Animal Cruelty and feeding BARF to dogs
Hi all! I'm not sure how many of you have your dogs or other pets on the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet... but I have a bit of a conundrum here. I have read about how horribly abused so many animals are the meat being sold in the supermarket.
I adore my dog, though, so he is on the BARF diet. I don't agree with forcing him to be vegan just because that's the way I want to eat. He's just not meant to be a vegetarian.
My best solution has been to buy only organic meat for him so that he is eating animals that roamed in normal conditions and ate organic normal feed and got no hormones. That's better than the cheapie sale meat that surely would be the worst of the worst to give him (well maybe about the same as the canned dog food!)... but...
Can anyone think of a better solution? What sort of meat do you BARFers give your pooch? I would really appreciate any feedback. :)
Originally Posted by Eva
I agree that dogs, given their druthers & their biological makeup, would certainly NOT choose vegetarianism of any kind. We make choices of all kinds for them & they adapt as best they can. Some are squeamish about handling dead animal parts & don't buy it no matter what & take their dogs veg or vegan; I've fed my dogs vegetarian & cooked food both in the past & though the dogs were healthier than eating commercial stuff, they didn't have the vitality they have the BARF diet. Needless to say neither cooked nor veg was particularly EASY, either!
I feed my dogs whatever I can find that's on sale. I've tried a few times hooking up with hunters & have looked for meat processing places & haven't yet had much luck in that department. I'm not giving up, though! <lol> As for feeding organic, it would be nice, but I don't lose any sleep over the fact that my dogs get non-organic meat. They're still eating far & away above what's in any can regardless of who made it or how organic they claim the ingredients to be.
I disagree, however that organic means the animals lived a normal life & were happy until shipped away to be slaughtered; they may have, but then again they may not have - no guarantees either way. For sure there are far fewer or no antibios & the farmers/ranchers don't use hormones & of necessity have to either keep fewer animals or use more land to raise them, upping the chances that the animals were much more content than their conventionally raised counterparts. These are all definitely good things to do & encourage, but sometimes I think the prices for organic meat is WAAAAAAAAY overpriced for what you get! I have raised chickens, dairy goats & even a sheep or 2 & honestly it isn't all that expensive that you have to charge crazy prices for the meat or dairy. Even for the so-called soup bones I've seen some really STUPID prices! Maybe if I can find a slaughter house, butcher or meat processing plant that does organically raised animals the prices will be much better than the grocery or hf stores. Until then, it's non-organic for my pups! BTW, my family & I donít always eat organic, either for pretty much the same reasons, even though the plant foods are considerably cheaper than the animal products (as they should be).
- Stasi, Pea Pod (Morab), Rosie Cotton & Binnabik (the Pibble Posse)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts... I'm concerned (but not overly!) about the hormones etc. in the meat... but I guess I'm more concerned about supporting the meat industry and its cruelty. The best solution I could think of was organic. It's obviously not really a great solution... and you're so right. I have no guarantee that the animals really did have an okay life.
I guess that's really why I'm asking you guys. I just don't know how to have the best of both worlds... happy dog and not supporting cruelty. And seriously, on the "normal" dog diet, my dog had crazy fleas that wouldn't go away no matter where we lived, he was obviously itchy, he had this awful eye gook, he had major tooth decay and he was grump! He's more like a puppy on BARF and less like a fat 7-year old bear. Even his teeth stay clean!!!
And he weighs less than 30 pounds, so it actually only comes out to about $8 a week to feed him organic (not including the green smoothies and whathaveyou that he mooches off of me!).
And yeah... we eat some stuff organic... but I'm on a budget even if it's not a tiny one. I really just can't afford to buy all organic unless I make other really big sacrifices or start working another job (and I've already got two!)...
Super cool, by the way, that you've raised all of those animals before! I would loooove to have the land or the situation to do something like that! :)
--Eva and Boli Bricoli aka Happy Dog. :)
Last edited by Eva; 12-26-2007 at 02:57 PM.
