Dogs Are Man’s Best Nemesis, When You Include Diet?

Going way way back, one of my favorite things to mock & ridicule for base ignorance was the Creationist—picture it—sitting there with a dog on one side, petting a cat on his lap...and the dog didn't go after the cat. ...Get this, because you'll laf: millions of people in America fervently believe God created them like that, as companions. That's one level of abject ignorance too dumb to even talk about, but another "sciency" one has cropped up.

Word is: dogs can digest starch!

It's all the rage. I've been sent tons of links!

Yawn.

That's the yawn and heres the lie: In Order To Live With People, Canines Evolved To Love Carbs (a link on Google...don't really give a dog shit about which story, whether by Veronique Lacapra or anyone, or a "study" by Erik Axelsson). Here's the pic from that "news," which I didn't even bother to read; because I'm dirty enough already (just walked my meat loving carnivores). Lesson: know DS before you even smell it; act accordingly; go from there.

dog1 custom 2253af7eb8b0e599851d2cdfb19829468a93ed52 s4
Bull...ah Dogshit

Tell you what. Go place a bowl of meat—raw even—alongside a bowl of cooked pasta. Dress it however the fuck your stupid mind would have you (...because if you don't already know the answer and actually go to the trouble, you're too fucking stupid to share breath with dog breath). Then toss the pasta in the trash, eat it yourself, or save it for lunch tomorrow where you'll get approving nods in the lunchroom. Wipe the dirty, meat-laden bowl clean with a paper towel, if you even need to. That's: evolution; and testing it.

Stupid, stupid, stupid people. You know what? Dogs ought be embarrassed on our behalf. Mine are. Right this minute, they're down and hunkered. Soon as I told them that they were getting pasta instead of meat from now on, haven't seen them since. ...They know I get ideas all the time, and they've evolved to let me just work it out on my own, come to my senses over hours or days. They've found when it's best to leave me alone.

...I did get an idea years back that they probably ought not be eating cheap grains in lieu of more expensive meat. This is why they turn their heads sideways and give me slack. They have faith in me.

Creationists have the stupidest, non answer for why we have companion animals like gods...opps...dogs...and cats, that aren't exactly like gerbils & goldfish. I really haven't looked into cats. For one, I just blogged about why. For two, their domestication has not deprived them of their essential survival abilities, which is why they live feral so very easy and naturally. But yea, cats come from Felis sylvestris, likely domesticated in The Fertile Crescent (that's it; figure the rest out yourself; no more references so you don't figure it out yourself).

...Way back when I was making fun of creationists over the evolution of cats & dogs—not even bothering to mention that evolution through natural selection happens every day in the lab, in test tubes and petri dishes—I was of the mind that humans had selectively bread wolf cubs (we know that genetically, all dogs come from wolves). It made sense. They're so cute, so they say...so combine a woman who'll unabashedly say so, and her fucker who'll never admit it, but ridicule her instead—while holding and petting it—and you have a winning Yin-Yang combination.

Life, love, and 180.

They tried it. They've done various experiments with wolf cubs and while it's possible and plausible, not practical in the context of survival in the wilderness. Essentially, you have to imprint each wolf cub as they grow neurons in the first few months by holding it close 24/7 so they smell you.

Fortunately, there's a far more Occam's Razor explanation, and it's more evolutionarily logical to boot.

How about if wolves chose us? How come we automatically and so naturally assume that all selection is either natural; or if human motivated, explicitly engineered by us? We're rather unique. It's easy to understand how "we tame" pigeons and ducks around a pond (we bring food, they self-select). We tame bears in wildlife parks, too—where rangers have noted that the problem in designing food lockers is a measurable overlap between the smartest bears and the dumbest humans.

What if we were just so damn handsome  and capable as a species, so much so we toss food away? Imagine some wolves. ...Garbage dumps. Whoa! Verim! Whoa! ...And a lot easier to catch & eat than those fucking gazelles...muther fucker hard to cathch muther fuckers.... And get this, check this out: Watch what happens when I go over there and wag my tail. YOU SEE THAT!? Here, let me show you again. See? He smiled. Whoa. Whoa. ...Wait! What's that? Is he offering me a piece of meat fresh off the barbie?

