A Note From Patrick: June 2020 | MUTTS

A Note From Patrick: June 2020

News & Events People

“Cruelty cannot stand the spotlight.” That was the tagline for The Ark Trust, an organization which awarded the media for reporting on animal issues. I have been thinking about those words a lot lately. I am buoyed by recent events bringing so much injustice to light — while deeply saddened that these injustices exist. I feel optimistic that a powerful awakening is coming.

MUTTS readers have an abundance of empathy and a deep sense of justice. We are all in this together to make a stronger, more peaceful world for all.

***

MUTTS NEWS SPOILER ALERT: If you’d rather be surprised with a new twist in the world of MUTTS, please don’t read the following two paragraphs until after June 16.

Friends, I’ve made two longstanding promises with my MUTTS strip. The first: someday Guard Dog will be freed. (Yes, this will happen before too long.) The second: Butchie and his Fatty Snax Deli would go veggie. With a two-week storyline starting Sunday, Butchie will finally see the light.

As a vegetarian for over 30 years and a vegan since 2012, I’ve always felt a little strange drawing the cheeses and salamis that hang over Butchie’s head. I’m feeling better because they will now be plant-based and cruelty-free.

With the pandemic, and understanding the cruelties of raising and processing “meat,” it’s more important than ever to rethink how we treat the animals — and people — on this planet. Going plant-based is a win-win. It’s good for your own health, the health of the planet, and obviously the billions of suffering, factory farmed animals.

Going veggie gets easier and easier. (Millions have already discovered new, delicious meat substitutes.) I ask everyone to do what you can. Even observing Meatless Mondays can save a billion animals each year in the United States alone. If Butchie can do it, so can you.

***

Last month we posted two comic strips that I drew for the MUTTS blog, which were pandemic-themed and written by my friend, author Glen David Gold. Glen suggested that we auction off one of the strips for charity, and I am happy that we can, and will, make this happen. I’ve watercolored the original artwork for this purpose and Heritage Auctions has agreed to host the auction. We’ll keep you updated as this process unfolds.

Stay safe. Stay well. Stay kind.

— Patrick

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203 thoughts on “A Note From Patrick: June 2020

  1. I don’t want to be unsuscribed! I love the Daily Mutts!

  2. My husband had a triple bypass 17 years ago, then decided to follow a plant based diet. He is 81 now and doing very well. Thank God. I am 72, and still eat some meat still-chicken or fish–a couple of times a week, but mostly eat what he is eating. We love our animals. I just couldn’t quite make the leap. Don’t do well with soy at all. Was raised on a traditional farm. Hate the whole idea of factory farming. Of course, buy free range organic etc. However, CATS are obligate CARNIVORES. So toss the kitty a mouse now and then. Thanks for the laughs and the profound kindness and compassionate philosophy over the years.

  3. I was happily surprised to see the change of heart with the Fatty Snax Deli owner. This will be a learning experience for those that love your cartoon, yet haven’t tried to go animal free with their diet. I, too, look forward to seeing Guard Dog freed! Thanks for loving all animals, and being there for them. I’m sure you have done more good for animals than you will ever know! 🙂

  4. Again, could you please introduce people of color to the strip? Schultz did this in the last century! Thanks!

  5. I am a 96 year old “animal lover”! No pets now, but enjoy my “grand pets”. My day starts with MUTTS!
    My great grandson has his own phrase; “I WON’T EAT ANYTHING THAT HAD A MOTHER!”! RDS

  6. Oh no… it’s 10:30 PM & the fireworks are starting – & fireworks in the city limits here are illegal. Nothing is ever done about it.

  7. I hope Guard Dog gets a family and freedom to be a dog.
    But like many others the image of cats and dogs being fed vegan meals disturbs me.
    As a humans we can decide how to balance our diet for our health, our compassion, concern for the planet and what our digestive system will accept. Even among humans there are vast differences in how our bodies are helped or sickened by food. There aren’t many “deli foods” plant or animal based my system can tolerate. There are a lot of very “healthy fresh whole vegetable and fruits” my system can’t tolerate (look up FODMAP).
    I’m more concerned that we produce whatever animal based product or plant based products are done without being genetically modified (the lab based stuff), with out pesticides, using good environmental practices and practice quality of life for both plants, animals, humans who grow and handle them and ultimate consumers.
    I enjoy Mutts, especially Little Pink Sock, any cattitude and the long missing STARE.

  8. KUDOS TO YOU!! A BIG WOOOO HOOO!!

  9. I commend you for putting yourself out there with the challenging vegan message. It’s obviously stirred up a hornet’s nest! It’s a complex issue. Many view criticism of their diets (vegan or omnivore) as intensely as an assault on their religious beliefs (or lack thereof).
    Aside from the specific nutritional needs of dogs and cats, there is a discussion that we should all have: in some parts of the world cats and dogs are tortured and brutally killed for human consumption. If we find that repugnant, then why should similar treatment of cows, pigs and chickens be any less offensive? I find the hypocrisy stunning when people criticize the practices of Asian wet markets, while blithely and blindly accepting the atrocities that led to a chicken breast being on their plate for dinner.

  10. I can not wait too see the sad guard dog free.I appreciate ,love the animals you have created,and you are helping change the world.THANKS for being there for the animals.

  11. I LOVE the June 25, 2020 and June 27 2020 strips. Specially the June 27. That was just BEAUTIFUL!!! THANK YOU PATRICK!! I’m a former vegetarian turned vegan. The June 22 one (“That’s the tofu talking”) cracked me up! That was so funny! LOVE YOUR WORK!!! CARRY ON AND GODSPEED! Many blessings to you and your family.

  12. Reading many of your readers comments has made me realize that many of the thoughts of the meat eaters are very specific, typically taste. To me the paths we take are wide. For me and many of my fellow vegans I have made my decisions covering the full range.

    I went vegan for the following-
    40% Health
    35% Environmental
    15% Animal Rights
    10% To Piss People Off.

  13. Here’s your plant based meals—-they’re referred to as salads.

  14. You realize that growing grains veggies and fruits means that thousands of birds, squirrels and other small animals are actively shot, poisoned, trapped and murdered in order to preserve the crops? I don’t object to your food choices. To each his own as far as I’m concerned but to preach about it and indulge in this false virtue signalling Via your comic strip is very misleading. Vegans and vegetarians are just as culpable as meat eaters but at least meat eaters benefit from the incredible nutrient density provided by meat, whereas vegans just let the meat ( all those dead animals ) rot in the field and pretend it never happened. I agree that many farm practices ( eg chicken and hog farming ) need to be improved but please don’t pretend that your food choices are any less cruel.

  15. Patrick, I appreciate Einstein’s quote. At my house, we are omnivores; however, I do try to prepare some plant-based meals. They’re good for us and can be very tasty. It seems like the evolution to plant-based diet has already begun. We are more aware of nutrition, economy, environmental issues, and what goes on in the meat industry. Someday, we may not have the choices we have now. Evolution, though, usually takes place over a longer period of time. People, especially Americans don’t want anything ‘forced down their throats’. I respect others’ decision to be Vegan or Vegetarian, and hope they’ll respect my decision to sometimes consume animal products. Meanwhile, I look forward to my Daily Mutts. Today’s comic is cute and has a message, but please don’t overdo it.

