This is your weekly reminder that nothing good ever comes out of Californians having too much time on their hands. You’d think with all the wildfires they’d be a bit more busy, but the Los Angeles City Board of Animal Services Commissioners clearly had some extra time on their hands. They’re seriously considering a proposal to move all of the stray dogs in shelters onto a vegan diet. Why? Because, in the words of one pair of activists, it serves to prove that not only is LaLa Land the real “progressive capital” of the world, but we really need to rethink “the ethics of feeding animals to animals.”
I’ll just let you read this brief excerpt from the Washington Post while I go look for a pine 2×4 to smash myself over the head with.
Those dogs’ dinners could be swapped out for a plant-based food under a proposal before the Los Angeles City Board of Animal Services Commissioners. The change, which commissioners could decide Tuesday, would make the city’s shelter system the first in the nation to feed its canine residents a vegan diet, according to its chief veterinarian.
Supporters, who include musician and animal rights activist Moby and the feminist lawyer Lisa Bloom, say that is one of the selling points: to make L.A. shelter dogs the vanguard of a meat-free movement.
“If we adopt this, it’s one more thing that proves to the world that Los Angeles really is the progressive capital,” Moby, whose real name is Richard Hall, testified at the board’s meeting last month.
Where to even begin? In terms of “the ethics of animals eating animals,” it’s worth noting that “Moby” has just described how the entire animal kingdom operates and has operated (as far as we know) all the way back to the origins of the earliest animal lifeforms. Some animals eat plants. They’re known as herbivores. Others eat the animals that eat the plants. They’re known as carnivores. You can generally tell just by looking at their teeth. The herbivores have lots of flat molars suitable for grinding plant material. The carnivores tend to have rows of sharp, pointy teeth suitable for tearing flesh apart. There are definitely a few omnivores mixed in with the crowd, including humans.
Go have a look inside the mouths of the dogs at your shelter sir. We’ll wait right here.
Animals eating animals is a description of much of the food chain. At our house, we have bird feeders for all the sparrows and little songbirds. I also feed the local pigeons. Occasionally a Cooper’s Hawk comes by and nabs one of the fatter, slower ones. I had a neighbor ask us one time why I didn’t put up some nets or do something to stop the hawks. I was quite proud of my wife who spoke up immediately, saying, “We’re still feeding the birds. Just not all of them eat birdseed.”
I actually had this vegan dog conversation with one of our vets a while back. She admitted that it was definitely possible to keep a dog alive on a vegan diet, but much like with people (even more so, frankly) you really have to know what you’re doing and mix all sorts of different proteins and other elements in the right balance to make up for what they’re missing in their natural diet. But that’s the key point here… it’s not natural.
My apologies if this has turned into a rant, but this is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t care what other adults do with their own bodies. It all comes down to personal responsibility. As far as I’m concerned, for every adult vegan out there, that’s just more steak available for me. But when I hear about people forcing their dogs or cats onto a vegan diet, or even worse… their children, my first response is to wish there was a way to throw them in jail.
Do what you like to your own body. Let your freak flag fly. But if you’re torturing your pets or your kids we’re going to have a problem.