One major dilemma for vegetarians and vegans is feeding meat to our companion animals. Once we’ve decided not to support factory farming, can we justify feeding animal products to our companions?
We have often made a moral exception for our companions based on the belief that dogs are obligate meat-eaters or that there are no other options for our canine friends. Many vegetarians and vegans are unaware that dogs can be healthy and thrive on an animal-free, plant-based diet.
Pet foods really are the worst of the worst, full of cancerous tissue and animal parts that are not fit for human consumption. Please see this PETA Factsheet on meat-based commercial pet food. Do we really want to feed this to our animals? We are their guardians and we want to make sure that they are healthy. After all, we do have some viable options for our animals that we can be comfortable with in our kitchen.
There are several brands to choose from and you may want to choose a brand that is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. A basic goal of AAFCO is to provide regulations, standards and enforcement policies to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of animal feeds; resulting in safe, effective, and useful food.
Vegetarian and vegan dogs is still a confusing and worrisome issue for some folks. However, evidence has shown that dogs can be just as healthy, or even healthier in many cases, not consuming animals.
For this reason, Vegan Action suggests thatyou have nothing to lose, so give it a try. Since there are several AAFCO approved brands on the market to choose from, why not make the ethical decision to try a vegetarian diet for your companion dogs. It sure will feel great to not have to go buy that bag of meat and rice dog food every month.
Before you switch your dog to a vegan diet, please do your research to make sure that the food you have chosen for your dog is a complete and balanced diet. When in doubt - don’t risk your dogs health - consult a veterinarian knowledgable with vegetarian diet options.
Please note: Vegan Action does not recommend that people switch cats to a vegan diet.