Reason: To include my Boli Bricoli!
I wish I could feed my dogs for $8/wk! Both my dogs weigh 45 & 61 lbs. & my husband's dog weighs about 25#. Sure we could feed hubby's dog organic without breaking the bank, but not all 3 of them! Hubby finally just gave in & quit arguing about the dogs' diet when I first took them raw, but if I started pushing for organic, I'm pretty positive the arguing would start again & I'm not so sure I'd win for quite awhile.
I totally understand about not wanting to support conventional farming, esp. meat animal rearing! It's pretty atrocious stuff they do to the critters. Unfortunately, through all kinds of subsidies & gov't handouts to keep them afloat, the conventional meat is much more affordable than organic. I keep looking for other sources of food for my dogs though. I haven't yet admitted defeat! <lol>
- Stasi, Pea Pod (Morab), Rosie Cotton & Binnabik (the Pibble Posse)
OMG!!! That's a lot of weight!!! It would cost something crazy like $300 a month to feed them organic. I think it's cool that you're feeding them raw anyways.
I think I'm going to check around locally to see if I can get anything from here. The only thing is that this is a seasonal place, and it's DEAD right now!! And I'm on an island, so I can't exactly just drive an extra few miles.
Unless I find something local or hear a better idea, I guess this is the best thing I can do for now. :)
-Eva and Boli Bricoli aka the dog that is snoring loudly as usual now that it's after 8pm.
Eva, I'm struggling with the same moral issues as I transition my 3 cats to a raw diet. I've been buying strictly organic, free-range, hormone-free meat for them, which is easier for me to do since I have 3 cats that weigh 10, 11 and 14 pounds as opposed to 3 St. Bernards that weigh 90 pounds each or something like that! I do this for their health as well as for my own convictions that animals shouldn't be treated the way they are on factory/conventional farms. I still do think there has to be a "better way" though and am skeptical of the "free range" label and if it really is what it claims to be. I am all for my cats eating all the raw meat they want and need- that's what they're made to do! But if they were wildcats, they'd be hunting and killing animals that had lived out their natural lives. What they're getting now, even if it is organic and free range, are animals that have been born with the sole purpose of being slaughtered, and as such, have dealt with enormous stress, possible mistreatment and didn't get to live peacefully or happily. I'll be honest, as a vegan and animal rights activist, this DOES get to me. In fact, I would gladly skimp on my own food if I found a brand of organic/hormone free meat that was as humane and cruelty-free as possible, even if it was more expensive. I think that it's bad for our pets to be eating animals that were stressed and abused- I believe that energy is recycled and I don't want my cats to end up with bad energy in their bodies. I'm actively searching for an alternative.
I do, however, think that the meat we're feeding our pets on their raw diets comes from animals that were treated more humanely than those that eventually end up in commercial pet food. So it is probably a step up in that regard.
It's funny how once you take the blinders off and actually open your eyes to the faults in the world, you kind of open a Pandora's Box where nothing is every good enough or right enough. We just have to make our best effort to live peacefully with the Earth and its inhabitants every day. I think being conscious of issues like the treatment of animals raised for slaughter is better than pretending they don't exist at all.
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Danielle! Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and experience on this. You're so right about the Pandora's box! I never would have even dreamed of feeding my dog anything other than the specialty dog food I got from my vet. I thought it was the best thing I could give him...
Then I went raw...
Then I changed my face wash (too many chemicals!), my saline solution (made my face turn fuschia where the saline touched it-- too many chemicals), switched (somewhat) to glass not plastic, tossed the microwave (even for heating water), stopped using shampoo and conditioner (why not just let my body do the work, which it does better than the chemicals...) switched laundry detergent (not good for the environment)... stopped using honey all the time (although I do have the last one around for anti-bacterial purposes just in case... but I won't buy more).
