Vegetarian and vegan food for dogs and cats: Is it possible and is it fair to the animals?

What’s in that pet food bowl? Do those dry biscuits contain animal products? Or are they plant based? It can be difficult to tell by looking at them, but it can be critically important to the animal.

Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming more common

Veganism and vegetarianism are the fastest growing trends in human nutrition, with the number of non-meat-eaters growing rapidly, especially in the younger cohort of the human population. This is happening for two reasons: first, a justifiable concern about animal welfare in industrial-scale livestock farming, and secondly, an equally justifiable worry about the high level of greenhouse gases produced by livestock production (the movie Cowspiracy is one of those influencers that has been quietly doing the rounds at grassroot level, with private screenings rather than a major movie-house release, although it is now available on Netflix).

Pets can be a challenge for vegans

Vegans who are motivated by animal welfare/ animal rights are often serious animal lovers, and paradoxically, there’s an anomaly for them about pet keeping. First, do they have a right to insist that pets live with them at all? (What if the animal doesn’t want to do so?) And second, what do they do about pets who have a preference to eat meat?

I’ve addressed these issues in a recent article in the Telegraph, and in my recent podcast on the Pat Kenny Show: you can follow the links on this page to read and listen to these.

The bottom line: dogs can be vegan, but it’s a challenge with cats

Animals and humans are “what we eat”: it’s easy to forget the significance of our daily diet. We are governed by the metabolism that we have been born with, and it’s important to take this into account when we decide what to feed our pets. Their health is governed by our choices.

To find out more about the possibilities of non-meat diets for pets, please follow up my links.

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