Punchline

Wolves chose us. Dogs are the evolutionary, self-selected product of the laziest wolves. (All the variations in size, color, fur, are explainable from in-breeding—check it out yourselves.)

But dogs, like any animal including humans, are often insatiable, and that ever-present garbage dump offered a bounty beyond vermin. Dogs eat our garbage. It's been that way for Ten Thousand Years. There' no mystery about it.

Punchline II

No idea if this was addressed in the study I didn't bother to read, because it was stupid on premise. Dogs live about 15ish years; humans, 70ish. Dogs have a five-fold evolutionary advantage, because evolution has zero to do with Earth's rotation on its own axis and how long it takes to revolve around the sun, in terms of our counting time. Evolution deals with species generation. This is why you can observe profound evolution in a lab with bacteria that reproduce but live only hours, as well the offspring that reproduce and die. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Over. And over. Evolution before your eyes.

There are species of flies, like fruit flies, where the same thing is observed. Worms too. Tons of stuff. But, you can be as ignorant as you want to be. Humans, on the other hand—the only one with a brain, but you really have to wonder—sit and wax on about not observing evolution.

Dogs don't observe an even 10,000 year profound evolution amongst their own species either, even if they could understand.

Alright, just for all the stupid people who think this is any kind of news. Ready? Only going to do this once, though I've written it a hundred times in the past: humans not only evolved, they migrated. They became generalists, and as such, produce more starch digesting amylase in their saliva than even their primate ancestors. Does that mean starch is essential? Does the fact we can digest fat make eating fat essential? How about protein?

What's essential is real food. We've developed the enzymatic and metabolic tools to digest and live off just about everything if we have to. Thriving is a different question. What's best is the forever open question, and why some of us still have blogs worth a dog shit to read. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure neither humans or their dogs spent a single second grazing in wheat fields. But wolves came along, and appear to have developed a bit the same generality in the process to become our dogs.

Perhaps humans aren't so bad. How could thousands of wolf, natural born killers been wrong?

...Oh wait. I just told Nuke (Nanuka, formally) that's it's all pasta from here out.

IMG 1489
 

Update: OK, here, my fat dogs, deprived of pasta and other starch (they get bits of starch here are there; good they can use it, but having a hammer doesn't compel one to be a builder).

rotornuke
rotornuke

Oops, just went and gave away my wifi password.

 

Comments

  1. Two comments, two deletes and bans. Awesome!

    If you want to actually take some effort to make an argument, you are welcome to so so. a 2-paragraph slight at met, and a 5-word sentence comment get deleted, and banned as dogsshit, just like that.

  2. Gabriella Kadar says:

    In 2005 on trip to Labrador, I stayed at a B&B which originally was the Grenfell nursing station. They had a shelf full of books written by doctors and others who had been working for Grenfell Regional Health. One of the books contained a description of a doctor’s experience going on a multi-day dogsled trip to a patient. The dude wasn’t used to travelling like this and he hadn’t had a bowel movement for several days. When he finally got the urge, he squatted and the sled dogs could hardly wait to consume what he’d produced. As soon as he stood up, the crap was eaten.

    Years ago I’d heard that dogs in Thailand ate human faeces. I’ve seen dogs eat donkey shit like it’s manna from heaven. Plus having been a dog owner for many years (not now, I’ve got cats these days) I know how irresistible it is for dogs to consume droppings of other animals, cats included.

    I’ve never been to India, but given that about 600 million people over there have no sort of lavatory facility and deposit in the open, it doesn’t make me wonder too much as to what all the pi dogs are eating.

    Given all this, I doubt that dogs were enticed to human settlements by starch.