    1. Hi , Sharon. Please keep an open mind and please don’t think Patrick is “overdoing it”
      If we don’t do all we can to move people
      Move to a plant based diet – it’s not just animal suffering and death we are talking about – it’s the death of our planet. Please wake up.

  16. I used to read this strip for fun and humor. Now I’m reading it only to see how far this is going to go. Church of veganism isn’t funny. It’s alienating. Especially to cats and dogs and their non-vegetarian owners.

    1. Preach it, sister!

  17. Thank you, Patrick! I love seeing the world through your eyes!

  18. I have to say I was completely and absolutely delighted to my toes when I read the first comic strip about the change to go vegan. I’m tickled pink! I too, have been vegetarian since I was a teenager,… long time ago, it was hard finding things like plant based milk. The only brand available was Vitasoy. I never craved meat and animal products, so being vegetarian was very easy. I finally went full on vegan 5 yrs ago. What changed me forever, was seeing a tractor trailer truck turning into a Tyson plant with about a hundred cages of chickens crammed into these cages. I lost my mind when I saw this and could’ve been arrested with my reflex reaction. Luckily my hubs was there to pull me back into my car. I vowed right there, never to contribute to this barbarism of eating any animal products. Nowadays it is very easy to find products and restaurants that cater to vegan, plan5 based food. Thank you Patrick… now let’s release Guard dog so my heart can really mend☺️

    1. Only Patrick can release Guard Dog, as he’s the one who put him on a chain in the first place.

  19. Bravo Patrick — keep up the good work. One of your most uplifting series; totally fits the heart of Mutts. But perhaps you need to do a “shorry!” strip in honor of all the Karens in this comment section who are so mortally offended by you expressing views counter to their own — in an artist’s comic strip that no one is forcing them to read. “Someone expressed a thought different than my own worldview — how rude!” It’s striking how defensive carnivores get when plant-based diets are discussed, no matter how carefully. Methinks you protest too much…

    1. It’s not a matter of being “mortally offended by … views counter to [our] own” but rather a concern for our meat-needing pets, cats in particular. No, I’m not forced to read the strip, but others who may not understand pets’ needs might be. And just because we defend a pet’s need for meat doesn’t necessarily mean we eat it.

      Shorry you missed the point.

      1. Oops … should have read “might be reading.” Doubt people are being forced to read the strip—at least I hope not!

  20. I applaud your positive changes, but you need to go further. There are seldom, if ever people of color in your strip. As varied as the world of animals is, so is the world of mankind. Please develop new characters that show more diversity.

  21. Patrick, I just want to foot-stomp what so many others have said here. I truly do appreciate your support of veganism, and I think your comic strip is really sweet, but showing a cat and dog sharing a veggie burger sends a very dangerous message. It seems to imply that cats and dogs can handle a plant-based diet, but the opposite is true. Cats, in particular, are likely to get very sick and even die if fed a plant-based diet. I know how much you care about animals, so I’m sure you would be horrified if the message in your comic strip led to the death of even one innocent pet. Could you devote one strip to clarifying your message and stressing that people should NOT feed their dogs or cats a vegan diet? You’d be doing the pet population a huge service. Thank you!

    1. Those here who are saying this are absolutely right! Please convey their message in the strips.

  22. My heart sank and I actually felt sick to my stomach when I saw the June 19th cartoon of Mooch and Earl partaking of “a little veggie burger.” Earl maybe, but Mooch? My cat would have taken one sniff and walked away.

    Yeah, I know it’s a comic strip, but it’s irresponsible to show Mooch eating plant-based food (unless it’s catnip or the occasional bite of green grass for digestion). It might give someone the wrong idea. Even meat-based cat food containing grains and veg fillers is not good for cats.

    As others have suggested, I hope Mutts finds a way to address Mooch’s need as an obligate carnivore. It’s another important part of raising awareness about the well-being of our pets.

    What next? Butchie takes up jogging, gets thin and renames the place? Skinny Snax Deli? … um, no. It’s the flaws in cartoon characters that make them funny. It’s hard for me to relate to the perfectly PC and virtuous, and it’s boring besides.

    I know your heart’s in the right place, Patrick, but Mutts ain’t as funny as it used to be.

    1. May as well call it “Krappy Snax”. Go ahead and drop “deli”, cuz it just ain’t anymore.

      Patrick, half the fun of “Mutts” were the deli strips, monitored by a large grumpy proprietor. Guess he won’t be watching for Mooch And Earl, ‘cuz there won’t be much of anything worth drooling over!

    2. The goldfish in the bowl made me laugh – & was right on the nose, too.

  23. Patrick, As much as I love your strip, and how much I appreciate your choice to be a vegetarian, I MUST tell you that no cat can live on a vegetarian diet. Many people have tried to get their cats over to their vegetarian side, but that KILLS their kitty companions.
    Thanks for “listening” ~
    Cathy Kirk

  24. Stop with the vegan preaching. I read comics to be entertained.

    1. Preach it, brother!

      1. But not for Mooch!

  25. That the Fatty Snax Deli has gone plant-based is so cool! Thanks, Patrick, for this wonderful message, which will reach many readers and help many animals. 🐮🐷🐔

  26. A “comic strip” that is humorous, thought-provoking, clever, controversial, cute, evolving, etc. Who would of thunk it?
    Well, I hope all the shelter animals get a good home, Guard Dog gets a new loving home, and the animals in Mutts that need animal protein get what they need to be healthy. Balance in all things folks. Give peace a chance. But if Crabby stops swearing, I quit!

    1. Crabby Rules!!!!!

  27. Oh happy day, when Guard Dog gets to throw his chain away FOREVER!!! Thank you Patrick. No more sad nights alone, gazing at the moon for this beautiful boy.

  28. I’m a little concerned that MUTTS readers will think the need to feed their pets a vegetarian diet. I’ve been told many times that this is not good for cats and dogs. Also many sick animals from gluten free dog food.

    1. Since a quarter of the meat consumed in the U.S. is eaten by our pets (source: “The Clean Pet Food Revolution: How Better Pet Food Will Change the World”), it’s worth looking at what we feed them. While it’s commonly believed that dogs are carnivores like their wolf ancestors (meaning that they must eat meat to survive), canine digestive systems are quite capable of digesting and deriving nutrients from fruits and vegetables (source: Hills Pet Nutrition). Dogs need protein, but it doesn’t have to come from meat. Plant foods like peas, lentils, and chickpeas are high in protein and easily digestible for dogs. Making sure that cats get the nutrients they need is trickier. There is a company called Because Animals working on cultured meat pet food. Their product line includes cultured mouse cat treats. Sounds weird, but mice are part of the cat’s ancestral diet. Left to fend for herself, Fluffy is far more likely to eat a mouse than to swim out into the ocean and catch a 100-pound tuna.

  29. When I saw Butchie’s deli turn veggie-based, I was so happy! This huge Mutts venue will do more to convince people to climb on the program than a dozen…nay,
    dozens…of chefs standing in front of their stoves talking about it…You have done a good thing, Pactrick McDonnell.

    1. Not even close. There are many of us who make our decisions based on the needs of our bodies and not on the ideals of others.

