Vegans Feeding Meat-Free Food To Their Pets Puts Their Health At Risk, Vet Warns
Dogs and cats are carnivorous meaning they require meat in their diet
Vegan pet owners who feed their animals meat-free diets could be putting them at a severe health risk, a veterinarian has warned.
Dogs and cats are carnivorous meaning they require meat in their diet, and removing it could have fatal consequences.
'When these are depleted over time, there are many negative health impacts,' managing vet at RSPCA NSW Sydney Veterinary Hospital Dr. Chris Greenwell told the Daily Telegraph.
'If you're denying proper care to a cat you're effectively breaching your own theoretical values with dietary choices.'
Cats derive amino acid called taurine through eating meat, which is a necessary part of their diet.
They also get arginine, arachidonic acid, and A and B vitamins.
Vegans who think they are helping their cats by removing these components can cause severe problems, including heart failure, congenital disabilities, and liver problems.
Although dogs are better equipped to handle a plant-based diet, they still need protein-rich foods and can suffer from heart diseases and vitamin D and B deficiencies from avoiding their natural food source.
According to a report from The Telegraph: A spokesman for the RSPCA said while dogs were omnivores and could theoretically survive on a vegetarian diet, cats were carnivores and needed meat.
They pointed out:
"Under the Animal Welfare Act, the law requires an owner to take reasonable steps to ensure that all the pet's needs are met."
"This includes a healthy diet, as well as providing suitable living conditions, ability to behave normally, appropriate company and protection from pain, suffering, injury, and disease."
The spokesman for the RSPCA added:
"Cats are strict carnivores and depend on some very specific nutrients that are found in meat including taurine, vitamin A and arachidonic acid so can become seriously ill if they are fed a vegetarian or vegan diet."
Bit despite the warnings, companies selling vegan and vegetarian keep springing up as the demand for meat-free pet food grows.
The products use vegetable protein derived from soy, maize, rice and beet pulp substituted with synthetic vitamins and amino acids naturally found in meat.
These products use vegetable protein derived from soy, wheat, maize, rice and beet pulp substituted with synthetic vitamins and amino acids naturally found in meat.