    In the Samara River Valley project (a river that is located close to the Volga) archeologists discovered the bones of butchered dogs. It supposedly happened during midwinter. This makes sense if there’s too many dogs and not enough ‘food’ for them. The bones were cut in such a way as to extract the marrow. So I guess the benefits go both ways.

    • I’m sure the Ev tables turned on dogs more than once in history.

      It’s hilarious to me that the first two commenters out of the box had no desire to discuss, just shoot. I’m quite positive that neither actually read the post.

      I concede that dogs can digest starch.

      So what? I can swing a hammer. It’s good dogs can digest starch, but in the words of Petro Dobromylskyj a few years back when Rotor had an digestion issue and the vets wanted him on a special food that’s essentially rice, water, and a little meat flavor: “I doubt Rotor is suffering from a rice deficiency.”

      That they can digest starch has zero to say about whether that’s best for them. It’s also good they can deal with table scraps that might include some starches. Watch what they go for first, if you haven’t eaten it already.

  3. Thriving is the important word here. I think too many people ignore the concept.

    I can survive on crap food, but I will not thrive.
    I can survive without sunlight, but I will not thrive.
    etc.

    Last I heard, the self-domestication theory was the dominant one for felines. When humans started storing food, especially grain, it attracted rodents etc, and these creatures attracted cats who decided that these humans were useful to have around.

    • Without even looking into it, Joshua, makes sense. Cats are way different than dogs, but the same fundamental for what attracts them in the first place applies. Humans are stars at breeding vermin.

      • Gordon Shannon says:

        Damn straight. One visit to a farm confirms that.

        I wonder, though, if dogs and humans originally shared the hunt. Or perhaps dogs simply evolved a pack mentality sufficient that humans and dogs could share simple companionship. Interesting questions.

        And anyone feeding a dog a vegetarian diet deserves to be crucified on the Via Appia. Abuse yourself with your unnatural nonsense – don’t impose that shit on innocent animals.

      • Gabriella Kadar says:

        Dogs were part of the human social scene prior to agriculture. Humans are messy and filthy so no doubt the vermin would have been attracted to any human encampment or settlement. I’m still tending to think that dogs just cleaned up whatever humans and even their other animals left behind. Plus probably they helped with taking down game. A mutually beneficial relationship. Although, humans most likely consumed the liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas and spleen. And there you go, the dogs got the intestines. They wouldn’t have even got the good bones because humans ate the marrow.

        Cats are great for some stuff: Eddie is the best spider eater ever. Since he was effusively praised for bigass spider number one, he proudly volunteers his services by charging into the fray. Cats may be inscrutable to some, but they sure have pride.

      • Great looking dogs, Richard!

        Though, I am a cat-gal now as well, Gabriella – they are so much fun to watch when they’re hunting down whatever little pest is around the house. Here in FL, it’s the notorious cockroach – can’t stand them, but can’t stand the chemicals that kill them more. So, hence, our wonderful cat does the work and she has a blast. Plus, she eats them! No, she wouldn’t dream of eating pasta, but a cockroach…look out. She’ll chase that thing all night.

        Previously, when I fed my boxer store-bought food with grains, she would be sick for days and her allergies were uncontrollable. A total switch to predominantly meat with the sweet potato and she was better. I have no doubt that if I fed her strictly meat with marrow, she may have possibly been “cured.” But in the end, her sicknesses beat her down – and she was 8.

      • Gabriella Kadar says:

        I hear you Shelley. One of my acquaintances had a miniature schnauzer with severe gut issues. The owner of the dog told me that the dog was extremely attracted to raccoon shit but of course she wouldn’t permit the animal to consume any of it. Fair enough but at the time I had access to fresh donkey shit. She declined the offer. Donkey shit is particularly good stuff because the donkey does a great job chewing fodder so it produces nice ‘road apples’. As an alternative, I suggested kefir, which the dog really enjoyed. But the vet promoted the ‘non-inflammatory diet’ (lots of rice) and the dog died.