      I really wish vegans would stop trying to interfere in the food choices of others by trying to guilt them into their religion. And it is a religion for most vegans. The vegans who eat that way because it feels right for them don’t try to coerce everyone else into eating the same way.

      The only reasons I would ever need to know someone else’s dietary regime is if I’m cooking for them or in my work capacity as a nurse. Otherwise what other people eat is none of my business and what I eat is none of theirs.

  30. Great comments! However, why are meats still shown in the deli cas and hanging down in the background of the recent strips???

    1. The reason that meats are still showcased in the deli is that when customers start horking up hairballs after eating plant based roast beef, they will have an edible backup plan.

      Seriously….love the strip, but stick to animal rescues. It’s called “Mutts”, not “Folks”.

  31. Thank you. It’s strange but I am beginning to think animals have more compassion and intelligence than humans. If I call one of my cats, the right one responds (same with the dogs). Yet do we understand meows or barks? I see the interactions and communications of duck couples, raccoon and rabbit moms and babies. Watching birds and geese and then watching the interactions of humans with each other-how can we not wonder who is more important to our planet. I’ve been a vegan for over 10 years and my health, compassion and life as a whole has improved.

  32. Future greeting: Krappy Snax Deli, fancy a pound of soylami?

    This decision is right up there with the removal of Calvin & Hobbes.

  33. While I will be thrilled to see guard dog freed I could really live without the vegan diet preaching. I don’t share your opinion that the new plant based alternatives are delicious. I find the ones that won’t kill me are edible at best. A vegan diet is not the best thing for everyone. As several people have pointed out we are omnivores and some of us don’t do well on a plant based diet.

    I’m quite happy for everyone to eat the way that works for them. I don’t go around telling vegans and vegetarians that they should have meat in their diets. I would be even happier if the plant based eaters could extend that courtesy to everyone else.

  34. Patrick, PLEASE listen to everyone here asking you to address the issue of cats being obligate carnivores. I was very concerned by Mooch’s enthusiasm for the new deli format in a recent strip. Mooch’s human dad having visited the deli provides an opening for a discussion back at home about this, at the very least. Our domesticated felines cannot make their own choices about what they eat, so it’s up to us humans to provide what they need. To do otherwise is the animal cruelty vegans claim they’re against, so any vegan who doesn’t feel prepared to feed domesticated obligate carnivores properly should not be owned by cats in the first place.

    Also, as a longtime fan of this comic, I don’t care what dietary choices you make for yourself, so long as you can do so healthily, but don’t judge others who make different choices or who cannot go meatless – they’re allowed their own choices too and humans evolved to the extent they did as omnivores, no matter what choices they make today. I’ve been put off somewhat by how heavy-handed and repetitive the last couple of weeks of strips have been and now, reading this blog post, wonder why you ever created the deli if you felt that way.

  35. I love that the Deli has changed to plant based foods! A bold move and we support it! Now I look forward to Guard Dog finding his new path. Thanks for these wise moves for our friends at Mutts.

  36. Hi Anon-E-Mouse. Thanks for your response. Any dog owner would be well advised to discuss their dog’s nutritional needs with their veterinarian before imposing a plant-based diet on their canine. Humans should not force their version of ethics on a carnivore which is designed to consume animal protein.

    1. I know that cats are obligate carnivores, and must have animal protein.. No problem there…but people are omnivores, and can eat a plant based diet with planning and care, and be very healthy…

      1. But some people don’t do well on a plant-based diet, however carefully managed it is. Moreover, everyone on a plant-based diet MUST supplement with B12. Soy consumption is also an issue as many people cannot consume soy (hormonal disruption). Human physiology is NOT that of a herbivore; our gut and our teeth are not designed to metabolize a diet of nothing but plants (excessive oxalates, for instance). One can choose whatever dietary path one wishes, but what ought to be stressed is humane care for livestock raised for food. If vegans were true to their ideology, they would not own carnivorous pets like cats or dogs. They would be better off with rabbits, goats, and guinea pigs as pets.
        Love Patrick’s comic strip and artwork, but am tiring of the constant barrage of preachy overtones. Also, have to ask why vegan foods try so hard to resemble real meats and cheeses. That says a lot in itself.

  37. I’m very pleased to see the change to the plant-based diet. I agree that at this time it is appropriate and appreciate that you have made this change. Thank you for a happy inspiring comic strip.

  38. To me, this comic strip isn’t about what the animals eat, it is about what people eat – we have a conscious choice at every meal. It is also about how Butchie earns his living – about how his awareness grows when he looks into the eyes of other creatures, and he moves toward a right livelihood – and very importantly, how there is no recriminations, no guilt. As Maya Angelou said, ‘When we know better, we do better.” Eating animal products are not necessary for good health- science shows that. If anything, our heavy meat diet contributes to our ills.

  39. I LOVE MUTTS.I can not wait to get up each day,and see what is going on.PATRICK Brings to light the cruelty of animals.EVIL cannot stand the LIGHT,and THANK you Patrick FOR BRINGING THE LIGHT.Keep up the good work,and never give up because we are here,and let us fee the poor guard dog.

  40. Dear Patrick, I am a huge fan of Mutts, especially now since we’ve adopted a stray tortie that someone shamelessly dumped on our property last summer. We learned from our veterinarian that cats are obligate carnivores (must eat meat to survive). While your new strip about the conversion of Fatty Snax to a non-meat deli is terrific, it may lead some readers to believe that dear little Mooch can go vegetarian like pal Earl. Can you work in somewhere the message that Mooch needs meat to survive?

    Thanks a ton — your loyal reader,
    CT Rybka

  41. “For the sake of our own health” — For many, eating plants has led to metabolic syndrome which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands who could not fight off COVID 19. For many more, quality of life was diminished due to oxalate poisoning. Testing our early ancestors’ bones shows very high levels of Nitrogen 15, indicating they were carnivores.

    “For the sake of all the animals” — Well, except for the bugs killed by pesticides, and the rabbits, groundhogs/gophers and other small animals killed because they eat vegetables, and the birds because they eat the fruit. The plain truth is more animals are killed to support mono-crop farms than are killed to feed humans.

    “For the sake of the well-being of the entire planet” — So, all the fuel burned shipping plant matter from around the world to our local grocery store is not a problem. Oh, right, it’s the climate alarmists that are concerned about that! Well let’ talk instead about the water consumed. The Ogallala Aquifer occupies the High Plains of the United States, extending northward from western Texas to South Dakota. The Ogallala Aquifer is being both depleted and polluted. Irrigation withdraws much groundwater, yet little of it is replaced by recharge. Since large-scale irrigation began in the 1940s, water levels have declined more than 30 meters (100 feet) in parts of Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. In the 1980s and 1990s, the rate of groundwater mining , or overdraft, lessened, but still averaged approximately 82 centimeters (2.7 feet) per year. Read more: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Oc-Po/Ogallala-Aquifer.html#ixzz6PuGpK0Mv The water is being drawn off to support crops, not animals.

