An animal expert warns the owners of dogs and cats that impose the vegan diet, that the risks are also long-term. Is the vegan diet for dogs and cats okay or not, and is it morally wrong or right?
Anna Webb is an expert on dogs on TV and radio in England, and she warned the owners of four-legged friends after some pet food brands released vegan lines promoting these products as suitable for dogs and cats, also to help reduce their environmental impacts with regard to carbon emissions. But is it a risk to impose our choice on our furs or is it possible to follow our ideas also for dogs and cats?
Vegan and animal diet
Anna has studied natural therapies and nutrition at the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVP), and is now a real guru when it comes to pets, with many television and radio programs. His opinion is clear: as we would never give a steak to a rabbit, as a herbivore, we cannot eliminate meat from the diet of dogs and cats as carnivores.
So a vegan diet in the case of these animals instead of being an ethical choice – as in the case of the human being – even becomes the opposite, because it puts pets at risk of health problems over time. In addition, these products are processed, and just as we humans are advised against eating processed food, we should avoid giving our pets this type of food.
Many obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes in dogs, have higher levels when using more “complete” foods in which cereals are between 30 and 70%, because dogs cannot metabolize this type of food. These processed foods are usually full of rice, barley and beetroot pulp, which are all sugars. Not only do they hurt dogs’ teeth, they also give weight problems. Such problems are evident in one in two dogs in England, making them obese or overweight.
Anna also defends the raw food diet for dogs and cats, a practice that you follow with your dogs, Mr Binks and Prudence, and your cat Gremlin. Note that Anna is a vegetarian, but claims that we must provide animals with a natural diet, with ideally organic meat. Vegans usually think that when they do follow a vegan diet to their pets they do it because they love animals, but unfortunately doing so does exactly the opposite.
Humans and animals: vegans yes or no?
Other problems felt by Anna are the unethical treatment of animals and industrial crops. Her choice is to be a vegetarian, but she doesn’t impose her diet on her dogs because different species have different needs. Dogs, he says, must necessarily eat meat, humans must not. Also because from his estimates, since humans consume 75% of the meat produced globally, if we all became vegetarian or vegan we could save the planet.
Another reason why meat is harmful to humans is that it causes high cholesterol. But in dogs it is not a problem, because they cannot have high cholesterol. Furthermore, if a diet based on plants is administered to dogs and cats for long periods of time, they would lose important fatty acids and amino acids, which they can only take from meat, thus incurring a greater risk of diseases.
Especially cats can have great health problems if they follow a vegan diet, because they are carnivores and need taurine in their diet, a substance they can only receive from meat. These problems would probably be found after a year, so at the beginning we will not notice the damage that their body is suffering.