Before we go anywhere with this, please allow us to make our usual disclaimer when we cover things involving vegans and lightly mocking them:
Generally, a vegan diet has been shown to have many positive health benefits, and in no way should you construe this article as an attack on vegan diets or the people who live by them.
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That being said — pets are not humans. I know, that’s hard for some of us to accept. Mainly because in a lot of ways pets are superior to the humans in our lives. Your dog or your cat isn’t going to borrow your lawnmower and not return it, or bump into your car with their shopping cart. Still, our pets, no matter what we feel in our hearts, are not humans.
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So maybe vegans shouldn’t be making dietary decisions on their pets’ behalves until they consult their veterinarian. But even if vegans do change their dog’s diet to be more aligned with their own before they talk to their vet, they really shouldn’t make a braggadocious Tumblr post about changing their pets diet without calling the vet, and then leave it open to comments.
Comments are where vets can tell you stuff you might not want to hear. This episode reminds of something we covered awhile back when beekeepers started pushing back on social media against vegans attacking people for using honey. At some point, if you have an opinion you present as fact, and you put it out on the Internet, someone with more expertise than you will destroy your opinion with their actual facts.
And that’s exactly what happened when a dog owner smugly posted about the dish they made for their dog Maggie being vegan. That dog owner may not have been ready for what Tumblr had in store for them.
It started innocently enough. A photo of a dog named “Maggie” and a vegan dish created it by its owner. I’m not sure Maggie’s owner is reading her expression of excitement quite right…
Being that people could leave comments, they did leave comments. Sure, some did try to defend Maggie’s owner’s choice to feed her a vegan diet.
Then people showed up with actual scientific knowledge of cats and dogs, we might call them “veterinarians,” and made it clear that they did not condone making dietary decisions like veganism for dogs and cats.
I don’t know that “you’re murdering your animal and causing it to suffer immensely in the process” is going to open up very many vegans’ minds to hearing scientific proof, but it is the Internet after all. We should feel lucky it didn’t devolve into Nazi analogies.
Quite a few commenters pointed out that Maggie does not, in fact, look even slightly excited in the picture. Not that this is scientific, it’s completely anecdotal. But I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought it at least.
Still others took the more traditional internet comment route and just trolled the hell out of Maggie’s owner.
At least one commenter was nice and gave Maggie’s owner a thoughtful suggestion for a different pet. One that she won’t have to force her dietary restrictions on.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.