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 Carnivore or Omnivore ???

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seattlesibe
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seattlesibe

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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 2:31 pm

I'm willing to bet that if given a third option to eat both the meat and the filler a dog would choose that . Part of what makes them evolutionarily successful and highly domesticable ( is that a word??) is their capacity to not care what they eat but be obsessed that they eat.

That's a really great point Aiden, thanks for the follow up.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 2:37 pm

Conversely, an elephant will always decline a pile of meat because it is strictly an herbivore living under natural environmental and evolutionary pressures, even in zoos.  meaning of course they're not domesticated or our malleable play things in the way that a dog is.
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 2:55 pm

You have a good point. However if I recall correctly classification of diet isn't based on preference, it's based on nutritional value. So what you actually eat and what you should be eating are two different things. A dog may have been altered to prefer eating both animal and plant matter, but it will only gain a long term sustainable amount of energy from animal matter, thus making them carnivores. In a similar fashion people may prefer to eat Pop Tarts and Starburst Jellybeans all day (yum... Starburst Jellybeans...) but it's not what we need to consume to sustain ourselves.

Also lets not forget that there are dogs on an almost exclusively meat based diet. If we were to classify diets -be it Carnivore, Omnivore, or Herbivore- based on preference of the individual animal, then there would be division in many different species and it would be impossible to group any single species up into one category. Which is why diet is based on what the animal needs instead of what it wants.

It might also be worth it to pick an actual Biologist's brain about this to see what they think, as I don't have a degree in Biology and only plan on getting a minor in it at best... :s


Last edited by AMB on Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 3:06 pm

Jeff, yes dogs will choose both, whether it's good for them or not, they'll eat the meat first then the cornmeal, and will still want to eat more.

Aidan, excellent point. Picking a brain of a non biased biologist would be so informative, and certainly help in this discussion.

I sometimes wonder, if dogs made us domesticate them, since it was far easier seeking humans to acquire food than just to hunt on their own, and especially during lean times. There are theories on how wolves became domesticated, during lean times they wandered to human populations and scavenged what they could find from scraps humans left. Still holds true today, many places have signs don't feed the animals, they then depend on us to eat. Since wolves were spotted, we encouraged interaction, and food was easier too get, domestication followed.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:02 pm

Meat before the vegetables....? Tell that to long departed Sasha - once, bringing home the groceries, I left a pkg of hamburg on the counter, along with a couple of blocks of cheese, some butter and some tomatoes. Came back in with another bag of groceries...she was on her 2nd tomato.

Ami - he loves, loves, loves peanuts. And I have to avoid the raspberry bushes when he's with me - eats them off the canes, but only the perfectly ripe ones. And then there is ice cream...and french fries. And lets not forget butter....But forget about cabbage, brussels sprouts, apples. Melon, he loves.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:03 pm

It is true that versatility and adaptability are key factors for domestication. You can't domesticate something too resistant to human alterations because we need to be able to change something in order for it to be useful. In turn, whatever we domesticate has to be able to derive some sustainable benefit from domestication.

It's a two way coexistence. But again, the key is change.

Aiden, for your question of the biological criteria for dietary grouping I will ask my partner. He's a molecular biologist though.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:05 pm

Jen, I had already seen and scanned that article so with your reference I went back and read it - admitted "what I could understand of it" - what I saw from it was not so much a geographical reference (àla Lucy in Africa) as a biological reference. As I read it, certain breeds could be isolated to ancestry and region and all being kin to the wolf are jointly fertile.  If you read more in that, please elucidate because admittedly I got lost.

Amylase has been brought into the conversation a few times and Jens referenced article suggest strongly that the amylase genes found in some dog breeds is a gradual diverging from the original wolf stock where it's seldom found.  That said, it appears that domestication is playing more of a role in divergence than I would have expected. It seems almost a case of dogs physiology is gradually changing, over hundreds of years, because of the foods they're given by / scavenging from the humans.

