A Whitetail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) chows down on a rabbit carcass.
Although primarily herbivorous deer will also meat, particularly in times of hardship such as winter when the natural food is harder to come by.
I’m reblogging this again because I just realized -
You know how some vegans claim that you can feed dogs vegan diets because they’re “omnivores” (they’re really carnivores, but I shall get to that in a minute)? And they say they’re omnivores because wolves and dogs both may eat plant matter in hungry times? Well, deer may eat meat in times of hunger, as shown above and in countless other instances.
But we don’t call them omnivores. They’re still called herbivores, because they were not meant to live solely off of meat for long - only when there is nothing else available. They may also eat meat as an extra bit of protein and fat, but their diet is still almost entirely herbivorous when plants are there.
Same with dogs, but reversed. They may eat plant matter when meat is really scarce, but they were never meant to survive on a diet consisting only of plants. They are still carnivores, regardless of your beliefs on meat.
I actually saw a vegan say online “I strongly believe that human intervention will be the key to influencing the diets of all species”. Because they don’t want to accept, oh, what’s the word…. Nature.
And even if dogs were actually omnivorous, they still could barely survive on a vegan diet. Human adults can barely survive healthily on a vegan diet, and then only if they’re responsible about it. Do not get me started on children. I have heard vegans swear up and down that humans evolved to be herbivores. Guess what? No. If anyone wants to challenge me on that, go ahead. I happen to have a little thing called, you know, science on my side.
Oh, and sorry for highjacking your post, howtoskinatiger. I’ve just seen so much stuff about this flying around about this in the past few days, and some of it boils my blood.
When I was trained to check mistnets for birds we were specifically warned to watch for two mammals who might eat the birds between checking the nets- mule deer and california ground squirrels.
So deer will also consume live animals if the opportunity presents itself (they’re also documented to consume nestlings if within reach).
Also of interest… mule deer are documented to consume salmon carcasses in California (stable isotope analysis + camera trapping).