I am, today, wearing one of my favourite T-shirts, which, in an occasional bout of ‘contrived eccentricity’, I had made. Sorry, don’t have a photo, but it’s simple to paint you a mental picture: white, with the word ‘Moron’, in large red-top tabloid logo-style font across the chest. (You are free to draw your own conclusion as to what this signifies.)
Recently, an actress (I think) sat on a sofa, next to an acerbic comedienne with a seemingly prosthetic face, in ‘conversation’ with an overexposed-to-the-point-of-irritancy host, and informed that she has four dogs. No, wait. Four vegetarian dogs! Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Now, humans – because choice is a privilege/burden (delete as you deem appropriate) – can opt to be vegetarian, whether for reasons of protest or taste. If you object to how meat is farmed/reared/processed, etc, fair enough. However, we have evolved as omnivores. We could obtain all our dietary needs through pills and astronaut paste, but how dull would that be? Most of us eat meat and enjoy it; however, some of us simply do not like it. But I’ve yet to encounter a dog that doesn’t like meat, or one that gives a damn – or could exert influence on – how it came to be in its bowl (or, in the case of my sister’s steroid-crazed mutt, on the table, in the bin, wherever). Those long canine teeth might be a clue.
There’s a saying that you can’t miss what you’ve never had. Ahhh, but you can’t overlook instinct. And it’s a confusing, stressful state when instinct is suppressed. Wonder whether her pets are as fit as a butcher’s dog, or as mad as a March hare?
A Spaniad told me a tale of a Scottish couple, one of whom was vegetarian and insisted that their dog should be a vege too. The poor dog, apparently, was not too happy about this. Then one day the couple and the dog went round to their neighbours for a visit. The neighbours’ children had a pet rabbit. You can guess what the dog did to suggest he might be a carnivore.
Except for taste or protest you can be vegetarian for medical reasons in degrees of various seriousness. I have a friend who isn’t supposed to eat meat, and my engine doesn’t run well on meat for reasons I never really bothered to find out, so I just don’t eat meat. It drives me nuts though if people throw me together with the protest-vegetarians, and I don’t care what other people eat if they like it. Either way, poor dogs. Makes me wonder though is there any market for vegetarian doggy food?
Dogs are scavengers and can get by on more or less anything. It’s daft to force a dog or any animal to adopt one’s own diet when the poor animla has no way of questioning this choice. I’d like to see someone force a cat to be vegetarian. The cat would die. Serve the owner right, but hard lines for the cat I suppose.
_It’s daft to force a dog or any animal to adopt one’s own diet when the poor animla has no way of questioning this choice. _
Does a “natural” diet for a dog include the average contents of Pedigree Chum, or those vacuum sealed plastic tubes of goodnessknowswhat?
When you’ve seen the things that goes down our dog, anything is natural.
I love stories that belie the human (failure to) grasp (the unpredictability) of animal behaviour. I think my favourite is that of the guy who had just gotten himself a brand new, big, four-wheel drive, off-road, bull-horned, pick-up truck or some-such, and decides to celebrate by journeying off for a day’s ice-fishing. So he ventured off into the wild blue yonder – accompanied by his faithful (Labrador?) dog. He parked up frozen-lake-side, lit a stick of dynamite and hurled it out onto the lake, to blow a hole in the ice through which to dip his fishing line, whilst gazing lovingly at his shiny new toy, thinking all is well with the world. However, on seeing him throw the ‘stick’, the dog, being a dog, computes that this is a game of ‘fetch’, promptly sets off at speed across the lake, picks up the fizzing object, and heads back, mighty pleased with itself, in anticipation of his master’s congratulations and the likelihood of a treat. But, it’s alarmed master is by this time screaming: “No! Drop! Leave!”, or whatever, chasing the dog with frantically waving arms. But the dog, being a dog, computes this as a morphing of the game to one of ‘chase’, stops and does that front-legs-down-with-tail-waving-in-the-air thing, and then arcs away towards a place where it can maintain possession of its shortening sparkler; you’ve guessed it – under the truck.
Both dog and truck were write-offs. But that’s not the punch line – the guy’s insurance didn’t cover for explosions.
Lee – that’s a brilliant story…
There’s a similar tale/urban myth that during WWII the Russians trained dog to run under tanks, and then explode (I guess they didn’t explode in practice). When they tried this for real, they realised too late that the dogs had only been trained to recognise Russian tanks…