Seriously? PETA is now urging people to feed their cats vegan diets. This is a really dangerous statement and I am urging people not to listen to this advice!
You can read the article by Peta, here:
My main concern with the article is that there are zero research articles that support these claims. Here are some quotes from the PETA article:
Many vegetarians and vegans feed healthful, meatless diets to their companion animals.
Sure…some people do try to make their pets vegetarians and vegans, but does this make it right? Cats and dogs are carnivores – their bodies are designed to thrive on eating meat.
Studies have shown that the ailments associated with meat consumption in humans—such as allergies, various types of cancer, and kidney, heart, and bone problems—also affect many nonhumans.
If these studies exist, I’d like to see them. PETA lists references at the bottom of their article, but most of them are personal anecdotes. There are no research studies listed.
The anatomy of a cat was created to thrive on a high protein diet. I’ll describe below why the majority (if not all) of this protein needs to come from meat.
There are several factors that make it difficult for a cat to get energy from carbohydrate sources:
We’ve established that cats need protein as the major component of their diet in order to survive. Let’s talk about amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. There are several amino acids that are essential to a cat’s health. And cats can’t produce these amino acids on their own – they need to be taken in in food:
Some people want to make their pets vegan because of religious reasons or personal beliefs. My advice to you would be to consider not having a pet. It is unnatural to take a carnivore and ask them to eat a vegan diet.
I’ve focused on cats here. It is possible to have a dog be a vegetarian. (There is actually a prescription vegetarian food.) This is because dogs need 2-3 times less protein than cats do. I still don’t recommend making your dog a vegetarian or vegan, but if someone is adamant then I’ll recommend a prescription vegetarian dog food. But there is no safe way to feed a cat a vegan diet.
If I had a client who insisted on feeding their cats a vegan diet, I would recommend the following:
This is a controversial subject and in asking for comments I’m probably just asking for trouble! I would love for someone to give me good scientific evidence that cats can thrive on a vegan diet. (I don’t want to hear, “I fed my cat as a vegan and he lived for 34 years, so that’s proof”. ) If I ran a food company that sold vegan pet food I would be publishing studies that showed that my foods were not only safe, but even better than commercial foods. I haven’t been able to find any studies like this.
Your thoughts? (See the comments section below)
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