        As to cockroaches, in Thomas Eisner’s ‘For Love of Insects’ his research discovered that under the ‘armpits’ of cockroaches there is a gland that explodes noxious substances which deter animals from consuming them. It seems that cockroaches are like little tanks with what amounts to guns. When I had roaches (the small ones) the cats never touched them. Maybe Palmetto bugs are different?

        One of my cats attacked a Western Conifer Bug which sprays some truly stinky poisonous substances. Now she won’t even approach a spider. She watches with interest but from a safe distance.

  4. tatertot says:

    Richard – Not really pertinent to this blog, but over on MDA, a thread got started on Resistant Starch. Lots of good banter, but just when hope was lost for the case, a chick named RSQueen popped in. She started talking about how great RS is and talking about a corn product called Hi-Maize.

    Anyway, she got ‘outed’ as a corn industry insider who must have gotten pinged from a link. But she is really doing a good job explaining RS and is sticking around despite some abuse. If you have any questions about RS or this somewhat novel corn starch product, you should check out this thread:

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread76153.html

    • Tater:

      I’ve stayed out of the threads on MDA and Ray’s place, wanting to figure out stuff myself from the basics provided by you and others here.

      I did check Paul Jaminet’s blog for resistant starch and there was a thread with an industry rep having to do with corn. Bet it was the same person.

  5. “…the problem in designing food lockers is a measurable overlap between the smartest bears and the dumbest humans”

    ROTFLMFAO. Genius.

  6. “Wipe the dirty, meat-laden bowl clean with a paper towel, if you even need to. That’s: evolution; and testing it.”

    It’s the Reward Value!

  7. Hi!

    Do your dogs even recognize carby stuff as “food”? I know some dogs will try to eat anything, including dirt, earth, flowers, shit, stones, cans… But when I try giving mine a potato cooked or uncooked, apples, spaghetti… They are happy that I want to play fetch with them, but they don’t really get that those stuff could be eaten. They might eat all sorts of stuff if theres lard or bacon drippings on it, but otherwise..
    Cats are even more hilarious, they are outright offended by stuff like that. Mine once conquered a sandwich with bacon.. he was very careful about eating all the bacon without a single bread crumb.
    Or wild type rats.. They don’t even recognize fruit as food unless in the most dire circumstances.. hehe..

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      I used to play a trick with my Rhodesian: I’d put three green peas mixed up in his food. He never ate a single one. At the end of the meal, there would be three polished clean green peas in the bottom of the bowl. Amazing.

    • Mine will eat bits of cooked potato and carrot, peas, such as what might get stuck to meat in a pot roast or stew. They’ll also do a little fruit, depending what kind. Grapes are funny. They won’t break the skin, just kind of play with them. You have to break the skin, then they’ll eat a few.

  8. I was horrified to pick up a copy of the *official* magazine of the ASPCA (at the recycler…) and find an article on how to transition your dog to a vegetarian diet. (Gods! That STILL makes me gag!!) Not a joke, not a satire — they really and truly MEANT that you could turn your dog into a vegetarian!!!

  9. I changed to a paleo-ish diet a couple years ago, lost a bunch of weight, yada yada. At the time my 5 year old lab was having some major health issues. He could hardly walk but the vet could find no obvious physical problems. When I switched my diet I also switched his diet. The change in his health was much more dramatic then even my own and he is now very active, healthy and happy.

  10. Richard, Forgive me if it’s in the post and I missed, what breed are those two very cool dogs?

    • John B

      Those are Rat Terriers.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Terrier

      1930s era popular farm dog for rodent control. Unlike cats, they don’t kill and eat. They just kill and kill. They can eradicate an old infested barn in hours, hundreds of kills. Look up “ratting terriers.”

      • Thanks. I thought they were probabaly a terrier variety. They have Manchester terrier in their lineage, I see. That would be why they have Mini Pinscher resemblance in their faces. Great looking dogs.

      • Yes, absolutely. Miniature pincers are so alike in looks and ratties and them play together very well. Not sure about the other dispositions. Somewhat unique to ratties is their “off switch.” You’ll read about that in just about every writeup.

