Obligate carnivore book

Forest Nymph

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Obligate Carnivore is a must read for all your omni or veg*n friends or family with pets. Excellent arguments against mainstream "pet food" with real world examples.

Flaws include the fact that his arguments don't apply to poor or working class families who can't afford Evolution or Vegepet. Also as a vegan some of the **** he says might **** you off (the friend with egg-laden pancakes example or his weird defense of flexitarian freegans eating hamburgers from trash cans) but his arguments for vegan companion animals are good as well as his examples of irrational vegans who spoil things for everyone. He goes way too far with his apologetics but then I remember he probably intended this book for vegetarians and omnis, and the weakest of vegans, its not a book for advanced vegan with vegan animal companions. It's not for you it's for THEM.

Case in point: humorous and easy to read.
 
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nobody

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I have not read this book, but I have read this review of it. Here is a paragraph from that review, of which I have bolded some sentences:

Gillen's basic argument – that the prolonged torment of countless "food" animals outweighs any loss cats may experience on a vegan diet – is not only compelling but fundamentally sound in the sense that it's the same basic reasoning most vegans would use to explain their own ethical viewpoint on human carnivorism. Yet most vegans remain skeptical when it comes to cats, citing health concerns and ideas of what is "natural" for them. In response, Gillen points out that it's unnatural to give cats vaccinations, identification implants, and commercial cat food (which, among other unsavory ingredients, can contain the carcasses of cats and dogs purchased from shelters and processed with deadly euthanizing chemicals still in their bloodstreams). It is known that without sufficient amounts of taurine (an amino acid found naturally in animal flesh), cats go blind and die of heart enlargement. However, the high temperatures used to render cat food totally deplete the meat of taurine, requiring that it be added back. Ironically, manufacturers typically use the same synthetic taurine found in vegan cat foods.
As far as I am concerned, the only argument against commercial cat food is that it may contain euthanizing drugs and flea collar remains etc., and as far as this, I have not seen any reliable study that says this stuff is actually in the food. I have only seen claims by vegan pet food proponents that this stuff is in the food. Even if barbiturates have been found in commercial pet food in some isolated case, it doesn't mean that this is something that routinely happens. If I were convinced that right now, I am feeding my cats barbiturates, flea collars and other cats, I would be motivated to switch to vegan cat food. Have any links that prove that?

The torment of the food animals is not a compelling argument against the cat food that I buy because the animals weren't bred for that purpose. If I were feeding my cats whole rabbit, chicken and duck carcasses like some people do, that argument would work - but I don't. All of the animals or animal parts used to make my cat food are by-products of the for-human-consumption meat and egg industries, and maybe the dairy industry too, if bob veal is used in pet food.

For example, I have heard that the chickens used in cat food are by-products of the egg industry. They are either baby male chicks, which the egg industry has no use for and would otherwise just be thrown away, or they are spent egg-laying hens. These animals are unfortunately ground alive, but they have to die somehow, and this death seems better than, say, putting the male chicks in garbage bags and throwing them in a dumpster to suffocate, which is often done, and these suffocated chicks only go into a landfill.

The beef, turkey, fish, organ meats, etc. are all cuts unfit for human consumption that are by-products of the human food industry. I am thinking along the lines that these parts would be thrown away if they were not used in the pet food. My cats need the acidity that animal protein has. The pH of plant protein is all wrong. It's way too alkaline, which causes all kinds of urinary tract problems.

So, as someone who has read this book, what is your response to that response?
 
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nobody

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I need to make an addendum to something I said above. Since making that post, some new information has come to light, which I am quoting below. In light of this information, if I were convinced that there are barbiturates, dogs, cats, flea collars, tumors, etc. in commercial cat food, or at least the kind that I currently feed to my cats, (which is canned Friskies and canned Fancy Feast) I would be motivated to find an animal protein based alternative that is not contaminated by these adulterants, and one that doesn’t involve breeding animals to make the food, rather than making the switch to vegan cat food. (Before I was thinking that vegan cat food may be a viable option as long as I added a urine acidifier to prevent urinary tract problems.) One possible solution would be to dumpster dive for packaged muscle and organ meats, cook it, and then prepare it with a supplement powder in order to make it a complete diet. But I’m not sure how that would work out, especially the illegal dumpster diving part.