  42. This is a wonderful twist you’ve created. I’m just hoping you don’t advocate going vegetarian/vegan for our dog and cats. They are carnivores and can suffer health issues by not feeding them meat. Thanks again for a wonderful story line and a great comic strip

  43. Love the new plant based deli! Such a wonderful thing! Thank you, Patrick! <3

  44. Vegan works for omnivores like dogs and humans. Cats MUST eat meat, as they are obligate carnivores.

  45. You are an inspiration. And boy are we in need of that. Thank you for your brilliant strip. Every line you draw and write is perfect!

  46. Im sure you know that cats are obligate carnivores. Are you planning to address that? I foresee many of your fans potentially endangering their pets’ health by attempting to feed them vegan. Please, please warn your readers!!

    1. And though dogs can digest some carbohydrates a bit better than wolves, they too are still carnivores and thus need meat. Thank you for your post

    2. Fatty Snax Deli is a place for humans to get their food and Earl and Mooch just hang out their to get free food. Butchie isn’t their owner to feed them. Patrick isn’t saying feed your dogs and cats a vegan or vegetarian diet, he’s suggesting you contemplate it for yourself since you have the mind to decide what you can and will eat. Humans don’t need meat to get a healthy and balanced diet.

  47. Love Moochie and Earl and all your characters. Thank you. God bless you. Named a rescue cat Moochie. I have loved him for 8 years now.

  48. Thanks for spreading the good message to the people. I love it!

  49. I will celebrate when Guard Dog is free from his chain. It always makes me sad to see him like that. I have loved Mutts since I Lived in NJ even had the license plate on my car. Wish they had it in SC.

    1. It’s my license plate, too! I love Mutts and can’t wait to see Guard Dog freed. I have a rescue dog who was “liberated” by a friend when she found her tied to a tree at midnight during a sleet storm. She was only three months old and had been observed tied there day and night. She’ll never walk on a leash but is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had!

  50. Thank you, Patrick, for bringing Butchie’s deli into the 21st century. And thank you every day for all that you do for the animals through your wonderful Mutts strip. It truly is a bright spot of my inbox each morning. Vegan for the win!

    1. What foods do vegans feed to carnivorous pet cats and dogs? Honestly trying to understand the logic here. For cats and dogs, consuming other animals to survive and thrive is a biological matter of fact, not opinion.

      1. Hi Kim, cats are carnivores but dogs are omnivores. That means that dogs can thrive on a vegan diet.

        Vegans with cats have been researching options to feed their cats a diet that is as close to being free of animal products as possible. Personally, I’m not convinced yet that a supplemented vegan diet for cats has been adequately proven to be healthy for all cats, but my it’s a subject I follow with interest.

      2. Fatty Snax Deli is a place for humans to get their food and Earl and Mooch just hang out their to get free food. Butchie isn’t their owner to feed them. Patrick isn’t saying feed your dogs and cats a vegan or vegetarian diet, he’s suggesting you contemplate it for yourself since you have the mind to decide what you can and will eat. Humans don’t need meat to get a healthy and balanced diet.

  51. Thank You for being a voice to ALL animals! You are in a great position to help create real change for animals, people and our planet!! Thank you for standing up – Go Vegan!! ❤️❤️

  52. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Viewing one animal as a pet and family member while viewing another animal as a meal makes no sense at all. They are all living, breathing, sentient beings. Thank you!

  53. Hooray for Butchie and Guard Dog! You’re the best, Patrick.

  54. That is GREAT news! Thank you very much for using Mutts as a platform for good. For great!

  55. Thank you, Patrick, you are a role model. We hope to enjoy your Mooch and Mutts for years and years xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  56. Thank you so much Patrick! This means a lot to us vegetarians and vegans, and a chance to share your work on social media and hopefully open some more hearts.

  57. Cats are carnivores. How do you deal with intend to deal with that in MUTTS?

  58. Congratulations Butchie! I would be a new customer if I could enter the world of Mutts.

  59. I am wondering if you could find a way to include the workers in these death factories who are mostly immigrants and vulnerable to Covid infections.? Their stories are horrible and they probably have furry children who miss them too.

    Thank you for all you do. You make every day more joyous. I am wrestling with cancer right now. Earl and Mooch are part of my support team

    1. Please don’t do that. I realize that these issues have to be addressed, but not in the Comics. P.S. I love Mooch and Earl

  60. Thank you so much for this change! I was expecting it for a while 🙂

  61. Many of us cannot eat soy and one is hard-pressed to find plant based products that do not include it. I do buy locally sourced humanely raised beef, chicken and eggs whenever possible. Please do not meat shame me.

    1. Claudia, so easy!! We don’t need soy or faux meats! Please check our Forks Over Knives & NutritionFacts.org, -those are only two of many places where we can learn how to eat properly. You can do it!

      1. Dawn, thank you for the info

    2. The good news is- there ARE so many meat alternatives that do not contain soy! Please have an open mind and look- the product choices are growing every day . The animals need
      us to try – it will benefit your health and the environment, too!

      1. Lisa, thanks.

    3. Claudia, “humane” is a marketing word to ease consumer guilt. “Humane slaughter”… does that mean they read the animals a bedtime story before stabbing them in the throat? Who is inspecting the facilities to ensure animal welfare standards are met? How about the slaughterhouses being a hotbed for PTSD and COVID-19? Does anyone care about the safety and wellbeing of the people who are getting sick and dying at these places?

      When you are ready to seek the truth, there are ample documentaries that expose the atrocities commitment on farms and in slaughterhouses. “Dominion”, “Earthlings”, “Cowspiracy”, and “What the Health” are good starting points.

      1. Stacy, I agree with you. Factory farming is a horror. When I say “local” I mean LOCAL. I can & have visited the farms where the animals are raised. They live simply, both the people and animals. And, yes, slaughter is killing, but it is done quickly, in situ by people with respect. I completely understand that this is unacceptable to you and I honor your desire to live as you do. I don’t expect the same from you, but I would ask that don’t make assumptions about my choices.

    4. No meat-shaming here. I am a meat eater and make no apologies for it. I love all animals anD believe in humane treatment of them. Thanks for posting.

  62. God tells us to eat meat, it is right in scripture when Noah leaves the ark. Also, if we all ate only plants the world would be over run by animals and we would in the end all starve to death for there would not be enough food to go around. Last do not believe the hype or Patrick (sorry Patrick) but there is enough scientific proof that these new plant based foods at least the ones that pretend to be meat are NOT healthy for you. And by eating just plants or worse going vegan I hope you are prepared to take a lot of pills for you do not and can not get all the nutrition you need from plants alone – as stated God made it that we should and need to eat meat. I also agree with Kimberly – comics are meant to be an escape from real life politics. Though I was glad to read that guard dog would be set free.

    1. In the garden of eden there was no death until the fall. Explain to me how god intended us to eat meat then? If you manage that you then have to convince me that your god exists, and not one of the myriad of other gods. Please don’t use your beliefs as a reason to subject other animals to torture and death.

    2. SO not true! What god would want you to kill his children? Read Genesis 1:29 for what you really should be eating and for some excellent scripture interpretation-allcreatures.org.

    3. Where does god say we need to eat meat? Does that mean you’d be fine eating a dog? The only difference is that culturally we keep dogs as pets.

      Processed food is processed food. Factory farmed meat is not good for you, the animals being abused or the planet. The amount of crap in things like hot dogs, deli meats, etc is scary. Yes of course there are more processed plant-based foods that aren’t super healthy… the difference is no living, feeling animals had to suffer for it. Even oreos are vegan!

