I need feminism because I am denigrated for being “cold,” “unfeminine,” and “bitchy” when I express myself with the systematic logic of my scientific training… and ignored or patronized as an “over-emotional GIRL” when I dare to show that this treatment affects me.
I need feminism because the only smooth path to walk is the silent one.
I’m prepared to get a plethora of hate and whining about this, but it’s something that is widely ignored and needs to be addressed. I’ll be willing to go further into this, but for now, I’ll keep it short:
Please stop buying cheap commercial dog foods. They are unhealthy for your companion, and contribute to everything you are fighting against. You tell people “Why pet one and eat the other?” yet show extreme speciesism in your choice to adopt (hopefully) a dog and feed it the victims you yourself would never eat. Your choice to have one companion contributes to the torture and slaughter of countless other animals. This is not justified.
Now, onto the solution. We live in an age where there are almost as many alternatives for your companion as there are for you. These are formulated for your dog’s health, are completely safe for their consumption, and have many benefits. Again, there are many options, but I’m going to point out your major two.
Nature’s Recipe - This is most likely your cheapest pre-made option, and is available at PetSmart. This is a very popular brand - but isn’t the best. It does not have a lot of taste, and is very hit or miss with dogs. You will likely need to add extra things to it for them to like it, such as nutritional yeast.
V-Dog - This is the best affordable dog kibble around. Dogs love this stuff. I could spend hours going through posts submitted on their facebook wall. It is made by a wonderful, growing company who is committed to providing delicious, healthy food for your companion. Not only that, they provide free shipping right to your house. You order online, and it shows up on your doorstep. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that. (The bag is compostable, too!)
Keep in mind, you have many more options, feel free to do your own research and see what’s best for your companion’s needs - but please, I beg you, consider the other animals when feeding them. They have the same right to life as your companion, and deserve to be shown the same compassion.
(And before people even try - dogs are domesticated omnivores. Meaning they can be very healthily sustained on a properly balanced herbivorous diet. Please do your research before spouting off about “nature”, because your companion is not a wolf anymore. Thank you.)
I suggest that anyone contemplating feeding their dogs a vegan diet, consider taking the time to research the process of the canine digestive system. A basic overview can be found here. The slides debate the benefits of a feeding a raw diet vs. a dry product, but the emphasis on the topic of carbohydrates can be applied against the high content of which observed in vegan products for canines.
To examine a list of comprehensive analysations for alternative dog food brands, have a look at the Dog Food Advisor. It is an excellent resource for vegans and non-vegans alike.
And can everyone who wants to ‘prove’ that dogs are fine on a veg*n diet stop spouting the ‘dogs are omnivores’ crap? I’m going to assume that anyone who uses that argument (and yes, I’m looking at those ‘scholars’ and ‘biologists’ too) doesn’t know that there are more than one type of carnivore - obligate carnivores, hypercarnivores, mesocarnivores, and hypocarnivores. All carnivores need at least some animal products in their diets in order to get the entire balance of nutrients and vitamins they need to survive and thrive. Domestic dogs, being scavengers, are at most mesocarnivores (diets consisting of 50-70% animal matter/meat) but they are neither hypocarnivores nor omnivores and therefore should not be fed as such.
Dog physiology is not that of an omnivore, but that of a specialized scavenger mesocarnivore. Veg*n diets are not appropriate.
There’s a very simple way of knowing whether the diet you want to feed your animal is appropriate for it - if you didn’t add supplements to it, would the animal still be healthy on it? Well, if you’re feeding your dog nothing but plant material the answer is no, since it cannot utilize all the nutrients in plants without them being processed somehow (and supplemented when processing destroys those nutrients). On the other hand, dogs don’t just do well on all-raw prey-model diets, they absolutely thrive on them. By feeding whole prey or frankenprey (including organs and meat and skin of animals) dogs get the entire range of nutrients and vitamins they need, and the ideal whole-prey model of the diet does not need supplementing.
One of these diets is more appropriate than the other.
