February 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm 13 comments

In a delicious bit of irony – hot on the heels of HSUS’s promotion of their new organic, vegan dog food is the publication of a study out of Cranfield University that alleges that tofu does more damage to the environment than beef or lamb. According to the Telegraph (I couldn’t find the Cranfield article online):

But a study by Cranfield University, commissioned by WWF, the environmental group, found a substantial number of meat substitutes – such as soy, chickpeas and lentils – were more harmful to the environment because they were imported into Britain from overseas.

The study concluded: “A switch from beef and milk to highly refined livestock product analogues such as tofu could actually increase the quantity of arable land needed to supply the UK.”

The results showed that the amount of foreign land required to produce the substitute products – and the potential destruction of forests to make way for farmland – outweighed the negatives of rearing beef and lamb in the UK.

Tofu is killing the rain forests (and if I try to sneak it into her bowl, my decidedly non-vegan dog may kill me too…)

Humane Choice contains no animal proteins, protein comes from grains and soy beans; and the product is being produced in Uruguay from products grown in Uruguay. Six% of product sales will go to HSUS’s various “programs” – i.e. advertising, salaries, direct marketing and, of course, lobbying.

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jan  |  February 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Where the hell IS Uruguay and why is it producing dog food?

  • 2. Luisa  |  February 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I would like to write more about this, but have a turkey neck in one hand at the moment so cannot type. Smoky loves ‘im some raw turkey neck.

  • 3. Sarah Blythe  |  February 15, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I find it odd that you are talking about a dog food available in the USA and then disparaging based on a report from the UK. And anyway, most soybeans in the world are made into animal feed. So even animal based dog food will most likely contain animals fed soy. Source:

  • 4. Wild Dingo  |  February 15, 2010 at 4:25 am

    soy is evil. seriously. unfermented soy is worse thing for a thyroid and i wouldn’t give it to my doggie. people who feed their dogs vegetarian diets or vegan diets piss me off in ways you can’t imagine. i was a vegetarian for years and even then, i never inflicted that on my dogs or cats. just wrong. if i ever see soy in dog food, it doesn’t get purchased. but i feed raw so it doesn’t much matter. none-the-less, i check ingredients in all the treats i buy and any pre-made meat patties or dehyrdrated raw that i buy if use that in a pinch over preparing “raw-raw.”

  • 5. Mike  |  February 15, 2010 at 6:48 am

    The green marketing blitz is one of the biggest cons I have ever seen. I’m not talking about whether climate change is real or real environmentalism – I’m talking about the sudden market created by people who think buying a prius is going to save the planet. There’s so much emotion and social status wrapped up in a business opportunity for con artists that any sort of sane, humanist environmentalism has fallen by the wayside.

    When you’re trying to force your dog, a natural carnivore for millions of years, to be a vegan, and you worry about what the carbon footprint of your dogfood is… I think we’ve just lost all perspective.

  • 6. YesBiscuit  |  February 15, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I do a lot of reading on dog diets. Of the holistic Vets I’ve read on the topic, I can’t think of any that promote feeding a dog a vegan diet. Although many are either vegetarians or vegans themselves, they always point out that dogs require animal protein in the diet and suffer ill health effects without it.

  • 7. H. Houlahan  |  February 15, 2010 at 8:57 am

    A friend’s late husband was a veterinarian who was at some point involved in oversight of feeding trials for vegetarian dog food development. I think this was at a university or government project in MD.

    It killed every dog in the long term. They all got nutritional diseases, or were so weakened they died of other diseases.

    Not something that would show up in the piddling AAFCO trials, which are too short, and you are allowed to kill a fair number of the animals.

    But this “vegan” diet — which is not really vegan, as they admit that some of the vitamins “may” come from animal sources — isn’t even trialed. It, like the great stuff you get from the Dollar Store, is “formulated to meet” AAFCO guidelines. For adult dogs, not “all life stages” like almost every other food out there. This is an open admission that it will kill puppies.

    They didn’t even do feeding trials. Holy shit.

  • 8. Linda Kaim  |  February 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

    GAAAAAK. I had a French Bulldog puppy come to me for training that was on a vegan diet that almost killed him.

    He came to me undersized, in poor coat with horrible skin and I was CONVINCED it was the diet.

    The owner was caught in the veterinary, try-this-supplementation racket when I finally convinced her that WOLVES DON’T HUNT for Yucca or harvest wheat in the wild.

    I put him on a raw diet with no vegetation whatsoever and he came back to life almost immediately. He went home a robust little devil with a shiny coat and no health problems.

  • 9. SmartDogs  |  February 15, 2010 at 10:10 am

    You may be right. Soy even needs to be processed to be edible for chickens, our ancestors’ backyard dumpster.

  • 10. SmartDogs  |  February 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Well its made in Uruguay – so by your “logic” I need a study conducted by a team of American scientists in Uruguay.

    Last time I checked, good scientific data (and, mind you, I’m not calling this good science, I’m just using it as a stepping stone to mock HSUS and the evils of a vegan diet for dogs) did not recognize political boundaries. Is the law of gravity only valid in England?

  • 11. SmartDogs  |  February 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Devil is right. Feeding that poor puppy meat polluted his soul.

  • 12. Rob McMillin  |  February 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    One of the thing I learned when I was actively blogging on energy matters is that all such studies are insanely complex and depend mightily upon where you draw the lines. (If you ever want to read stuff that will make you want to surrender all hope and commit suicide before the energy apocalypse, try reading the reports by Patzek and Pimentel, who openly declare that we have run out of options and now are merely waiting for the Malthusian die-off. With footnotes.)

  • 13. H. Houlahan  |  February 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    The law of antigravity only applies in Australia.

    Where they hang on with velcro shoes.

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