      The earth would not be run over by animals (humans breed them in large numbers to keep up with demand) and we’d actually be able to feed every person on the planet with the land that is currently used to grow corn/soy/etc to feed animals. You can also get all the nutrition you need from plants alone. Science proves this if you want to do some actual research about the things I just mentioned.

      I’m really not trying to be confrontational with you. It is just sad to see someone using god as an excuse to be so misinformed about basic nutrition and seemingly have no idea how animal agriculture works. I’ve been plant-based for 20 years. My recent blood work was great, I run 20 miles a week and exercise regularly. People always comment about how much younger I look than I am, as well.

  63. I have mixed feelings. To me, a butcher shop is all about meat. It can include non-meat products, too. I don’t like the “either he has meat or he doesn’t.” There could be an in between. However, I am a believer that an artist must be free to express whatever his/her heart feels. Isn’t that one of the core issues of being an artist? So, of course I will continue to be an enthusiastic reader of the Daily Mutts. I’ve tried to spread the word by send certain strips to friends. I sent the new “vegan” Butchie strip to my vegan friend. I’ll never be a total vegan/vegetarian. But I eat very little beef, pork or ham. Mostly poultry and fish. And try for meatless meals once a week.

    As for people’s actions during this epidemic, I’ve been so pleased to see shelters being emptied of animals, with adoptions up 200 percent, I read somewhere. Dogs and cats are the best. Life on this planet would be much, much sadder without them. I think they were put here for a reason. And we owe it to them, to treat them with respect. So, you go, Patrick. I’ll always be a fan.

  64. As an obligate carnivore, Mooch the cat MUST eat meat. Earl the dog can exist but won’t thrive without meat. How will Patrick handle this biological reality? On a side note, comic strips should be a relief from daily politics, and should avoid becoming too preachy and one-sided.

    1. they don’t get their actual FOOD at the deli – sheesh! They frequent it to “Mooch” snax.

    2. The only reason this becomes an issue is because humans domesticated animals. In the natural world, they would create balance.

    3. Excellent posting, Kimberly. The answer to your question is that Patrick the Vegan will ignore reality, the same way such people ignore the scientific fact that only through the intake of animal protein which our ancestors realized by consuming meat were our brains able to develop and permit our species to evolve into homo sapiens. Such achievement would NEVER have been possible by eating plants alone. As for comic strips merely serving as a momentary relief from life’s daily trials and tribulations, such is no longer sufficient–more and more of today’s artists find it necessary to use their forums to push foward a politically-correct, leftist agenda.

      1. Michael – have you read MALLARD FILLMORE? It’s so far RIGHT that my paper puts it on the Opinion page instead of with the other comics. As long as there have been comics, some have been solely used for social and political comment. It’s not a new thing – just like every other art form.

        And, Buddhists are vegetarians. They seem to have done just fine for quite a while. Our continuing evolution doesn’t mean we can’t change for the better.

        1. No, Nigel, I don’t read MALLARD FILLMORE, it isn’t carried in my daily (leftist) paper. Interesting that the “so far RIGHT” comic is relegated to your paper’s Opinion page while all others (including MUTTS, I take it) appear together on the “funnies” page because, after all, they are all centrist-mainstream, correct? In my newspaper DOONESBURY is treated as if it were PEANUTS. Hypocrisy anyone?

          As for Buddhists, their philosophy (which includes not eating meat) is far more recent than is the development of the homo sapien species–which, as I previously noted, was only possible because of meat consumption. I say let non-meat eaters only breed with one another and watch their ilk de-evolve over time.

          1. DOONESBURY too is on the Opinion page. here. You might need to stop feeling so very persecuted and breathe. Folks have different opinions. You are not always right. I’m not always right. But, we all do our best to make the world a better place, right?

  65. Bless you Patrick! 💕

  66. I am deeply moved by the transformation of the Fatty Snax Deli. In this world, when thousands of tons of ground beef are discarded due to e-coli from Walmart, I can only think of those dear cows who gave their lives to feed humans. What a waste! They did not even have a chance to fulfill at least someone’s hunger. In seeing the strip today, I was inspired to make a meatless dinner. It was delicious and fulfilling. It is called Tagliatelle Mushroom Bolognese. Recipe is actually vegan if you don’t add any Parmesan cheese at the time you are eating. It is made from mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic and crushed tomatoes. If I had not known how it was made, I would have sworn it tasted like the richest meat sauce I ever had. Want the recipe? E-mail me. jimmccon@optonline.net

    1. While the Mediterranean diet isn’t vegan or fully vegetarian, it is centred on plants (yes, including grapes for wine and olive trees for their oil, as well as the fruit of the coffee plant and many herbals). That is pretty much how I eat: I don’t eat mammals but I do eat fish and some poultry, but my plate is mostly vegetables. I find many processed soya foods hard to digest, but tempeh, a fermented soya food of Indonesian origin, is much easier to consume.

      I think of this strip’s outlook as more ethical than political in a partisan sense – and hope nobody here thinks being opposed to racism or bigotry is “political”. It could be as much Franciscan or Buddhist as anything else.

      Happy June Solstice to all, both north and south of the equator.

  67. Thank you, Patrick!

  68. I don’t know that dogs and cats are into vegan food.

  69. This. Yesh!👍👍👏👏💕💕

  70. Yesh! So happy that Butchie has had an epiphany! And, what a happy day it will be when Guard Dog’s chain is gone. I hope he finds joy, freedom, and most of all, a family that will treat him with love and compassion. He deserves to live INSIDE the house and howl at the moon atop a cozy bed with his humans. <3

  71. Congrats to guard dog. Not thrilled about the twist for Butchie but he is your creation and yours to change as you see fit. It absolutely won’t stop my enjoyment of Mutts because like Peanuts it always makes me smile.

  72. I am so happy for Guard Dog. I have my own previously tied dog who looks so much like TD. I could not be happier💜 Thank you!

  73. Thank you for this turn in the story line of Mutts. The popularity of Mutts gives you a platform to share how the world can be different by changing the way we humans choose to eat. I have been vegan for 2 years and plant based for years before I stopped eating eggs. With Kathy Abascal’s “To Quiet Inflammation” diet, I lost 90 lbs and saved my life 8 years ago. Kathy and her book “The Abascal Way” taught me how to eat differently and why that was so important for my health. The public library provided a huge collection of books to continue my learning and exploration of vegan cuisine. My favs? Mango and mint by Nicky Garrett, Persepolis by Sally Butcher and Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward. I am 67 now, and I learned new tricks that changed my world for the better. If I can do it, others can too. thanks again, Babs

  74. Sunday’s strip brought me to tears. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

    1. Yesh! It was really powerful! Thank you. <3

  75. My favorite comic got even better.

  76. Yesh!!!!! So happy about the change to veggie at Fatty Snax and can’t wait to see Guard Dog freed. Love your comic strip and all you do for animals.

  77. Living near a yard dog—one I have tried to help—and a novelist writing about the Declaration of Independence, I am thrilled to know Guard Dog will gain his freedom.