Now here I am feeding my dog raw meat (by hand, might I add. I hold the darn thing while he eats it, bone and all! Groooooooss!)... And I'm contemplating if there's something BETTER than organic and free-range!
I'm not going to lie; I'm not losing sleep over any of this! But these are topics that weren't even on my radar screen at the beginning of THIS year! And I'm soooooooooo ridiculously healthy and at peace in comparison to then... but it's just funny how things change.
If anyone knows anything about a better alternative, I would really love to hear it!! I think about this nonstop for at least 5-10 two times a day when I'm holding the legs of some chicken for my dog... I can't get away from it or not think about if there's something better I could be doing.
I so hear you guys on the "this wasn't even on my radar" thing! <lol> Though I had been vegetarian & vegan off & on for many years & was well aware of the plight of factory farmed animals, it wasn't until I went raw that it really seemed to matter much to me. It wasn't like I sat down to my raw food one day & went "Hey! Y'know? Those factory farm animals sure have it bad!" but more like a subtle thing creeping up on me from the edges, gradually slipping into my awareness. Now it BUGS me that people are raising animals for the sole purpose of eating them & that the majority of "people" raising animals to eat aren't even people, but mega-corporations uninterested in anything but the bottom line; it bugs me that people think it's cruel to hunt wild animals & eat them, but will blithely go down to the local grocery store & pile their carts high with bits of dead animals they never knew or even SAW. When challenged about this, they will venture a weak response along the lines of not wanting to know the animals they eat or else they wouldn't eat them if they did. HUH??? What the heck is that all about?
When I raised chickens & goats, I didn't eat them; I got them mainly for their "products" - milk & eggs. Well, I didn't exactly get my chickens for eggs; I hate eggs! <lol> The chickens were pets. If you ever want a really cool bird for a pet without spending an arm & a leg, get a chicken! They are so fun!!! And my chickens were the real deal free-range, too. The only cage they saw was a few large dog kennels at night that I kept on my inside porch. the rest of the day thy were outside (no fences) doing chicken-y things. They were incredibly healthy & I'd even venture to say they were happy. I kept my goats in a 1/2 acre paddock, played with them a lot & took them for regular hikes in the woods; the goats were definitely happy.
I suppose if those claiming free-range, etc. & charging boo-coo bucks for the meat spend that much time & effort in getting to know the animals & being among them on a regular basis, then perhaps the prices are justified. Somehow I seriously doubt they do; I was a stay-home, homeschooling mom with enough time on my hands to just hang out & I had no financial interests in the animals. I grew a garden the same way for the same reasons. I still garden, though the chickens & livestock are long gone - living in suburbia, people would not be amused living next door to a heard of dairy goats & small flock of chickens, complete with crowing rooster. <lol> Besides, I have no use for the huge quantities of milk & I still hate eggs!
Now that I've completely gone waaaaaay off in left field somewhere on a tangent making very little sense, I'll give you all back your thread!
-Stasi, Pea Pod (Morab), Rosie Cotton & Binnabik (the Pibble Posse)
BARF Diet Question
I'm just now getting familiar with this diet here. So, I'm under the impression that you feed Raw Meat to your animals on the Barf Diet. How often do you feed, do you feed by hand or throw it out for them to rangle with? Have you noticed any aggression in your dogs eating raw meat?
Currently I feed Organic Dog Food - Canidae
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You need to be very careful if you want to feed your pets raw meat. You really should not do it! You can end up with a very sick dog very fast. You can never be certain of the meat unless you are raising it and killing it yourself. your dogs are not wild animals hunting and living on what they kill, fresh and natural. If you want to feed meat to your friends, please consider cooking it. I know there is a lot of info out there and a big push to feed pets a natural diet but dead meat from a feed lot is not natural. Would you eat it raw if you were a meat eater? I think few people would they should be afraid of it and if that is true then it is also true for your best friends.
