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DawnStorm 16 December 2017 05:12 PM

Will LA Shelter dogs go vegan?
I just saw this on my FB page this morning, and after a bit of searching, I did find some articles that were not from The Onion. Here is one from the Denver Post.

I saw some other sources such as the Washington Post , NY Post and some site called the Fader.

Nothing on the Snopes reference page though. Any LA Snopesters care to chime in?

thorny locust 16 December 2017 05:26 PM

They might get away with it for the dogs -- I am not a vet.

I sure hope they don't try it on the cats, though.

-- ETA: I once gave a cat to vegan friends of mine. I checked first to make sure they weren't going to try to put the cat on their diet, though.

Esprise Me 16 December 2017 09:39 PM

It's a real proposal that's really being debated. It's not a completely crazy idea, IMO (I agree it would be crazy for cats, but dogs can get by on a well-planned vegan diet.)

ETA: an article with more info:

crocoduck_hunter 16 December 2017 09:49 PM

From that article:


Wolfson made an emotional plea that the meat included in Candidae dog food is solely responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals, stating, “Our choice [of pet food] is responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 chickens, over 10,000 turkeys, and over 1,000 lambs every year.”
Yeah, because all those domestic animals who are primarily raised for food would have otherwise had long, happy lives if they didn't wind up as pet food. :rolleyes:

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a lot of pet food made from meat that wasn't found to be up to industry standards for sale to restaurants and grocery stores?

Esprise Me 17 December 2017 07:59 AM

That was my thought; I'm not sure how many animals are actually killed for pet food vs just using up the leftovers. But even buying up the leftovers puts money in the hands of factory farmers, so there's an argument to be made there. The additional expense of vegan dog food may not be the best use of a shelter's limited resources, but then again, if there was more of a market for it, more manufacturers would get on board, and the price might eventually come down.

thorny locust 17 December 2017 01:27 PM

The issue can get pretty complicated if you try to work through all the ramifications.

It's my understanding that cat and dog food mostly uses the parts of animals that most humans don't want to eat. What people are eating in sausage and pressed/expressed meats without realizing it, however, may be another question.

But also: if we put all the dogs on vegan diets, we're presumably going to have to grow more grains and produce for them. And most of that, at least, is going to be grown in large-scale monocropped fields. Basically, almost nothing survives in those fields except the intended crop. A mixed-species pasture supports a whole lot more animal life; and a great deal of habitat, some of it crucial for entire species, is endangered by creating more monocropped fields. But then, many of the livestock whose meat is going into cat and dog (and human) food don't spend all or in some cases any of their lives on mixed-species pasture; they're likely to be feedlot or CAFO raised and fed on crops from . . . large-scale monocropped fields.

IMO, we're doing a lot of the whole process wrong. But also IMO, trying to get livestock out of it entirely is the wrong approach. Whole systems include both plants and animals, all of them eating each other at various points in the cycle; I don't think ecologies, including agricultural ecologies, work if you try to take the animals out.

(That's not an attempt to argue humans who choose to be vegan out of it, by the way. Many things go into human decisions on what to eat, and different people do better physically on different diets.)

DawnStorm 18 December 2017 12:36 PM

It must be nice for the country's second largest city to not have any issues at all. :rolleyes:

erwins 18 December 2017 01:24 PM


Originally Posted by DawnStorm (Post 1967158)
It must be nice for the country's second largest city to not have any issues at all. :rolleyes:

Are you referring to the desire to change the shelter food, or the people who decided to protest it? (Either way, I don't understand why there would have to be no other problems for them to act.)

Esprise Me 18 December 2017 10:30 PM

Aside from the general inanity of the how-dare-you-address-this-problem-before-all-other-problems-are-solved mindset, our state is literally on fire. These fires are getting worse and more frequent with climate change. Switching to a vegan diet is one of the things we can do to combat climate change. Whether this proposal is the best approach is debatable, but it absolutely goes to the life and death issues we're facing right now. But thanks for your concern.

Avril 19 December 2017 02:38 AM


Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter (Post 1967089)
From that article:

Yeah, because all those domestic animals who are primarily raised for food would have otherwise had long, happy lives if they didn't wind up as pet food. :rolleyes:

No, they wouldn't be raised at all if demand didn't exist for them. It's not like farmed animals are just permitted to reproduce when the mood strikes them. If people weren't farming chickens, there just wouldn't be so many chickens.

crocoduck_hunter 19 December 2017 02:41 AM

The demand exists for farmed chickens already is what I'm saying. The meat is coming from chickens that are already being butchered, so cutting out the pet food isn't going to result in less chickens being slaughtered, it's just going to result in more stuff being discarded at the slaughterhouse.

Avril 19 December 2017 02:44 AM

It's possible, but I'm not sure that's exactly what happens with respect to pet food (I'd need some cites). However, if they aren't able to sell the waste, the price of the chickens would go up for human consumption, and that would also drive down demand.

It's not a zero sum game, of course, but it's pretty clear that one decision can have a domino effect.

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