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A brother for Bigos

by Karolina Dembinska-Lemus
(Woodbridge, VA)

New Siblings

New Siblings

We had our first dog, a female beagle mix, for two years when we got her brother, also a beagle. We got both at the age of about 2 years old from two different animal shelters.

Shortly after Hunter joined our family, while I was playing with them, it suddenly occurred to me how my furry kids were related to the animals I ate for my meals!

I realized that those cows and pigs and chickens were not all that different from my dogs. They had feelings too, and they could perceive pain just like us. So if I wouldn't eat my dogs, why would I eat their distant cousins?

It broke my heart to think about where my food came from after that, and I became a vegetarian. Shortly after this, I was elated to find commercial vegetarian dog food, and transitioned the pups.

I have since found vegetarian treats as well, and I give them peanut butter in a kong as a special treat. We do our training sessions with pieces of toasted bread, which they love.

Having put them on a bland diet of cooked plain rice a few times after they got into things they weren't supposed to, I am now researching switching to completely homemade meals for my pups.

Both dogs continue to be healthy, even though both had their share of medical concerns early on, before switching to a veggie diet. (Bigos was treated for heartworm before coming to us, and she had an ear infection that took 6 months to go away. Hunter came to us with kennel cough and ringworm, which were promptly treated.)

And I have a clear conscience that I am not claiming to be an animal lover yet contributing to the torture and death of animals that are not my pets. It took accepting my dogs as members of the family to recognize that we are to be good stewards of our earth and our fellow creatures. For us, this includes a veggie diet for me and the pups.

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