  78. Please stay on the funny side – not too serious. We need humor to make it through dark times and provides relief for our eyes that constantly see so much suffering! I know the need to make statements is human. I enjoy Mutts because it is carefree mostly like Peanuts I remember as a child. No statements there. Just good clean uncomplicated comedy. Mutts please don’t get too complicated. Saying that I am glad for the news the doggie will be freed soon. That was always disturbing and not what I would call Funny Comix. Snoopy would approve!

    1. Peanuts and Charles Schultz did make a statement when in July 1968, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, they introduced Franklin Armstrong, the first African-American character in the strip.

    2. I completely agree with you Kristy. With all the crap that is going on these days, I need something, even a humorous comic strip, for an escape My favorite ones are the ones with Bip and Bop and Chippy and Monk. I have a soft spot for squirrels and chipmunks. I also like vegetarians and vegans (when not trying to convert me) because their loss is my gain of medium rare steaks, hotdogs, bratwursts, double stack hamburgers, beef stews, fried chicken tenders, meat-lovers pizza, and pork steaks. BONK!

      1. Jacob, c’mon up here to NH, we’re being overrun by chipmunks!!!

        1. If you are tired of them, send them my way! I live in MO. I’ll make sure the little guys are well fed and protected.

          1. They will also burrow under your porch and ruin your plantings. We co-exist with them though, and would never harm them. However, Two of them got into the garage and our cat killed them. She’s well-fed so she didn’t eat them, but that’s what predatory animals do on the wild. Since you live in MO, and so do I, c’mon over and get a few chipmunks from our neighborhood.

  79. Thanks for being a voice for the voiceless.

  80. Thank you! My heart is full and I am so excited to see this change. I knew you must be vegan from some of your strips I’ve saved. It’s a wonderful way to live and so easy now. Can’t wait to see Guard Dog be freed. Love your Mutts family! Signed, A vegan for more than 30 years.

  81. Awesome news! Good for Butchie (and the animals). Look forward to the day Gurad Dog is off that tight leash. I’ve ben a vegetarian for over 20 years and never looked back. Maybe you can draw more into all of the animals being used as test subjects and get them out of the labs.
    Thank you for spreading the word 🙂

  82. so if everyone became a vegetarian Patrick, I imagine you have an answer for the thousands and thousands of individuals who would be out of work as a result.
    meat is delicious.

    1. Different, not fewer jobs. Plant based meats still need workers.

      1. So you imagine that the cattle, chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep and goats will all begin working in the manufacturing plants that will produce all this meatless protein? That’s silly, of course. But how do you believe the thousands of herds of livestock and flocks of poultry will survive when they no longer earn their keep?

        Be careful what you wish for…there are not enough sanctuaries, rescues and foster homes in the world who are going to feed and care for all the animals traditionally raised for food if all consumption of animal-origin products were to cease.

        I fully support the efforts to ensure that animals raised to become food for other species are provided with a good quality of life while they are being raised, that they be treated and handled humanely and kindly, and shown respect throughout the arc of their timeline and ultimately become food for us and for other animals as well. In a completely vegan world, there will eventually be no animals, because they will no longer provide any benefits for humankind–and as a species, we do not preserve things from which we receive no tangible benefits.

        1. The “thousands of herds of livestock” will not be a problem, as they will simply cease to exist. The demand for meat will gradually decrease, and as it does so will the numbers of these animals being bred.

          Your last claim is just absurd. There are plenty of animals that humans are preserving even though we get no tangible benefit. Simply admiring them is enough. Not to mention that the ecosystem as we know it would collapse without other animals.

          You’ll need a better excuse not to be vegan.

        2. Those animals are bred by humans. If we stopped breeding them (mostly in factory farms), this wouldnt be an issue. You’re assuming it would all happen at once, which is not how reality usually works.

          In a vegan world, animals would be respected and left in the wild where they belong. Not kept in tiny cages, or stolen from their homes, or raped, or killed for their fur/feathers/skin. Climate change, deforestation, trophy hunting, etc. are already killing some of the world’s most vulnerable species. It’s not vegans contributing to those things. Just another excuse to continue torture of sentient beings.

          1. Nicole. In a vegan world animals would be killed and maimed and displaced and actively punished for invading your vegan crops just as they are to this day. You cannot grow ANY type of food without killing animals. You just can’t pretend that because you don’t eat animals you are better than people who do eat animals. Just remember if you’re eating something, an animal was killed or displaced from its habitat in order for you to eat.

  83. You are a very special human being. I believe you could walk on a cloud alongside cats! Thank you for years of smiles and for all you will do in the future.

  84. I approve!

  85. Wuv! Wuv! Wuv!…like Woofie would have said! I love this idea of “Mutts” evolving. I became a devoted fan of Mutts and Patrick on May 20th 1995. That day’s strip immediately resonated with me. I sit with my fur-kids watching sunrises and sunsets (at the beach or at the house’s porch)…seeing Ozzy and Earl sitting at the steps of their porch on a sunset brought a beautiful emotion that I still feel the same to this day. One of the characters that appeal most to me is Guard Dog and by default his relationship with Dozzy. Even thought I have always understood the reason, the message behind the chained Guard Dog, I have always been sad to see him so. It’s awesome that he will freed sometime soon. And I do hope Guard Dog gets adopted by Dozzy and get a real proper name that means freedom (for example, Brady, Carl, Eljin or Yerik). But please, with him freed, you still need to keep sending the message not to chain/cage animals. Although many people try to justify or ignore this real life horror, cruelty needs to stop. However, please do not substitute him with another chained/caged animal. How about instead have him and Dozzy become “Ambassadors” of the message. Humans need to be sensible, responsible, loving caregivers. So their mission is to tell everyone about “The Chained Years”…this way, his story (their story) can go on, still touching the readers and “paying-it-forward” cause another animal to be freed and so on. I love the idea of “Mutts” going vegan. However, people still need to be made aware that our human dietary and/or ethical decisions do not translate easily to some animals dietary needs. Dogs and cats are by their very nature carnivores and require species-specific diets. Dr Woo would be awesome advising any pet guardian/parent moving into the vegan-pet direction to consult first with their veterinarian which appropriate dietary choices will fit best their pets well being. She does a tremendous work already consulting health topics like yearly appointments, cleaning teeth, etc. Thank you for being the envoy that brings hope and awareness about all animals (pets, shelter and wildlife) to light. Wuv you! Yesh!

  86. Keep promoting cruelty free
    Plant based is the best

  87. I too have been Veg, for some 40 years & Vegan the last 10! Besides Mutts for it’s compassion & enjoy Doonesbury as a daily antidote to the ‘state of human affairs’!

    Your latest letter made me VERY happy that you are speaking our in your own way about the terrible practice of commodifying non humans. I see after a couple of days you have gotten ‘feedback’ from some who are sticking w’the old line about “we are ‘supposed’ to be omnivores” or “it’s not natural to not eat animals” or the ‘best’, “stick to YOUR own beliefs you can’t force us to be Vegan”, etc., etc.

