Emerging research suggests vegan pet food may be able to keep dogs and even cats healthy and happy, reducing the massive impact that traditional pet food has on the environment
19 September 2022
By Graham Lawton
WHEN I finally gave up eating meat, I found that I couldn’t actually stop buying meat. My two teenage sons were both big fans of the stuff and my two cats ate nothing but meat. And while I thought the boys might be weaned off it, the cats not so much. I knew that vegan dog diets were available, but assumed that they were suboptimal, and it never even crossed my mind that cats could do the same without losing a few of their nine lives. Now though, the boys have left home and the cats have sadly passed away. I’m meat-free at last. And when we get our next cat, and possibly dog, I’m considering making them meat-free too.
Because far from being biologically impossible, the evidence is growing that cats and dogs can be perfectly content on a veggie or even vegan diet. Indeed, they may be healthier than those fed conventional pet food. Nevertheless, vets still tell owners not to impose plant-based diets on dogs and cats, warning that they are probably unhealthy, possibly cruel and potentially illegal. So what is the truth about plant-eating pooches and moggies?
Cats, dogs and their dinners are big business. In 2018, there were about 370 million pet cats and 470 million pet dogs in the world, together wolfing down $134 billion of chow each year. And the pet food market is growing. In the UK, it rose 17 per cent in the five years to 2019.Thousands …