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Humane Society Launches Vegan Dog Food, People Flip Out

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The Humane Society of the United States recently announced that they’re getting into the dog food business. The new organic-certified brand, called Humane Choice, is 99.9% vegan (some of the vitamins may come from animal sources) and will be sold at Petco, Whole Foods and other stores. 6% of the wholesale price will benefit the organization’s various programs. (I’m curious as to how the remaining 94% breaks down.)

The HSUS developed this new product to “offer consumers a wholesome and nutritious dog food that does not contain animal-based proteins or support the factory farming industry.”

There are a few points of interest to this announcement. One, many people are still not buying the whole “vegan dog” option. Some commenters on the site Truth About Petfood freaked out that the HSUS would release such a product; calling it “cruel” and “inhumane” to give to dogs. Said one person, “Canines need meat protein to survive healthily. Period!” And then there was this one: “There is no way i’d even think about feeding my fabulous dog swill hawked by vegans who think pet ownership is immoral and are working to make it virtually impossible for the average family to afford to put a pet under the tree at xmas!” [Ed note: WTF?]

To be fair, some dogs may require meat-based nutrients during puppyhood or pregnancy, but for the most part will do quite well on a vegan diet. In their FAQ, HSUS are quick to point out that Humane Choice is for adults only. They also recommend checking with your vet before transitioning to the new food — as certain breeds may have different dietary needs. Saying your dog will suffer by eating Humane Choice is just ridiculous. And if they didn’t like it, would you still force them to eat it? Makes me wonder if the people criticizing such alternatives really understand the shit found in regular dog food. Methinks they would be stunned.

The one thing I find disappointing about Humane Choice is the fact that the HSUS decided to go with a farm in Uruguay for the growing and manufacturing of it. That’s quite a long haul and use of resources to get to your local grocery store. In their FAQ, HSUS say that dealing with one partner committed to sustainable agriculture — and with a solid history of producing vegetarian dog food — allows them to maintain greater control and supervision of quality. While that’s most certainly true, it’s disappointing from an environmental angle that there wasn’t a U.S. farm that could have fit the bill.

What do you think of Humane Choice? Is it something you might try with your own pet?

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  • goldenhybrid

    I have 2 wolf hybrids, 1 mid content and 1 high content and they have both been on veggie food for the last several years and are very healthy . They had puppies about 3 years ago and remained on the veg food throughout pregnancy and nursing etc. I did supplement with fresh avocado, young coconuts and eggs so it was not totally vegan but mostly. The male is 11 years old now and still looks and acts just like a puppy. I’ve had him since he was born and he’s been eating veg most of his life. The pups were raised on the veg dog food and were all 100% healthy. They could also be healthy on a meat diet and obviously have the digestive system to handle it but I have come across long term studies where the result of a dog feed veg lives 1.8x longer. Not to mention all the crap they put in traditional meat dog food. I think if anything feed the veg food and supplement with bones or other animal products if one feels it is absolutely necessary or lives on a farm where they are readily available etc. The best thing is to make dog food yourself but it can be difficult to find the time to do so and I’m grateful there are a few veg options out there. Don’t be afraid to try it out. If a dog who is almost pure wolf can be healthy and happy on it I think most other types of dogs can do just fine.

  • Jangmi

    The food was made in Uruguay. That’s quite a carbon footprint.

  • Jangmi

    Uruguay equals LOTS of jet fuel. You’re polluting a lot of air for animals to breathe with this unnatural food.

  • Jangmi

    God didn’t plan cats to be vegan nor cruelty free. Neither did evolution.

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Creating bandaid “solutions” to ethical problems we’ve created doesn’t address the issue at hand

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The outcry should go further than importation and should be directed at the fact that the animals in question were on their way to slaughter in the first place.