And I will come back and say this again - if you knowingly take a carnivore into your home as your pet/companion animal/animal under your care your first and foremost responsibility is to the animal that is living with you. Before all others, that animal comes first, because it is in your hands. It is your obligation to the animal to give it the best life experience possible, and that includes giving it the most appropriate diet you are able to afford. Your personal moral views do not trump your animal’s physiological needs.
There is no such thing as a “meat eater” to begin with. People who have meat as part of their diets are “omnivores” (for that matter so are you, you just ignore part of your potential diet). Also, tricking someone into eating your style of food because you think it’s better for them is being a self-righteous asshole. It’s not ok.
Speak for yourself~ I heard Nicholas Sparks eats children. Whole. Alive. Go convert him, not me, you silly vegans.
In all seriousness, though, they’re gonna be the biggest assholes around when they trick a new friend into eating their food that’s allergic to soy.
if you’re friends with someone, you would know what they’re allergic to/ someone who has an allergy lets people know that, trust me. it’s a life and death situation. it’s not being an asshole when people tell you the food you eat is awful without ever having tried it. offering someone something is not “tricking” them into eating something. if a vegan offers you something, you can pretty much assume that it’s vegan.
Seriously omnivores? You get so defensive and act like we’re attacking you when we’re just stating the facts. You are a self-proclaimed “meat eater” some of you say you’re a carnivore. Your diet slowly kills you because your body cannot properly process the cholesterol ridden meat and dairy you consume. ALSO, telling a vegan you’re going to trick them into eating dairy or meat is fucked up, because you feel so offended that someone has more of a heart than you do.
You clearly have a problem with reading comprehension. At no point in this conversation has anyone said they would trick vegans into eating non-vegan food — the only mention of deceit was the pro-vegan infographic which bragged that 77% of vegans expressed willingness to trick non-vegans into eating vegan food.
Oh, and the human digestive system is perfectly capable of processing meat. The human digestive system is explicitly omnivorous; it lacks the evolved optimizations which are present in both pure herbivores and pure carnivores. Archaeological evidence clearly demonstrates that Homo sapiens has always been omnivorous and that vegetarian/vegan diets are purely a modern affectation; ancestral species such as Homo erectus are also clearly omnivorous. You literally have to go back twelve million years before humans evolved to find any hominid species which is even arguably herbivorous.
Because eating vegan food is worse than consuming food that is ridden with disease, torture, murder, and rape. You clearly have a problem connecting those things to the shit you put into your body. Non-vegans automatically associate vegan food with tasting like “dirt” or see it unappealing because they believe the shit they see on TV. As an omnivore you are more likely to have problems with heart disease, cholesterol, and cancer due to your diet. Obviously the human body can’t really function properly because if you were real omnivore, you wouldn’t have any problems like that. Using examples of humans before factory farms is irrelevant, because humans used to eat for survival. This is not the case anymore.
Watch that then argue that humans are “meant” to be omnivorous.
Your ethical ideology does not change the biological fact that the species Homo sapiens is naturally omnivorous. The fact that some people choose to eat more limited diets does not change this biological fact.
Also, your assertion that all non-vegans “automatically associate vegan food with tasting like dirt” has no basis whatsoever in reality. I eat all the same food you do, I just also eat other foods that you refuse to.
Someone obviously needs a lesson in human nutrition. Cholesterol is not bad for you. Grains, on the other hand, especially the non-naturally occurring forms of wheat that I’m betting vegans eat by the truckload, are demonstrably bad for humans to eat. Grains and beans are things that the human body did not evolve to eat. Meat, yes. Fish, yes. Leafy greens, yes. Fruits, yes. Grains, no. Legumes, no. Pretty tough to eat a vegan diet without unprocessed grains and beans, chum. Nevermind all the industrialised, pollutive, corporatised food substitutes that only modern technology and vast inputs of energy can provide.
Oops, there goes all your unfermented soy products. Oops, there goes your TVP. Oops, no bread for you! No pasta! Sorry…it’s all bad for you, unless heavily processed to remove anti-nutrients. Of course, I’m betting that you actually don’t know this, since you’re going on and on about the moral superiority of not eating animal products. I guess you don’t mind killing mice, though, huh? You ever see what a combine does to a field? What about insects? Do they “count” for you?