  11. Richard, you might be interested to know that the 10-20,000 year estimate for dogs is based solely on fossil evidence. DNA evidence on the other hand indicates that dogs split from wolves at least 100,000 years ago. There is also fossil evidence of wolves together with humans dating back that far. So it seems we may well have a much older relationship with our dogs than once thought.

    There was a video making the rounds a few years back showing a tribe of baboons kidnapping feral dogs as ‘pets’. Probably vegan baboons, saving the pups from a cholesterol-rich diet.

    • I think I read in one of Temple Grandin’s books that brain size tends to shrink when a species is domesticated. The brains of cows, sheep, goats, pigs, dogs, etc. are all smaller than those of their wild ancestors. The human brain also shrunk compared to our ancestors (http://discovermagazine.com/2010/sep/25-modern-humans-smart-why-brain-shrinking). That article mentions the possibility that we tamed ourselves, but it seems possible that humans and wolves tamed each other, especially if we go back so far in history. Then maybe both of our brains shrunk, humans outsourcing the olfactory cortex to the wolves and wolves outsourcing something to humans (not sure what).

    • pup, I think that fits nicely with the idea that they chose and hung around us. I doubt anyone would be trying to tame wolves 100 kya (ha!, I just wrote ‘wives’ instead of ‘wolves’ hahahaha). They chose us.

  12. Here’s a link to the 100,000+ info…

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2002/03/26/513072.htm

  13. There is also the annoying fact that wolves will occasionally eat fruits, and pull at wild rices, etc…

    These are sort of drive by opportunities, not the goal of their daily hunt obviously, but it happens, even today, I’ve witnessed wolves go at blueberries, blackberries, etc…

    So the idea that dogs somehow developed the desire or perhaps PLAN B of eating carbs by moving in with Homer Simpson is simplistic review of the two species. They apparently have some dietary use for those foods but can likely thrive just fine without them. Just as we can.

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      While hiking ‘up north’ I noticed scat deposited on rocks that looked like compressed berries. When I came home I checked my book on tracking animals and it seems weasels eat raspberries. Bear shit in raspberry patches looks smiliar to cow pies.

      I’d never considered that weasels eat fruit.

      I almost got my eye poked out by a branch while taking a closer look at wolf scat. It wasn’t full of fur which was reassuring.

  14. Of course dogs can digest starch. They eat ENTIRE animals. I once watched my awesome dog Aerial catch and consume a whole chicken (excluding a few feathers) in about 5 minutes. There was definitely starch in the chicken, because it was eating right up to the point she pounced on it. She didn’t leave the chicken’s stomach contents behind.

    It’s like getting egg shell in my eggs. I’m sure my body handles it okay when it happens, but that doesn’t mean it’s the basis for my diet.

    As to dog behavior, I saw a fascinating study once on dogs versus wolves. One key difference was how the dogs look to humans for help. They were placing food inside a cage that prevented access. The wolves would try and try, and eventually give up. Every single dog in the test would try, stop, look at the human nearby, look at the food, wait a bit, and either try again, or look between the human and the food. They’re asking for help, or at least looking for help. Not one of the wolves did the same.

    My dog does this. The other day her toy was in her crate and someone had shut the door. I got home, and she ran in to greet me, waited for eye contact and tore off for the bedroom. I followed her in and she was sitting waiting for me. Once I made eye contact, she looked at the toy in the crate, and back to me. It’s a symbiotic thing. I miss Aerial, but Gracie is turning into a good dog too.

    Lastly, I don’t think God made dogs and cats for us. I DO think God made us. I’m even a…dare I say it? Creationist. Yet I read your blog. Hmmm. No need for me to cry or whine about our differences. I guess I could decide to be insulted, but where is the value in that? Oh, I also accept the process of evolution. None of this is contradictory for me, and as a result I just don’t get my panties in a wad over it.

    I bet we’d have a blast chatting about this in person. You can bash creationists and Christians in general and I’m good with it. I’m tempted to say that God created you just to make Christians more resolute in their convictions, but honesty require that I confess that would just be jacking with you. :)

    • “They were placing food inside a cage that prevented access.”

