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Vegan Pets Info & Resources



CONTENTS
(...of a work in progress...)

 

 

  • WHAT'S IN PET FOOD?
    • "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," (Ann Martin, article): "The pet food industry -- a billion-dollar, unregulated operation -- feeds on the garbage that otherwise would wind up in landfills or be transformed into fertilizer. The hidden ingredients in a can of commercial pet food may include roadkill and the rendered remains of cats and dogs. The pet food industry claims that its products constitute a "complete and balanced diet" but, in reality, commercial pet food is unfit for human or animal consumption."
    • "What's Really in Pet Food," (Animal Protection Institute): "What most consumers don't know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a market for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered "unfit for human consumption," and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts." [excellent, detailed, good starting point]

  • WHAT IS RENDERING?
    • "A Look Inside a Rendering Plant" (by GS): "Rendering has been called "the silent industry." Each year in the US, 286 rendering plants quietly dispose of more than 12.5 million tons of dead animals, fat and meat wastes. As the public relations watchdog newsletter PR Watch observes, renderers "are thankful that most people remain blissfully unaware of their existence."
    • "Food not Fit for a Pet" (by Dr. Wendell O. Belfield): "Some of these dead pets -- those euthanized by veterinarians -- already contain pentobarbital before treatment with the denaturing process. According to University of Minnesota researchers, the sodium pentobarbital used to euthanize pets "survives rendering without undergoing degradation." [Short, but powerful article by an expert]
    • "Mad cow outbreak may have been caused by animal rendering plants" (NY Times News Service): "Renderers in the United States pick up 100 million pounds of waste material every day -- a witch's brew of feet, heads, stomachs, intestines, hooves, spinal cords, tails, grease, feathers and bones. Half of every butchered cow and a third of every pig is not consumed by humans. An estimated six million to seven million dogs and cats are killed in animal shelters each year, said Jeff Frace, a spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City."
    • "Rendering: the "Invisible Industry" Gets a Green Facelift" (PR Watch): "In 1990, the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, CMF&Z deployed a greenwashing theme to portray the renderer as "socially responsible" and "dedicated to environmental responsiveness."
    • "The Rendering Industry: Big Business in By-Products" (by Kieran Mulvaney): "Processed cow fats are sometimes used to make cookies and salty snacks taste rich and to make lipsticks glide smoothly. Cow proteins show up in shampoo. Collagen, extracted from the inner layer of cattle hide, is used to balm wounds and cosmetically puff up lips. Gelatin, refined from cattle hide and bones, is found in such foods as ice cream, gummy candies and marshmallows--as well as the capsules encasing drugs."
    • "How Dead Pets, Bad Brains, and Free Speech Landed Me in Amarillo" (by Van Smith): "We were at once aghast, amused, and skeptical. "No, really, it's true," they said blandly, sensing our doubts. "We pick up dead pets from the SPCA and take them to the plant. The plant cooks up the carcasses and other things to make stuff that goes into pet food. Honest."
    • "Pet Food: Our Pets are Dying for It" (by Sandra Brigola): "Every time a pet trustingly eats another bowl of high sugar pet food, he is being brought that much closer to diabetes, hypoglycemia, overweight, nervousness, cataracts, allergy and death."
    • "Beauty, Pride and Pig Grease" (by Sandi Mitchell): "The great majority of the product is sold for women's makeup, especially to manufacturers of lipstick and eye makeup. Some of the most prestigious cosmetic companies in the country are the chief customers of rendering plants."
    • "On Rendering" (from the UK BSE Inquiry Report)
    • "FAO Standard for Fats and Oils from Animal Sources"
    • "The Animal Protein Producers Industry" (website)
    • "The NRA [National Renders Association] is an American Trade Association, whose business is to promote the interests of it's members. Members of this association are all in the business of rendering, i.e. transforming waste from the meat industry into useable products for animal feeds and technical use."
    • "US Rendering Statistics 1998-2002"
    • "Render Magazine: The rendering industry processes or "recycles" animal by-products such as animal fat, bone, hide, offal, feathers, and blood into beneficial commodities including tallow, grease, and protein meals."
    • PDF file of US Renderers (location, contact info, etc.)

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  • VEGAN CATS & DOGS
    • "Why Vegan Pets?": "Previously, there was a mistaken belief that dogs are predominantly carnivorous and cats obligate carnivore, eating only meat and small amounts of vegetables. However, my studies indicate that companion animals can live a healthy and active life on vegetarian or vegan food."
    • "Can a Cat be Vegan?": "The best time to begin your cat on a vegan diet is when he is a kitten, but older cats can convert easily too. Make any changes to your cats diet SLOWLY."
    • "Helping Cats Go Vegan": "This page has been written by someone who has had many years experience in helping (or trying to help) cats and kittens go vegan. The one thing to cultivate is patience and a positive attitude. Cats are very sensitive creatures who pick up on negative moods and anger very quickly. There is no evidence that cats have any problems digesting plant proteins instead of animal ones if the transition is made slowly and backed up by good nutrition and a source of taurine." [good advice]
    • "Vegetarian Pets": "With a little extra attention, most pets can be vegetarians. Dogs are fairly easily converted to vegetarianism, while cats require taurine, an amino acid usually aquired from animal sources. But, with the addition of taurine supplements to the diet, cats too can be vegetarian." [useful links]
    • "Vegan Cats FAQ" [useful summary, links, products]
    • "Meatless Meals for Cats and Dogs": [marvelous fact sheet from PETA]

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