossums and gophers. They are pests anyhow, so what does it matter.

  • I think it matters because all those poisoned mice pose a danger to the bird of prey population.

  • Elephants are in danger.

    Or,  how do you feel about……… elephants? Do they matter?

    Kenya has signed a License agreement with Kiliavo Fresh Limited to develop, are you ready?

  • An avocado farm in the Kimano Wildlife corridor, one of the last remaining places in East Africa where elephants roam free. Then these avocados are shipped around the world on container ships. Elephants are facing extinction so we can have avocados all year. Wait a minute, don’t we grow avocados here in North America? Why threaten elephants to grow them in Africa?

  • And by the way, what is the big deal with those slimy green things any how?

  • I think this clip from “Yellowstone” with Kevin Costner says it perfectly.
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  • I know many vegans who choose to feed their dog a carnivore diet of raw meat, offal and bones. Several are clients of mine. One woman I admire greatly is Kasie Maxwell who owns SFRaw, an amazing high quality raw food co-op in San Francisco. She has been vegan for 40 years+  but stresses the importance of feeding raw meat to our carnivore dogs.

    With all due respect to Diana Laverdure-Dunetz MS, no matter what diet you choose for yourself and your dog for whatever reason, there can be no life without death. I applaud anyone who wants to improve  their health and the health of their dog. However, let’s not saddle your dog with a diet that he is not designed to eat just so you can feel good about yourself. If you don’t want to feed meat to your dog, get a hamster, or a goat. 

  • Well, I said it was going to be a bumpy ride.

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Joy Eriksen CSAN

Certified Small Animal Naturopath

My name is Joy Eriksen and I am a Certified Small Animal Naturopath. My passion is helping people with their companion animals. Keeping them healthy and vibrant for a long and happy life.

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