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Vegan Dogs: Can It Be Done?

The simple answer is, yes, it can.

"Should it be?" is much more contested.

The reality is, a high-quality vegan dog food (or very carefully planned homemade food) can provide all the nutrients that Fido needs. Many dogs thrive on such diets.

Still, many folks argue that it's not natural.

Sure, wild dogs most assuredly consume other animals. But here's the rub. It's hard to use the "natural" argument, as if we're still raising wolves in our home.

Is the fluffy bed, water cooler, curling up for tv time, or daily walks on a leash "natural" by wild dog standards?

What about the fact that the "meat" most dogs are now consuming aren't wild animals they've hunted, but instead, scraps and byproducts from the slaughterhouse floor and reject pile? Is that really 'better' for our pets?

So, let's just let go of the 'natural' argument on this one.

More important is the health of your pet, and if you can have that c…

Vegan Parenting -- So Much Criticism

Recently, I shared a post about criticism circulating in the vegan community. Vegans judging other vegans for not being 'vegan enough.'

I had also written up a veg-friendly baby registry. Shortly after typing up that list of items, my pregnancy ended due to preterm labor. But I am now again expecting. And much to my annoyance, the two worlds have collided again -- vegan criticism and parenting.

During my first pregnancy, I would occasionally post tidbits on Facebook, such as a picture of Seventh Generation diapers. And immediately, a vegan acquaintance would chime in with, "Why aren't you going to cloth diaper?"

And again, with my current pregnancy, I recently posted a pic of an organic soy formula that I was excited to finally find locally. Almost instantly, I got, "Aren't you going to breastfeed?!"

I was instantly peeved. Why? Because it bothers me that anyone feels entitled to publicly criticize such personal parenting decisions. It's one thi…

Not Vegan Enough

Ever been told, directly or indirectly, you're "not vegan enough?"

Yeah. Me too. Even though I run a vegan/animal rights blog, a vegan/animal rights Facebook page, visit and donate to places like Farm Sanctuary, and haven't consumed any meat, dairy, or eggs in well over 2 years and counting.

But you see, this morning, I posted a simple Instagram of a box of Oreos, captioned as "Some days, this qualifies as a #vegan breakfast."

I expected a few of my omni friends to be surprised that Oreos were vegan, or for them to make a few lame vegan jokes. I even anticipated a possible hint of judgment with a "that's not so healthy" kind of comment. But no.

My omni friends chimed in with good humor, like "I approve." or "I need a box of these!"

Instead, it was my 'pure' vegan friends who chimed in to remind me just how non-vegan the Oreos really were, and ipso facto, how non-vegan I was.

"They're notoriously noted as v…

A Vegan Baby Registry?

As some of you know by now, we're expecting twins in June 2014. As is customary, people have started asking where we're registered, what items we need, and more importantly, "What should we not buy?"

What they mean by that is, "What doesn't fit with your eco/vegan/animal rights lifestyle?"

And the truth is, I appreciated that people cared enough to ask. But I keep feeling apologetic when I answer them. So, I tried to figure out a way to tackle this that didn't come across as demanding or somehow rude. Sure, we made registries, but people like to buy unique items for baby, or just see small items here and there and pick them up without thinking. We knew a registry wasn't going to be enough. So, how do we tell people what we prefer? I just wasn't sure.

But once several people asked, I accepted that if people are going to go out of their way to gift us with something, they'd surely want it to be something we would proudly use and is in line…