Vegan or insect-based pet food as an alternative to meat

This week’s podcast discusses feeding vegetarian or vegan food to pets, as well as using insect-based pet food as an alternative to meat-based pet food as an environmentally-friendly and animal-welfare friendly option.

The discussion followed the publication of a letter that I wrote to New Scientist, which was in response to an article discussing vegan pet food.

The article prompted other discussion too, with a letter from @MarcBekoff making the point that while mealtimes are important, it’s equally important that we look at how pets spend the rest of their day to ensure that they have good quality of life. And a letter from vet Mike Davies, made a strong point that it is still debatable whether genuinely safe vegan cat food can be produced at all.

He says that while it is true that nutrients such as vitamin D3 and taurine, previously only available to cats from animal sources, can now be provided in other ways, other essential nutrients for vegan cats, like arachidonic acid derived from fungus, aren’t yet licensed for animal feeding or, like preformed retinol, aren’t readily available. The main vegan source of vitamin A is beta-carotene, which is suitable for dogs but not cats.

Listen by clicking on the play button below.


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