Many have asked, and you may be wondering yourself, "Can a dog or cat really be a vegan?" The answer may surprise you, but yes they can. Many will immediately ask about cats and dogs being carnivores or hunters. Actually, dogs are considered omnivores and cats are considered carnivores. However, you don't see cats eating cows, chicken, or fish - the most popular ingredients in commercial cat and dog food. Add to that the diseased animals from the slaughter houses and you have something that they are not supposed to be eating.
"Dogs and cats actually do very well on a vegan diet," according to Delta Farrington, owner of Eco Dogs and Cats who's feline and canine companions are vegan. The one thing they must have in their diet, however is taurine. Most vegan foods do include this.
"Most Vegans like myself have a hard time swapping out one life for another, having dogs and cats and then being a part in the slaughtering of innocent animals. If we can achieve even better nutrition and happier dogs and cats, then we believe this is the answer. One of the vegan dog and Cat food companies that we sell has done years of testing with their food, they have taken shelter animals and fed them a vegan diet and have years of this data to confirm that indeed dogs and cats can be vegan," says Delta.
Around the world, more and more veterinarians are starting to see the value of a healthy vegan diet for pets. And not just vegan pet parents are feeding their pets vegan. Veterinarians are recommending a vegan diet for pet's with sensitive digestion, allergies, or other issues with conventional food.
Ellen Degeneres feeds her dogs a vegan-friendly diet. And, as DeGeneres' legions of fans are well aware, she seems to genuinely care for animals and is an influential advocate for pet-related causes.
According to PETA, "If you have been feeding your companion animals commercial pet foods, you may be jeopardizing their health. Supermarket pet foods are often composed of ground-up parts of animals deemed by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors unfit for human consumption. The flesh of animals who fall into one of the categories of the four D's—dead, dying, diseased, or disabled—is what often goes into pet food. Many of these animals have died of infections and other diseases."
Many vegetarians and vegans feed healthful, meatless diets to their companion animals. One remarkable example is that of Bramble, a 27-year-old border collie whose vegan diet of rice, lentils, and organic vegetables earned her consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living dog in 2002. Studies have shown that the ailments associated with meat consumption in humans, such as allergies, cancer, and kidney, heart, and bone problems, also affect many nonhumans. Pet food has also been recalled during mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scares because of the risk that contaminated meat was processed into the food. One deputy commissioner states that cats especially "are susceptible to BSE."
When it comes down to it, many vegans and veterinarians who have worked with it, feel a vegan diet for your pet is not only more healthy, but a preferable diet over the main-stream foods.