I’ve been thinking about vegetarians lately. I have nothing against this lifestyle choice, and was, myself, a vegetarian for thirteen years. There are a number of reasons for becoming a vegetarian, and just for the sake of argument, I am narrowing them down to four for the purposes of this blog post.
- People who do it for health reasons. (Type 1)
- People who do it for ethical reasons. (Type 2)
- People who do it for spiritual reasons. (Type 3)
- People who do it for ecological reasons. (Type 4)
I was a type 2 vegetarian: One of those people who believe that animals are sentient and developed beings with rich emotional lives. I still believe that, and spend a great deal of my waking hours as an animal advocate, trying to affect positive change for animals. The fact that I eat meat, makes me a hypocrite, and I admit it.
But while I’m confessing my hypocrisy, I’d like you type 2 vegetarians to consider whether or not you have an hypocrisy of your own to confess as well. I’m talking to the vegetarian folks with dogs, who also force their dogs to eat a vegetarian diet. The Type 2d folks.
If you are a type 2d vegetarian: eating no meat because you love animals and find it unethical, then I ask you to objectively consider your dog. You profess to love animals, but you are imposing your will on your pet because of your own moral compunction. I think it is safe to say that your dog does not share your ethical dilemma.
If you were to set your dog loose today in the wild, I can assure you that when it got hungry, your dog would not be nibbling grass and looking for nuts and berries to eat. Your dog would pounce on the first living creature it felt it could kill. And that would be perfectly natural, because it’s natural for dogs to eat meat. So natural, in fact, that there’s become a huge movement in the dog world to feed raw, thereby providing the most natural diet available to a dog. (I’m not going to turn this into a blog post about the pros and cons of feeding raw. There’s plenty of information about that elsewhere on the Internet.)
I am just asking you to think logically about whether or not you are being fair to your dog, and loving him or her in the best possible way.