    I would simply share w’those who see the world differently than you & I that there are quite a few documentaries out there, free @ your Library to borrow or to download from NetFlex that would show how the previous statements are throughly untrue and add a great deal of info to the general public that ‘might’ want to know the current thinking & the FACTS on this issue. Each of these movies have websites you can find on your ‘Google Machine’ that will lead you to the various scientific/medical studies and write ups that support the themes of the documentaries. I will also add the most important, and least known fact about Animal Agriculture in that it would take @ LEAST 4 Earths worth of pasture to even approach the amount of land needed to make the amount of animal product used currently for food if done ‘Pasture Raised’!!!

    Please do check out “Cowspiracy”, “What the Health”, Game Changers, “Forks Over Knives”, “Plant Pure Nation”, “Earthlings”, “Mad Cowboy” and if you have ANY Medical questions the widely acclaimed and compilation of all the current research on any one of hundreds of Medical conditions ” http://www.NutritionFacts.org

    Thank you again Patrick, Karen

    1. Great reply, thanks!

  88. As a longtime Pescatarian (Pesky!) i’m glad to learn of the shifts in the comic strip. I’m not anti-meat eating for others – I’m married to a hunter – but I am anti raising animals for slaughter in cruel conditions and climate change is terrifying, so fewer cow farts (and other ways that meat is processed and shipped) is good in so many ways.

  89. I read the email yesterday, but skipped over the “surprises.” However, the anticipation was killing me so I read it today. I got choked up reading about the future freedom of such a beloved character. I can’t wait to see him run free. Without I doubt I know I will cry like a baby – happy tears.

  90. YESH!! Wonderful news! I am a vegetarian and love that “Mutts” is evolving. I think that in general it is important for humans to evolve, especially now. I have many of your books and Mutts items and have loved your strip for as long as I can remember. Thank you for being the wonderful, compassionate, and caring person you are and for bringing awareness about shelter animals to light. That means the world to me. Mutts is the first email I read every day and I love it <3

  91. So happy to hear these changes❣️

  92. Thank you so much!

  93. OH so happy about Guard Dog’s freedom!!

  94. I’ve been reading your comic since it started and I print out and save many of the strips. i’ve always been so sad to see Guard Dog on a chain and it’s awesome that he’ll soon be free!

  95. Then…freed Guard Dog gets adopted by responsible, loving people? 😁❤️

  96. Great news about Butchie! In Minneapolis there is a wonderful vegan shop called The Herbivorous Butcher.
    Its very popular and kind of looks like Butchie’s shop.

    1. Susan, I love the name of the shop. Herbivorous Butcher. Sometimes when I am chopping, cutting or mincing my veggies for a meal, I feel like a what I imagine a butcher feels like. But then I realize, the things I am cutting, snipping, dicing were never alive. I do not think of myself as being a “butcher” which implies large motor skills, not fine motor skills like dealing with veggies.

      1. Wait–plants “were never alive”? So do you only consider things that have been shown to be sentient to be alive?

        It’s been established that plants communicate with each other via a network formed by their root systems, that a tree that’s being attacked by a disease, fungus or insect sends warning to the other trees within its network, and will share nutrients with other plants when resources are scarce.

        I have no problem with people choosing to be vegan, or pescatarian, ovo-lacto vegetarians, or any other form of eschewing meat as their mean of sustenance. But make no mistake, if you eat food and drink any type of liquid, you are consuming something that was once alive, and which lost its life to nourish and hydrate you.

        1. Yesh, Hexe! The entire universe is or was once alive.

    2. There has been a chain of Vegetarian Butcher shops in the Netherlands for many years now. https://www.thevegetarianbutcher.com/

  97. I’ve loved your Mutts strip from Day 1. I get it daily now in my email box. I gave up eating red meat, poultry, and anything made with meat in 1978 when I was 28. I think the new ideas are amazing. So happy for guard dog. I’ve been a member of the late Cleveland Amory‘s Fund For Animals for over 40 years. Mutts gets the needed message about the cruelty of the baby harp seals, of dogs being treated only as alarm systems, and of the overwhelming need of rescue animals to be adopted and loved. Looking forward to more Mutts and what is to come.

    Sincerely,
    Dorothy (Dori) McCrane

  98. I understand that you are Vegan and all that but have you forgotten about taking biology in school which states that Homo sapiens (Human) is classifies as omnivores. Also, have you taken a trip to Africa or National parks with lots of wild animals? There are predators and preys. Yes, they do kill and eat the preys. That’s no difference from humans hunting for foods. Evolution made us that way. You can not go against the evolution and nature. It may be cruel but it’s the nature. You can’t force humans to become vegetarian as much as you can’t force lions (Carnivores) or bears (omnivores) to become vegetarian. Society is man-made so we can change it but not the nature of being an omnivore. Leave the nature alone, that includes humanity.

    1. Humans also have big brains and creative thinking skills, so we are able to figure out ways to get our bodies’ nutritional needs met without meat and other animal products if that’s what we choose to do. We aren’t slaves to our animal nature. I’m pretty sure we learned THAT in biology class in school.

  99. The sentiment is nice, but how do you feel about what you feed your companion-animal cats and dogs? Cats are obligate carnivores, and dogs require animal protein in their diet. The meat cereal we feed them comes from other animals.
    Humane treatment for animals raised for food is what we should be striving for, not elimination of or shaming of a necessary food source for humans and their companion animals.

    1. Humans not only don’t need animal protein, but it is harmful to our bodies, not to mention the planet and taking away from starving people. If you watch a video like Fork Over Knives, it will explain a lot. I encourage you to watch it. It’s on Netflix and maybe other places.The doctors who have done a lot of research and studies explain it well. There are many more movies, books, and articles that are great sources of information on this subject. There is no shaming going on here. I encourage you to seek out information on this subject.

      1. Thank you for your thoughtful response, Tammy. However, your assertion is untrue. As omnivores, humans do need nutrients that come from animal sources, one of which is vitamin B12 which the human body does not manufacture. Also, what are your thoughts about your pet animals requiring meat from livestock? Should you be forcing your carnivorous pets to eats plants because of your personal beliefs? Would that be another form of animal cruelty? Thanks.

        1. There are no essential nutrients we cannot obtain from non-animal sources. B12 is produced by bacteria, and it is actually synthesized inside our bodies – it just happens too far down the digestive tract for us to absorb.

          Regarding pets, in the future I’m guessing we will use ethical lab-grown meat for this. Until then, short of just not having pets I suppose there’s not much we can do except make it as humane as possible. They would be eating other animals one way or another. Dogs can absolutely be vegan, cats not so much.

          1. Hello Dylan. Please research vitamin B12. Vegans must supplement their diet with the vitamin or face nutritional deficiency and physiological consequences. B12 is rare outside of animal sources.

    2. Cats do have to have protein though. But this is a human deli. Interesting dilemma for Patrick.

  100. I’ve loved this comic since I was a kid, and knowing now the kind person behind it makes me love it that much more!

  101. As a fellow vegetarian, I’m thrilled to hear the news! And I know I’ll shed a tear when Guard Dog is freed. You’re the best!

  102. I’m glad Butchie is going Veggie but I think freeing Guard Dog is not a good idea. It does bring attention to those poor dogs that are living the horror in real life.

  103. I am heartened to hear that Guard Dog will finally be free, and I approve of Butchie’s new move too. I just hope this doesn’t mean you are about to “hang up the keys” and retire!