CatInfo.org

Lisa A. Pierson said:
Cats Need Animal-Based Protein
Cats are obligate (strict) carnivores and are very different from dogs in their nutritional needs. What does it mean to be an ‘obligate carnivore’? It means that your cat was built by Mother Nature to get her nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat/organs) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins (grains/vegetables). It means that cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins.

It is very important to remember that not all proteins are created equal.

Proteins derived from animal tissues have a complete amino acid profile. (Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Think of them as pieces of a puzzle.) Plant-based proteins do not contain the full complement (puzzle pieces) of the critical amino acids required by an obligate carnivore. The quality and composition of a protein (are all of the puzzle pieces present?) is also referred to as its biological value.

Humans and dogs can take the pieces of the puzzle in the plant protein and, from those, make the missing pieces. Cats cannot do this. This is why humans and dogs can live on a vegetarian diet but cats cannot. (Note that I do not recommend vegetarian diets for dogs.)

 

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Just wanted to say that while I don't have much to contribute, this topic interests me because I have a cat friend whom I did not adopt (a neighbor did), but nonetheless has decided to spend the majority of it's time with me and because of this the question of how (and how much) and what it's getting fed is sort of up in the air so I have been feeding it also. The cat has put on weight since we were first acquainted, and as I am not sure what it's getting fed from others, I can say it does eat things I'm not accustomed to seeing cats eat:

On it's own initiative, it has gone after both soaked (overnight soaked) pepitas and brown rice I had been preparing for myself. It also likes oats. That being said, from my meat eating days I had a fair amount of de-fatted and dehydrated mince that is/was not being used since going vegan, and out of fear I'm doing wrong by the cat I have been mixing it (after re-hydrating it of course) with the oats/pepitas/brown rice and even prepared* corn. I add a very small amount of Taurine to the meals which I have in powder form.

*Sprouted or Nixtamalized (or both using a soak/no heat version of Nixtamalization), the latter providing many many minerals a carnivore would be after eating organ meats.

As for enzymatic pathways, the author does not elaborate, nor does she specify why animal proteins are superior for cats over plant proteins. What I can say is that any digestion issues for *sprouted* protein sources should not present issues, as sprouted beans/seeds/grains, if (and only if) they are not cooked, need no enzymes to digest, as the enzymes are already present in the un-cooked sprouts. This fact does not change whether the digestive system it comes into contact with is that of a natural herbivore (humans) or a natural carnivore like a cat.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Just wanted to say that while I don't have much to contribute, this topic interests me because I have a cat friend whom I did not adopt (a neighbor did), but nonetheless has decided to spend the majority of it's time with me and because of this the question of how (and how much) and what it's getting fed is sort of up in the air so I have been feeding it also. The cat has put on weight since we were first acquainted, and as I am not sure what it's getting fed from others, I can say it does eat things I'm not accustomed to seeing cats eat:

On it's own initiative, it has gone after both soaked (overnight soaked) pepitas and brown rice I had been preparing for myself. It also likes oats. That being said, from my meat eating days I had a fair amount of de-fatted and dehydrated mince that is/was not being used since going vegan, and out of fear I'm doing wrong by the cat I have been mixing it (after re-hydrating it of course) with the oats/pepitas/brown rice and even prepared* corn. I add a very small amount of Taurine to the meals which I have in powder form.

*Sprouted or Nixtamalized (or both using a soak/no heat version of Nixtamalization), the latter providing many many minerals a carnivore would be after eating organ meats.

