With the recent demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion, it got me thinking about the rights and wrongs of feeding raw food. I feed my Cavalier on raw, and she and I love the principle and the results. I wonder what your thoughts are on the ethics of feeding raw food?
Nick Thompson advises…
Wow – just a small question, then! No, seriously, this is a crucial question for us all.
The perceived problem, as I see it, is that some people think it’s unethical to feed dogs on meat when a) most people on the planet cannot afford to eat it regularly, and b) the production of meat compared to vegetable/grain foods is much less environmentally sound, exacting a higher price on the ecology of the planet.
To answer these criticisms individually, I would say that I agree that it is ethically inappropriate to feed animals at the expense of humans and yes, if the world could move to eat less meat, it would be fairer for everyone and our ecology.
It doesn’t matter if you’re feeding tins, kibble or raw foods; they all (unless they are vegetarian diets) use meat of some kind, so all are equally guilty – the more meat in the diet, the guiltier they are, logically. So, in a funny way, feeding cheap kibble that has a very low content of quality protein is better (for the world) than feeding a raw food diet, where the meat content is much higher.
Now, I’m not advocating we should all dump our freezers full of quality raw food and go out to the discount store to buy up the kibble at the bottom end of the market. No – I think the most ethical stance is to have fewer dogs, I’m afraid. The extremists would say we should get rid of all pet dogs, and logically, they have a point. But I can’t see this happening any time soon.
I think our responsibility is to the health of the dog/dogs you have currently, and for me, raw or fresh food is a cornerstone of maintaining the best well-being for our pets. My stance on helping the ecology of the planet in the future would be to eat less/no meat ourselves and treasure fewer and smaller dogs. Sorry to be so harsh, but that’s about the size of it for me.
Editor’s comment: What do you think? Would you give up pet ownership to save the planet? Do write in and let us know!