  104. I love that the guard dog is going to finally be free. Butchie seeing the light is awesome! I cant wait!

  105. Patrick, I applaud your choice to go vegan! I only have one concern for your millions of readers. I am a veterinarian board certified in feline practice and it is important to remember that cats are obligate carnivores and so far we have no good substitutes for a meat-based diet for feline nutritional needs. They CAN digest carbohydrates and utilize them for energy but they lack many metabolic pathways that we have to manufacture some essential amino acids from a vegetable-based diet (and simply adding supplements to a vegetable based diet does not seem to replicate some of the delicate balance of these compounds found in meat-based proteins). For this reason cats MUST not go vegan, so this may present some ethical dilemmas for some owners. But we must realize it is NOT an ethical choice made by the cat. They simply are what they are and have needs that are not a choice. Please tell your readers to talk to their veterinarian about appropriate dietary choices for their pets if they, themselves have made their own dietary decisions.

    1. Thank you, catvetcarrie. I’ve had a number of cats over the decades and have been preaching a lot of what you say for about as long. Cats do not have a choice (nor do dogs). Please, Mr. McDonnell, try not get too preachy on this via the strip.

    2. Yes, thank you for this comment

  106. Tell me Mooch and Earl are going vegan

    1. A cat cannot go vegan. It’s not an option. They’re carnivores. A dog can, of course.

  107. I think this is wonderful! We all must grow and evolve and I Love that you are doing this with your Comic Strip! Love Mutts!! And Thank you, Patrick for creating Mutts and bringing animal and human cruelty to the forefront!

  108. Great idea and I hope all the Mutts crew will have a big celebration when Guard Dog is free! I go meatless at least three times a week but being in Texas it is hard when surrounded by meat lovers. /

  109. AWESOME! As a vegetarian since 1985 and a vegan since 2011, I salute Butchie (and YOU, P.M., of course!) for taking this next step toward compassion and justice for all animals, human & nonhuman. Friends, not food.

  110. Every time I see Guard Dog on the chain, I want to step into the strip to release him. I love the little girl who cares about him. I can’t wait for him to be freed! And a question, will ‘Fatty Shnax’ have a name change as well?

  111. I am so excited by this news!! It was always so hard for me to see those “meats”, even in drawing form, knowing they were once loving animals, like Earl and Mooch.
    And for Guard Dog to be left off his chain, you have me in tears of joy!! Thank you for using your gifts to not only entertain, but to enlighten, teach and make the planet a better place.

  112. So glad Guard Dog will be free. I hope he finds new people that will love and care for him.

  113. I’m so glad to hear that Guard Dog will be free! He has always reminded me of a big, tough pit mix whom I found as a stray and adopted… as Edward adjusted to life as a house dog, how he *loved* snuggling up on the couch, sleeping on my bed, being sung to, trying to curl up in my toy poodle’s tiny round bed, with his head sticking out one end and his rear end hanging out the other. When I found a stray pregnant dog a few years later, we wondered how he would be with the puppies – he and the puppies adored each other. He was so gentle and they climbed all over him – he and the tiniest girl, the runt we feared might not survive – particularly adored each other, and that special bond lasted for the rest of his life. My chihuahua liked to boss him around. Edward passed away in February, at least 15 years old – how I miss him! Watching Guard dog off the chain will remind me of Edward and make me smile.

  114. I am a huge Mutts fan – reading the strip is the best part of my morning! I support the fight against animal cruelty and agree it is important that we humans be more thoughtful about what we consume. I’d respectfully ask Patrick to remember that cats are obligate carnivores. Humans are able to synthesize necessary proteins from a vegetarian diet but cats cannot. Poor Mooch’s health would suffer if he was forced onto a vegetarian diet. I hope other cat parents are aware of this difference between humans and our beloved felines.

  115. I am so happy that Guard Dog will be released from his confinement. That he could not enjoy freedom made me cry. All dogs should come off chains and be allowed to run, play, and live a good life. Thank you.

  116. Perfect! So happy to hear both of these developments!!

  117. WE are with you thank you for making the changes, we love the Mutts Family !
    God Bless all of you.

  118. My fondest memories go back to working for the late, wonderful Gretchen Wyler, first at The Fund for Animals and then following her onto the organization she founded,The Ark Trust. It’s fitting the MUTTS occupies an esteemed place in the pantheon of Ark Trust awardees.

    The changes afoot for beloved MUTTS characters are thrilling and inspiring. I wonder if we will see Butchie’s appearance morph a bit, into a slimmer and fitter plant-based fellow? Will we see also Mooch and Earl enjoy some vegan fare … flexitarians?!! : )

  119. I am so HAPPY that Guard Dog will be freed! I always felt so bad for him when I read those strips. Good for you Patrick. I’ve loved Mutts from the first time that it came out.

  120. Seeing Guard Dog always makes me cry. Thank you so much for freeing him.
    (We have a copy of Shtinky hugging Guard Dog hanging in our kitchen.)

  121. Thank you for your daily comics that brighten my day. I have been reading comics in the newspaper since I was 6 years old, in 1956.

  122. As someone who runs a small chicken rescue in Upstate NY (The Institute for Animal Happiness) I am overjoyed to read of this further development of the Mutts world and your words of hope and change are uplifting. Thank you!!! Sharing this news with everybody!

  123. My only niggling concern is that cats are obligate carnivores and must eat meat. Surely you aren’t suggesting they go veg as well?

  124. It’s natural for cats and dogs to drool in the deli. Please be real, don’t remove the sweetness from your cartoon.

  125. Again, what is Mooch going to live on? Carrot sticks?

    What about big cats in sanctuaries? Dogs can be vegetarian, just barely…. not really a good idea.

  126. What a delightful surprise to read about these two changes – guard dog freed and Butchie gone veggie! Thank you so much Patrick, for your dedication to making our world a better place for everyone.

  127. Please free guard dog but forget the rest of the PC stuff

  128. I am so happy about Guard dog especially!

  129. Thank you–and God bless you for all you do for the animals!! I am grateful and pray He blesses you “real good”!!! I have learned so much from the strip, it is my go to after prayers daily in the email! I learn much from the strip as well, please know I am grateful and so is Dani, my cat ^..^ — who sits and “reads” with me!! [ear rubs included!]

  130. Wonderful way to start the day, especially the daily quote. Thank you. (DFrank)

  131. This is wonderful news! Butchie could even become an urban gardener, sell his produce at the deli and teach others how to grow their own food. And I can’t wait until Guard Dog is finally off the chain. Thank you!

  132. Well, what’s Mooch going to eat now?

  133. OK, since Mooch and Earl are carnivores there will be no more reason for them to visit the Fatty Snax deli. Butchie better have some animal treats for them!

  134. Reading your little story has made me believe i should give being a vegetarian a good try. I maybe starting late in life (67) but at least I can make a little difference! Thank you for all that you do Mr. McDonnell!

  135. Even though Guard Dog is a comic character, we all know his situation is too real. So this fictional situation has always touched my heart. I’ve been waiting many years for him to be free. This is great.

  136. Thank you so much. My heart is smiling

    1. Guard dog makes my heart ache. His being free made my eyes tear. I wish all the guard dogs were free, cared for and loved.

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