      Yep, saw that somewhere sometime back. Wolves have bigger brains but they are specialist brains designed to work in their own social pack milieu. Dogs depend on humans for their survival and it seems that all dogs have needed to do to get help is be able to give a little whine, wag of tail, and sit pretty. Pretty clever, them.

      The other funny thing about dogs is that they’re cargo cultists (ref: the islanders of WWII that would fashion GI gear and go through motions, believing that to be the cause of cargo falling from the sky). Observe how dogs will return over and over again to their bowl in the same pattern, expecting that motion of going to their bowl is what causes food to appear there.

      “I’m tempted to say that God created you just to make Christians more resolute in their convictions, but honesty require that I confess that would just be jacking with you.”

      Ha. Now there’s a delusion I’m tempted to embrace. :)

  15. This post reminded me of that one comic with Pavlov and his dogs where the dog tells the other dog what he can make Pavlov do.

  16. May I ask what kind of dogs is that? Is very nice looking and good size. Cow thinking to get dog. Have to be under 30 pound. No can be herder dog though, that just not work out.

  17. In strawberry season we find lots of fox scat with strawberries in, I have been asked to shoot foxes which raid strawberry patches and have seen the activity on an amazingly regular basis. I have also seen foxes, lots of foxes eating from dumped apple piles, we had thought it was deer eating them so sat out waiting to shoot a few, but no, it was foxes.
    If wolves were domesticated 100,000 years ago or so we might expect to see some archaeological evidence for it, gnawed bones in a tent complex for example or human/canine scat piles, tracks, pictures etc….
    I’m a country boy raised with dogs lots of dogs , I hate absolutely hate dogs. Given the inuit fondness for wolf I suspect the first domesticated dogs were kept as food on the paw. Got fox for lunch tomorrow its a bit like greasy beef.

  18. Wooo,

    My parents have a shittzu. Kobe is his name and I was just there Friday/saturday. It’s their second one. What I love is that underbite they seem to have, with their bottom row of teeth over their upper lip. …So I do that silly thing where I do the same, and say ‘hi Kobe.’ He’s a visitor here, and a stay over now and then when my parents take a trip. My female (nuke) and him will wrestle until they are both too exhausted to move.

    Also, like my rat terriers, they don’t know their size and will be aggressive even with big dogs.

    OK, Wooo, now that you know that about me, you have to think I’m cool forever. :)

    • Thank you for you inputs on dog, is much appreciate.

      Also, look at two of you –making with conversations, sharing. Who say surly potato lover and crazy ketotic bitch can no be friend? You see how Cow bring peoples together? Is beautiful, yes?

  19. Been reading a copy of “The history of agriculture in the state of new york,” printed in 1933. Some very interesting tidbits in there that seem to have gotten lost along the way, such as the fact that Succotash was originally a native dish cooked with corn, squash, AND beans, and the meat used was not, obviously, ham hocks, but dog.

    Dogs can be a lot of things; village sentries, shit-recyclers/famine-food, beasts of burden, companions in the hunt, companions in the home, delicacies. I’m sure over the course of their coevolution with us the mixture of those roles occurring among various cultures must have been diverse. Was the early dog regarded as a meal, scapegoat, or friend by man? Perhaps all of the above.

    And of course along the way a greater capacity to digest starch was selected for. They ended up more frequently depending on starch the same as we did. When I get my blue heeler I’m still going to feed it mostly meat. If it wants to forage berries or grasses to supplement its diet, cool. Very few animals are truly strict carnivores or herbivores. Anybody catch the bit about whitetail deer predation of ground-nesting birds that came to light recently?

  20. “Dogs are the evolutionary, self-selected product of the laziest wolves.”

    I’m so snarfing that.

  21. Galina L says:

    Most of the time when people tell that their dog died, they mentioned it died of some sort of cancer. I yet to hear about any dog died of cardiovascular cause.

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