This is all well and good, but I’m afraid it just proves how shallow people are when it comes to animal abuse. Apparently in China there have been protests and activists fighting for the end of dog- and cat-eating. Even people in America usually get upset at the thought of Chinese people eating such adorable creatures. The question all these people need to be asking themselves is why they should protect certain animals and not others.
When it comes to suffering, there is no difference in the pain experienced by dogs/cats and chickens/pigs/cows in the slaughterhouse. So if someone says something along the lines of “Oh, but those poor cats! They shouldn’t have to suffer so unnecessarily!”, you can tell them quite correctly that many more chickens are suffering just as much abuse.
I try not to pass judgement on people who eat meat, mainly because I used to be one of them. It’s hard for me to say “meat-eaters are cruel.” But I wish people would realize that all animals suffer, even if they aren’t as cute as a fuzzy little kitten. If people are really passionate about animal cruelty, they would be concerned with the suffering of all animals.
Douglas Quenqua has written an article for the New York Times about Barack Obama’s new (non-shelter) dog Bo, and animal consciousness. One of the most important reasons that we fight for animal rights is because of animals’ ability to suffer like humans. However, many omnivores defend their diets because they say that animals don’t have the ability to think or comprehend what is happening to them. That they cannot anticipate or fear the future.
Although this article does not go very deep (it’s mainly just the question of whether Bo knows how famous he is), there is a couple things I want to bring up. One of the points in the article is that some people believe that when animals behave in such a way as to make us believe they know what is happening around them, that this is more because of personality than because of cognitive ability. However, the article also mentions the work of Professor Stanley Coren, who has studied animal psychology.
[Coren’s] own claim to fame is a series of tests conducted in the early 1990s that measured how many sounds, signals and gestures dogs could comprehend. He concluded that the average dog had roughly the same cognitive abilities as a 2-year-old human.
I am sure that any of you who have companion animals have seen examples of your animals showing some human-like habits, such as dogs anticipating your arrival (or departure), showing attitude (like when my cat Flava turns his back on me when I’ve been gone from home too long, or when the cat we had when I was growing up would crawl into bed with me if I was crying or sick), or understanding voices and recognizing people. Sure, animals don’t have the same exact consciousness as humans, but it’s obviously not true that they have nothing but instinct.
I remember reading an article once (and I wish I could find it again) that discussed how sometimes animals in slaughterhouses who were getting closer and closer to their deaths would begin to act out, as though they could sense their impending doom. Animals also show fear. I’ve seen dogs rescued from shelters who had been abused with their previous families, and sometimes a certain tone will cause these animals to become frightened.
Animals do have the ability (at least to some degree) of knowing what is happening around them. That is why we need to help make sure that animal cruelty of all forms is stopped.
btw: that cute dog in the pic is my little cousin’s Roxy. Isn’t she just adorable? Also, I have finally given in and accepted that Twitter isn’t completely ridiculous. So follow me! @karmalily
After President Barack Obama was elected into office, he promised he American people that the dog he had decided to get for his two daughters would come from a shelter. And after waiting months for news of the “first dog,” it turns out Obama didn’t stick to his word.
The Obamas are getting their Portuguese Water Dog from a kennel in Texas that is associated with Ted Kennedy and his family. Apparently this dog will be “re-homed,” meaning someone had taken this dog back to the kennel. But this is a poor substitute for rescuing a dog from an animal shelter. Instead, the Obamas are going to make a donation to the DC Humane Society.
Barack Obama had a chance to set an example for the rest of America. Far too many dogs in shelters are euthanized every year because people choose to purchase their pets from breeders and pet stores. By adopting a pet instead of buying, you’re ensuring that one less animal will be killed. I worry that this will lead to a sort of new fad, with Americans going out and buying similar dogs. The president is an influential person, and he failed in his responsibility to support animal adoption. We could be seeing a boom in buisness or breeders, and that is so very disheartening.
There are a number of problems with breeders, including inbreeding, inhumane conditions in the puppy mills/kennels, and contributing to overpopulation.
On Good Morning America, the hosts talked about people who chose to raise their pets vegan. This has been controversial for sometime, and you hear so many facts from both side that it is hard to discern who’s telling the truth. Basically, from information I’ve seen, a dog can eat very well on a vegan diet. However, raising your cat vegan may be a little trickier. So, to make things easier for you, I decided to spend some time researching veg*n diets of dogs and cats. Please remember though that I am not an expert on nutrition or veterinarian science, and if you are really concerned you should talk about this with your vet.
Overall, dogs take well to a vegetarian or vegan diet. According to one study, done on 300 veg*n dogs,
Of the 12 lifelong vegetarians in the study, 100% were in good to excellent health. Of the 26 dogs who had been vegan or vegetarian for 90% of their lives, 22 (84.6%) were in good to excellent health. …
There also appeared to be a health advantage to veganism over vegetarianism: 82% of dogs who had been vegan for five years or more were in good to excellent health, while only 77% of dogs who had been vegetarian for five years or more were in good to excellent health.
Some of the conclusions of the study included that a veg*n diet seemed to promote the immune system against infections, with less infections occurring the longer the dog had followed the diet. Cancer rates were also lower. Also, there could be a problem with high alkaline levels which could lead to urinary tract infections, although cranberry supplements would help. Another health issue to watch for is a L-carnitine or taurine deficiency, but supplements are available for these too.
There are many foods that are fine for humans but poisonous or unhealthy for your canine friends. Here’s the list of things to avoid (if I’ve left anything out, let me know):
The main problem people take with veg*n cats is that felines need taurine, vitamin B12, vitamin A, arachidonic acid, and arginine (all usually found in meat) in order to remain healthy. It is true that supplements can take the place, but it is difficult. Even VeganCats.com, a site promoting veg*n cats, has said that some cats need a diet that does include some meat. Adding enzymes pH to every meal is neccessary to leave your cat without a urinary tract infection. It is also recommended that you take your cat to the vet regularly to check for urine acidity.
Another problem is that plant-based proteins are less easily digested by cats than meat-based proteins.
Here is a list of foods that could poison your cat:
Milk (despite popular culture, many cats are lactose-intolerant)
When it comes to cats, it seems that the only way to successfully feed them a veg*n diet is to be extra-vigilant about every meal they have and consult your vet for regular checkups.
If you have a dog, then help them go vegan! It’s healthy and easy to do. But be way more cautious with cats. I’ll admit that this is an issue I struggle with. My baby, Flava Flav, is not vegetarian in the least. My mom feeds him meat. I have obvious ethical issues with the meat industry, and if I were living on my own might consider dog ownership even though I’ve lived 90% of my life with a feline pal.