Actually Aidan classification into one or the other (carnivore / omnivore / herbivore) is mostly based on physiology.  Specifically what they have the ability to digest.  If I read that correctly, the length of the intestine is one of the significant factors with carnivores digestion taking place mostly in the stomach with a correspondingly shorter intestine, while with herbivores (ruminants in particular) little of the digestive process is in the stomach(s) but mostly in the intestine where grains and greens will ferment for easier digestion.  Stretching my memory of what I've read - carnivores intestines are approximately 4 times their body length while it's almost 20 time their body length for herbivores.

Renee, one of the articles I read questioned basically who domesticated whom. If the wolf/dog remained around the human population for easy pickings and we gradually trained them, then obviously we domesticated them, to their advantage. If, on the other hand, we found it beneficial to have them as "early warning" and hunting companions then I'd have to say that they domesticated us because it was more to our advantage. I'd think though that it was an obvious "best of both worlds" for each of us.

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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:15 pm

Quote from my  partner:

"Zoological classification places dogs in the order of Carnivora.   What we feed them now would be due to domestication. Just like cows are strict herbivores but because we have over domesticated them and have complete control over their diet we feed them ground bones and meal in their feed thus natures vengeance in the form of prions and bovine spongiform encephalitis. So I would say dogs are carnivores by design and omnivores by development. "

Domestication means change.
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:25 pm

@aljones wrote:

Actually Aidan classification into one or the other (carnivore / omnivore / herbivore) is mostly based on physiology. Specifically what they have the ability to digest. If I read that correctly, the length of the intestine is one of the significant factors with carnivores digestion taking place mostly in the stomach with a correspondingly shorter intestine, while with herbivores (ruminants in particular) little of the digestive process is in the stomach(s) but mostly in the intestine where grains and greens will ferment for easier digestion. Stretching my memory of what I've read - carnivores intestines are approximately 4 times their body length while it's almost 20 time their body length for herbivores.

Well that kind of ties into my point. If they can't properly digest plants then they can't draw sustainable energy from it, so they can't be omnivores. Although you're also right, so I looked up what you said and found this interesting article on the matter. Further proving that dogs were at the very least built to be carnivores.

Also nice quote Jeff! Pretty much sums up what I've been trying to say in that dogs are still technically carnivores and thrive best on a carnivorous diet despite domestication.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:27 pm

Yep. Bingo.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:29 pm

And the moral of the story is..........raw diets now!

Just kidding,  sorta. I'm not a proselytizer.

So now it's whether or not changes derived from domestication affect biological taxonomy? ?
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 6:44 pm

Well that really depends, in my opinion domestication wont affect classification until the domestic diets actually offer a biological advantage, which they currently do not. So the day when Purina is good for our pets (without changing the ingredients) is the same day when Biologists can call their dogs omnivores. Razz
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 7:00 pm

Haha, well said.

Along the same lines I just thought about the fact that obesity doesn't exist in the natural world. Humans can destroy anything.
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Yeah obesity is a direct result of laziness and over saturation to unhealthy foods in our society. Well, unless you're this guy of course:

Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 Fat-orangutan_auttg_2

Edit: Oh wait, nvm, it's eating a Popsicle. I thought it was a banana at first. :/
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 7:23 pm

I'm pretty sure there's no popsicles in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra Smile  This fella doesn't even have domestication as his excuse, just zoo life.