You know that nonsense that keeps getting passed around about how many more people you can feed if you use land to grow crops rather than fodder? Take a look at the world around you. In every poor country of this world, the main staple of the local diet is a grain or starchy tuber of some kind, and that has been true ever since the introduction of settled agriculture about 10,000 years ago during the Neolithic Revolution, which resulted in widespread decreasing quality of nutrition, based on the fossil record. Take a look at the people living in those countries. Do they look healthy to you?
The bottom line is, you’ve bought into a pseudo-religious ideology, and your ability to think critically about the consequences is compromised.
If you want to rant about something, rant about multi-national conglomerate farming and chemical corporations who are increasingly gaining complete control over our food supply and our government. Rant about corporate imprisonment of local water sources needed to feed people so that you can have your pre-packaged chai tea latte from Whole Foods and I can have my Coca-Cola. Rant about concentrated animal feedlot operations that are robbing our food of nutrients and creating rabidly virulent strains of microorganisms that we can’t stop.
But ranting about eating animal products at all? A non-starter.
“because humans used to eat for survival. This is not the case anymore.”
Hi there, I’m an animal welfare activist. Not an animal rights activist. Maybe that’ll make you more likely to take me seriously. Maybe it won’t.
I think you’re having a little difficulty looking past your admiration of Cesar. Up until now, you were under the impression that he was an excellent dog trainer and, it seems, a big fan. It’s difficult, when you really like someone or something, to see critique of it, but staring the evidence in the face here and denying it simply because you’ve come to like Cesar so much and don’t want to admit that perhaps he isn’t what you’ve thought he was is a little silly, isn’t it?
Cesar is no more a ‘dog psychologist’ than I’m a people psychologist. He has absolutely no training or credentials in animal behavior. Cesar started out as a dog groomer and didn’t become popular until he found his way onto Oprah Winfrey’s show claiming he ‘just understood dogs’. Basically, he got a lucky break.
Your average person knows next to nothing about dog behavior and training, so to most people, he looks amazing on camera. His people skills and charisma certainly don’t hurt and neither does the camera editing, a lot of which makes weeks of working with a dog look like it’s been done in little more than an hour.
Interestingly enough, you don’t often hear of Cesar’s failures. And there’s been plenty of them, unsurprisingly. Since Cesar’s approach to aggression is to meet it with more aggression, he’s a nightmare for aggression cases. Aggression begets aggression and studies have shown that the worst approach to dealing with aggression in dogs is aggressive ‘dominance’ based training methods like the ones Cesar favors. In the end, he makes the dogs in these cases worse, and they suffer for it.
Let’s look at a few of his known failures.
- Shadow, the dog aggressive malamute he hung by the choke collar ended up being rehomed via a malamute rescue.
- JonBee the Jindo, also rehomed via rescue.
- Patti LaBelle’s Boerbel was rehomed after he bit her severely.
- Cotton’s owners ended up filing the poor dog’s teeth down.
I don’t know how you can say that Cesar never hits dogs. He never hits them particularly hard, but he certainly hits them. In the first video he smacks the dog in the face twice and see, this is what I love about this particular video is that it demonstrates just how ignorant Cesar is about canine body language. I don’t know what Cesar thinks he’s punishing there, but all the dog is doing is demonstrating calming signals towards Cesar. Considering the purpose of calming signals in dogs, that poor dog must be pretty confused as to why Cesar is reacting to them with aggression. It’s a complete miscommunication between dog and human and it’s really unfortunate.
There’s the video with Shadow where he purposely pushes the dog past it’s threshold (I love how the dog was behaving too well and he had to give it a groin tap to push it over purposely) and then strangles it into submission. I personally don’t feel that choke chains ever have a purpose in the dog training world, but if they did, that certainly wouldn’t be it. You never, ever, hang a dog or let a dog struggle like that on a choke chain. Choke chains have been shown to do tracheal damage when used ‘correctly’. I shudder to think the damage that could be done when they’re used as Cesar does on Shadow.