Im having the same problem, my dogs and cats arnt even on a barf diet yet because im having trouble finding any suitable meat, im thinking that the best option may be to talk with a hunter? the animals are living wild and naturally and then they are shot, iv grown up in a farming area, so i know and have seen all the horrid things that happen even at organic meat places, i would rather personally get a gun and go shoot something wild( not that i have a gun or could bring myself to do that).
Its really fustrating, at the moment they are on a cooked hollistic diet, i really want them to go raw but i cant get out the house at the moment so thats another problem of getting meat.
I think your best bet is talking to local farmers/hunters you can get things alot cheaper if you know the right people (if you dont live in the middle of a city!)
Feeding dog BARF daily and put meat on her plate so she can self feed. It's been 8 years successfully without dr. visits or vaccinations. My choices. I feed dog Red Bird meat and also when available game. She loves the game but can't get it for months down the road. Got a nother freezer for my dog so that I can load up with hundreds of pounds of raw meat when the game starts up again. I don't endorse killing the animals, but I don't do packaged stuff for her and she still has to eat. I may have to get another kind of meat as Red Bird, my buying power, is not always available at great prices. She doesn't eat much however, but still she does eat. Best to you.
Here I have to heartily, if respectfully, disagree. I have been feeding dogs (& cats & ferrets) BARF for more than a decade & have never had an ill animal because of it. I have taken in strays of all ages & immediately fed them on BARF with no ill effects whatsoever. I know people both in person & through forums on line - some of whom are breeders - who feed their pets raw meat with nothing but good results. Like humans, animals raised on cooked, processed foods may go through a detox period; if they do, most of the time you won't even notice. Carnivores have much stronger digestive acids than humans as well as a far shorter intestinal tract giving anything harmful in raw meats much less opportunity to cause trouble. Animals with compromised immune systems obviously need special considerations taken for their condition, but even they can be fed raw to their benefit.
Originally Posted by diali36
Dogs are just as likely to come into contact with something far nastier than whatever is in raw meat by taking their daily walks; humans aren't known to be the cleanest species on the planet in spite of how we like to think of ourselves. Given the opportunity, dogs will get into all kinds of stuff we think is disgusting in spite of our best efforts - all to no ill effect. Use common sense when feeding raw meat: if it's got critters already eating on it, it's clearly some color it shouldn't be or you can smell it locked up in a bomb shelter from 4 miles away, then, uh, no the dogs shouldn't eat it (though they'll likely think it smells great & want to roll in it then go trekking happily into the bedroom to jump on your bed. ) Otherwise, make sure you clean up well both yourself & in your kitchen after handling meat & all should be fine!
- Stasi, Pea Pod (Morab), Rosie Cotton & Binnabik (The Pibble Posse)
Wow, great info about this.
Originally Posted by Anastasia Alston
I was just talking to my mom (who has my dog now) about flea control. She wanted to know what she should get for him. He used to have an awful time with fleas (pre BARF), so she was worried.
I asked her if she was doing the BARF diet with him. She has been feeding him gizzards, hearts, green smoothies... and an expensive dog food. She didn't want to hold the raw chicken, it grossed her out too much.
But, he will be too healthy for fleas if he is exercised and on the BARF diet. So, does anyone out there have an idea for this? How do you feed the meaty bones without holding on to it? Do you just cut it up and stick it in a bowl? If so, how do you make sure that doesn't splinter the bone? I would hate for Boli to get hurt from something like that.
Dogs are able to thrive on a vegetarian diet. Ani Phyo has a beautiful dog that eats vegan raw foods. I am still feeding my dog a kibble food, but I supplement that with a mixture of carrots, sprouts, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and the ends of any other greens and vegies. She loves it! She also picks ripe tomatoes out of the garden and eats them up!
(Make sure not to give dogs onions or garlic and ,of course, no chocolate.)
Cats on the other hand, need meat. I have four of them. I simply can't deal with raw meat, so I'm stuck at canned meats for now. I'm looking for a better alternative.