A new environmental trend: Cats and dogs are becoming vegansBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/a-new-environmental-trend-cats-and-dogs-are-becoming-vegans
In the first month of the year, the number of people willing to switch to plant-based food is as high as ever. This is due not only to the food excesses inherent in the New Year holidays, but also to the fact that many start a "new life" in January. There was even a special flash mob — "vegan January", covering more and more people around the world every year. Together with their owners, their pets often become vegetarians, whether they want it or not. How does this happen, and most importantly - why?
Those who switch to a vegan diet may have a variety of motives. There are those who take care of their health in this way, but most are guided by more noble goals — saving the planet from climate change. The meat and dairy industry is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and reducing the consumption of its products can improve the environmental situation.
Cats and dogs are not interested in environmental issues, but they are increasingly becoming vegan at the whim of their owners. The inspirers, as most often happens, are scientists who tirelessly give out disturbing facts and figures.
At the end of the summer of 2019, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a regular report. Most of this document was devoted specifically to the relationship of climate change in connection with the consumption of meat and dairy products in the developed countries of the world.
The contribution of pets to this problem is quite significant — the British Association of Veterinarians has found that pets eat 12% of all meat produced on the planet. This figure is approximate and there is an opinion that it can reach up to 20%.
As always, the United States remains the leader in harming the environment. At the University of California in Los Angeles, it was estimated that greenhouse gases released during the production of meat for American domestic cats and dogs cause the same damage as the exhaust that makes 13.6 million cars.
For those who are not particularly interested in scientific research, celebrities become an example. Many actors, singers and politicians have become vegans and have switched their pets to plant-based food. One of the most famous supporters of this movement is actor Joaquin Phoenix, a well-known vegan and animal rights advocate.
Phoenix insisted that the menu at the last Golden Globes ceremony be completely vegan. As for pets, several dogs live in the actor's house, which are transferred completely to a plant-based diet.
Studies conducted in different parts of the world have shown that almost a third of dog and cat owners in Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA are ready to make their pets vegan. PETA, an animal protection organization, is not against such a step, but under one important condition - a number of important additives should be included in plant food.
PETA experts warn that with improperly organized vegan nutrition that does not contain important nutrients for animals, the health of pets may be at risk. Not only disorders in the digestive system are possible, but also problems with bones, skin and fur, hearing and reproductive system.
For those who claim that dogs cannot do without meat, PETA has prepared strong evidence to the contrary. On the organization's website there is a story of the border collie Bramble, who lived on a vegetarian diet for 25 years. If you consider that dogs of this breed live about 13.5 years, then this is impressive.
This is what the dog Bramble looked like when he was 25 years old
Ann Heritage, the owner of Bramble, even wrote a book about her dog, "Bramble: The Dog who Wanted to live Forever," which was published in 2012. Ann's pet's diet consisted of rice, lentils and organic vegetables.
With these words, Heritage begins his book. Unfortunately, the opinion of Bramble himself remains a mystery and we will never know whether a dog who has not eaten meat for a quarter of a century felt happy. The book by a British dog lover has caused a lot of criticism, but now, after only seven years, even the most aggressively minded supporters of a full-fledged dog diet have reconsidered their views.
Many veterinarians are categorical in their opinion that vegetarianism is acceptable for dogs, but not for cats. This is due to the fact that dogs are classified as facultative predators, which, in fact, are omnivorous, but cats are obligate, whose nutrition is based only on caught prey.
Daniella Dos Santos, president of the British Association of Veterinarians, in an interview with the BBC noted that serious studies have not been conducted in the world that would confirm that cats and dogs can fully eat plant foods. Dos Santos is sure that vegetarian cats are at risk of serious heart disease.
But in Harvard University has found a solution to this problem. Microbiologist Shannon Faulconer, who founded the company for the production of artificial meat Because Animals, assures that the production of cat food without animal products is quite possible.
Vegan cat Magic and his friend
There are many cats in the world who do not eat animal protein. The most deserved of them is the cat Magic, whose owner, British Joanna Farr, claims that her pet has been vegan for 8 years and has never complained about his health during this time. As a bonus, Farr notes a decrease in the animal's predatory instincts — Magic has become more friendly to other living creatures.
But how to introduce your cat or dog to veganism and not harm him? Today, many well-known animal feed manufacturers offer meat-free food options for both dogs and cats. But in order for the pet to receive a balanced complex of all the necessary substances, the choice of food should be taken very seriously.
Finally, it is necessary to warn those readers who are thinking about transferring their Murzik or Ball to a vegan diet — such a diet for an animal will cost much more than usual, with animal proteins.
Keywords: Vegans | Vegetarianism | Pets | Healthy food | Cats | Meat | Diet | Dogs
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