There’s never a reason to push a dog past it’s threshold during training. A dog that is over it’s threshold isn’t going to learn squat.
Then there’s the video where he takes a Saint Bernard puppy (you know, a giant breed puppy that shouldn’t be going up and down stairs that early in the first place…) and attempts to drag it up a flight of stairs with a choke chain. And when he can’t do that, he runs this large dog, with all that fur, in the summer heat. Repeatedly. Cesar is very lucky he didn’t give that pup heat stroke.
I used to have a video montage of Cesar kicking dogs (his ‘groin tap’) but YouTube took it down. Call it what you will, but in at least one of them you can hear the thud in the dog’s abdomen as his heel contacts and in another a dog yelps. So.
I guess that’s what I’ve got. For now, at least. Like irejectyour-reality, I could rant for hours about this guy.
If you’re interested in more reading material on why he’s not all he’s cracked up to be, here you go:
queer-io asked: I know it's not really my place to ask, but why do you hate Cesar Milan so much? Have you ever watched any of the episodes of Dog Whisperer? It's obvious that he cares about the dogs and wants to help them, and especially the owners who are oblivious to their own dog's issues. You have to be assertive with the dog as well as the owner if you are ever going to accomplish any sort of resolution. Just wondering why you are so opposed to this man?
irejectyour-reality replied: I’ve answered this question so many times, don’t feel bad about asking! :)
Basically, I hate Cesar Millan’s training more than I hate Cesar himself. Cesar Millan pushes an outdated method and theory. His main theory is the pack theory. The pack theory has been debunked completely. (Here is another article about it, I have a lot more, too.) The fact of the matter is, dogs do not form packs, they instead form loose social bonds that change from day to day. Even if they did form packs, it would not affect the human/dog relationship, because dogs know we’re not other dogs. We have all the resources, anyway. Furthermore, “dominant” is not a personality trait.
Now, why do so many people believe in the pack theory, and why do so many people believe that wolves form violent, always fighting for dominance packs? Well, the answer is simple and yet so irritating. The research that was done on wolves was faulty, because the research was done on captive, artificial wolf packs. They were not true packs because they were not related, they were randomly captured from the wild and thrown together in a captive setting. Of course they were forceful and violent with each other! Wild wolf packs avoid other packs at almost all costs, and if they do come into contact with each other, it’s common for them to fight to the death.
Now that we know that his entire theory is completely wrong, most of his methods seem pretty bizarre, eh? Let’s talk about some of them.
He’s very well known for alpha rolling dogs he decides are “dominant aggressive”. Well, alpha rolling is a really awful thing, and here’s why. Dogs (and wolves) don’t pin each other unless they truly plan on killing the other. Can you imagine how terrifying it is to a dog to be pinned to the ground? Many people claim that dogs roll on their backs to show “submission”, but what they don’t tell you is that this is freely given, it is not forced. (Not to mention that the dog or wolf that rolls on their back usually does so to avoid getting attacked by the other..) Even if alpha rolling made sense (which it doesn’t..), it’s extremely dangerous for humans to do this. Most dogs will fight it, many will bite, some may attack. Here is an article just on alpha rolling.. Here is another article on alpha rolling.
Cesar’s methods are very confrontational, from the “tsst!” to the amount of leash jerks he gives. Cesar proudly uses aversive methods to get dogs to comply and do what he wants. But what are the risks of these methods? Well, one, they’re dangerous to the owner, two, they cause fear and frustration in dogs, and three, dogs are likely to become more aggressive with time. They are quick fix. They work briefly. Yes, some dogs have been “cured” by his methods, but most of them have not. Furthermore, the dogs that have been “cured” almost always display calming signals, showing that they are not cured, they have just stopped displaying the symptom behavior.
Now, even if these methods did work without fallout, at what cost would they work? Science based training works better because there is no fallout, and it works. Why wouldn’t you choose to use positive reinforcement methods? Even if they both worked equally, why would you choose to cause discomfort to your dog?