If I had to choose between being domesticated by humans or zoo life, I'd go with the former.  Just sayin'.
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 15, 2014 7:25 pm

So wait, you're telling me that Popsicle trees aren't a real thing? It's like everything I've known is a lie. D:

(But I digress...)
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 12:12 pm

There are way too many responses for me to follow on a topic I have no desire to debate (to me, dogs are carnivores, end of sfory). Be forewarned, I did not read most of fhe posts but I did read a few of the latest.  I have to say that by the logic of dogs being omnivores based on what we feed would make some of them herbivores then because some people do feed vegetarian diets to their dogs. Maybe one day we'll all start feeding vegetarian diets and we can change their classification to herbivores, wouldn't that be great?!  Cats are fed commercial diets with some meat and lots of grain yet they are still obligate carnivores. Why is it with cats we don't apply the same argument?. Surely cats have evolved over the thousands of years of domestication, no? Why did the dog evolve but not the cat? I don't believe either evolved to derive nutrition from plant matter. Surviving is very different from thriving. Cats eat plant matter because we feed it to them and they survive yet they are not omnivores.Look at the reference to problems in cows from eating material they were not meant to eat. How many dogs and cats are afflicted with things directly related to their inappropriate diet? Food for thought.

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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 12:46 pm

As this sees to be winding down I'd like to thank everyone for your input. While I honestly have to say that I never consider my dogs as anything but carnivores, there does seem to be some debate among the scientific community about how dedicated a carnivore they are, thus prompting the original question.

I appreciate the thoughtful input, with references that went into making this an excellent conversation - at least for me - and forcing me to do a lot of reading that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Kudos to you all!!

Aidan, of course popsicle trees are real - but I have a real hard time getting any before they start dripping.

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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 12:55 pm

I want to mention one last thing, Val I agree with you with the whole cat vs dog thing. The only thing I want to add to that, cats have been around humans as long as dogs, however, cats have only been truly domesticated the last couple hundred years vs dogs 1000's. There are hundreds of dog breeds but I can't remember the exact number, only something like, a 100 or less cat breeds, and this is because of domestication. The longer the species is domesticated the more it becomes "humanized:, imho.
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 12:58 pm

For the record because I never actually stated my personal conviction, I would say they are most certainly carnivores, both in terms of their body and what they should thrive on.

But I also can't completely ignore the impact of domestication and how that prompts changes that override biology.

I am not a biological essentialist, which makes for some interesting conversation with my biologist partner Smile
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 1:06 pm

If only biology allowed .......

Carnivores Who Eat Omnivorously

That's it. Carnivore is the noun and omnivore is the adverb for dogs.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 1:30 pm

@MiyasMomma wrote:
The longer the species is domesticated the more it becomes "humanized:, imho.

And if you think about this, one of the great trends in human society is to give a big F'you to biology and create lives for ourselves or extend lives that biology would have prevented or terminated. This absolutely extends to our closest domesticated pets.

I'm currently alive and typing on this computer because of this. Biologically I should be dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 1:41 pm

My argument for canines being omnivores: The teeth.

In paleontology you identify the diet of an animal by the teeth. Canines have teeth similar to bears, an omnivore.

Just a thought?


http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/pregastric/dogpage.html
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 1:43 pm

@seattlesibe wrote:

@MiyasMomma wrote:
The longer the species is domesticated the more it becomes "humanized:, imho.


And if you think about this, one of the great trends in human society is to give a  big F'you to biology and create lives for ourselves or extend lives that biology would have prevented or terminated.  This absolutely extends to our closest domesticated pets.  

I'm currently alive and typing on this computer because of this.  Biologically I should be dead.

Ok, I'll bite...biologically you should be dead?
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PostSubject: Re: Carnivore or Omnivore ???   Carnivore or Omnivore ??? - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 16, 2014 2:00 pm

Some may disagree with my logic, but it is pretty simple. I have some pets that only eat meat by choice. I have some pets that eat mainly meat, but will sample other things. I have had some pets that will eat just about anything. If you own a lab you would understand what I mean by just about anything.

My huskies and cats fall into the second group. They seem to love meat, but will sample other things too, so I guess to me that is omnivore. I know both need a good amount of protein though, so if you want to say carnivore with some opportunistic tendencies that is fine by me too.

My snake though . . . I have never seen him go for anything other then mice and rats. I have had him outside and he does not sample the plants. He won't take cheese of my plate. That to me is full fledged pure carnivore.
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