Petfood Industry - February 2018 - 42
42 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
David A. Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN
Should LA shelter dogs
A Los Angeles Commission is
considering whether all the
city's dogs in shelters should
switch to a vegan diet.
Those familiar with California politics appreciate that
its motivations tend to cater to
a more progressive philosophy.
Having now resided in Southern California
for more than 20 years, I have become
inured to seeing all sorts of "enlightened"
concepts implemented by our politicians.
However, some actions of our local officials
still manage to surprise me.
The proposal: Feed shelter
dogs a vegan diet
Under consideration by the City of Los
Angeles Animal Services Commission is
a proposal to feed all dogs housed in its
shelter facilities a vegan dog food, replacing
the commercial all-life-stages dog food it
keeps in stock. The stated purpose of this
move is with the goal to decrease animal
suffering in the world. In other words, this
action will spare the lives of the throngs
of chickens, cattle, lambs and other food
animals that go into most non-vegan pet
foods. An argument against the proposal
noted that in general, these animals are not
killed for the primary purpose of making
pet foods, anyway, but rather pet foods are
largely based on animal materials available
subsequent to human food processing (e.g.,
by-products, meat meals, poultry meals).
Not surprisingly, this observation was
quickly countered with disparagement of
the quality if not safety of these secondary
materials; e.g., assertion that the residues of
artificial hormones, antibiotics, pentobarbital, heavy metals, etc., that are purportedly ubiquitous in non-vegan commercial
pet food were the root cause of the many
diseases and early deaths plagued by pets
The premise of the proposal, therefore,
is that feeding a complete and balanced
commercial vegan food in LA shelters
is better for the world and environment
overall, while also being as safe as, if not
safer, for the dogs consuming it than a nonvegan commercial product. In addition, the
vegan foods being considered purportedly
Dr. Dzanis is CEO of Regulatory Discretion Inc. and a writer and consultant on nutrition, labeling and regulation. He is also the
author of Petfood Industry magazine's monthly column, "Petfood Insights."