As for enzymatic pathways, the author does not elaborate, nor does she specify why animal proteins are superior for cats over plant proteins. What I can say is that any digestion issues for *sprouted* protein sources should not present issues, as sprouted beans/seeds/grains, if (and only if) they are not cooked, need no enzymes to digest, as the enzymes are already present in the un-cooked sprouts. This fact does not change whether the digestive system it comes into contact with is that of a natural herbivore (humans) or a natural carnivore like a cat.
If the cat is vegan I strongly recommend you actually purchase a prepared vegan cat food. The cat could become malnourished if its not getting the appropriate nutrients. It sounds like you are doing your best but I would not feed a cat pepitas and brown rice alone for an extended period of time even with taurine.
 

Forest Nymph

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I need to make an addendum to something I said above. Since making that post, some new information has come to light, which I am quoting below. In light of this information, if I were convinced that there are barbiturates, dogs, cats, flea collars, tumors, etc. in commercial cat food, or at least the kind that I currently feed to my cats, (which is canned Friskies and canned Fancy Feast) I would be motivated to find an animal protein based alternative that is not contaminated by these adulterants, and one that doesn’t involve breeding animals to make the food, rather than making the switch to vegan cat food. (Before I was thinking that vegan cat food may be a viable option as long as I added a urine acidifier to prevent urinary tract problems.) One possible solution would be to dumpster dive for packaged muscle and organ meats, cook it, and then prepare it with a supplement powder in order to make it a complete diet. But I’m not sure how that would work out, especially the illegal dumpster diving part.

CatInfo.org



All of that information is in Obligate Carnivore. I certainly don't disagree with your "cast offs of humans" argument for commercial cat food, especially if you are poor or working class or are a student. But I'm pretty sure most middle class people can afford vegan cat food.

Also, dumpster diving is freeganism, a much debated moral gray area.
 

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If the cat is vegan I strongly recommend you actually purchase a prepared vegan cat food. The cat could become malnourished if its not getting the appropriate nutrients. It sounds like you are doing your best but I would not feed a cat pepitas and brown rice alone for an extended period of time even with taurine.
The cat is not vegan. It's not even "my" pet, it's a neighbors, and it has chosen to spend a good deal of time with me instead of the neighbor (staying over long periods, often sleeping the night with me), and as there is some question of who is feeding it and how much, I have given her food (partly based on what she initiated herself, not what I introduced to her - soaked pepitas and soaked brown rice) but I also include some leftover mince from my meat eating days (rehydrated from storage), which I mentioned in my post. The cat is also outside a lot and as such has the opportunity to hunt as she wishes/needs (which she does - I have seen her catch mice and birds).

Insofar as pepitas and brown rice, I would draw attention to the fact that she started eating them out of what I had soaked/started sprouting for myself, not for her. I've also noticed she is more of a fan of soaked/sprouted brown rice and pepitas than the brown rice I cook from raw without soaking.

On the subject of Vegan cat food, I haven't seen anything that convinces me as of yet that it's fine for cats long term, and that those cats are *only getting that food and not doing a little hunting for themselves to make up for whatever might be missing.
 
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Forest Nymph

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The cat is not vegan. It's not even "my" pet, it's a neighbors, and it has chosen to spend a good deal of time with me instead of the neighbor (staying over long periods, often sleeping the night with me), and as there is some question of who is feeding it and how much, I have given her food (partly based on what she initiated herself, not what I introduced to her - soaked pepitas and soaked brown rice) but I also include some leftover mince from my meat eating days (rehydrated from storage), which I mentioned in my post. The cat is also outside a lot and as such has the opportunity to hunt as she wishes/needs (which she does - I have seen her catch mice and birds).

Insofar as pepitas and brown rice, I would draw attention to the fact that she started eating them out of what I had soaked/started sprouting for myself, not for her. I've also noticed she is more of a fan of soaked/sprouted brown rice and pepitas than the brown rice I cook from raw without soaking.

On the subject of Vegan cat food, I haven't seen anything that convinces me as of yet that it's fine for cats long term, and that those cats are *only getting that food and not doing a little hunting for themselves to make up for whatever might be missing.
So have you read Obligate Carnivore?
 

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