You switched to a vegan diet, but you're still feeding your pets a meat-based diet. Why? Have you wondered why our pets are dying from the same diseases we are? Because they're eating the same crap most of us are.
My dog was euthanized at the early age of nine. He had tumors growing all over his body and had developed cancer. I blame this on the crappy food he was fed (Science Diet). I'm sure many of you are aware of the horrors of the pet food industry, especially with the mass recalls not too long ago. But, are you aware that many pet food companies have relationships with veterinary colleges? They use these relationships to push products on soon-to-be veterinarians. For example, Hill's Pet Nutrition, the company that owns Science Diet, "provides financial and educational support to nearly every veterinary college in North America, as well as to veterinary students attending those institutions. This commitment to the profession includes Hill's sponsored teaching programs, residencies and faculty programs in veterinary schools and teaching hospitals all over the world" (DVM News Magazine, August 2004).
Anyway, after going vegan, I realized it was time to move my dog to a vegan diet as well. Meet Reilly (he's on your left). Reilly is eight years old and has been on a vegan diet for five years. He actually does a lot better on vegan food. He used to throw up after eating his meat-based food and was never too excited about eating. Since switching him to Evolution, he gets very excited about eating and never gets sick. I feel so much better feeding him quality food, made without animal byproducts, growth hormones, and animal testing.
Reilly's food regimen
Reilly is fed twice a day. As I mentioned above, I feed him Evolution Gourmet Pasta Dog Kibble. Moist food is much better for your pets, so I always soak it. I pour a bunch of kibble into his bowl and add just enough steam-distilled water to cover the kibble. I let this soak for at least 15 minutes. Then, I add a little Green Mush, made by Health Force (I love this company). In the morning, I also add one serving of vegetarian glucosamine. I give him glucosamine because 1) he had distemper as a puppy and 2) big dogs are more prone to joint and back problems (he's 80 pounds). He goes crazy for this food and looks forward to breakfast and dinner.
Now, onto the cats (I live with two cats). This is Owen. He is five years old and has been on a vegan diet for four years. We rescued Owen from a chain smoker who, because she forced him to live in a smoke-filled house, gave him breathing problems. His wheezing has improved, but he still wheezes a lot.
Like many other vegans, we started him out on a meat-based diet because we heard rumors of cats not being able to be vegan. Well, I'm here to tell you that's just false. Owen is a healthy cat, aside from the wheezing, and is obsessed with his food. When it's time to eat, he won't stop whining until he's fed. Like Reilly, he enjoys his vegan food better than the standard diet he was on before.
Owen's food regimen
Owen is also fed twice a day. I feed him Evolution Gourmet Pasta Cat Kibble. Moist food is even more important for cats in order to prevent urinary tract infections, so his food is always soaked. (See my previous post on preventing urinary tract infections in cats.) I soak Owen's food much longer than Reilly's because 1) I try to feed him as quickly as possible to minimize whining and 2) I really don't want him to get urinary tract infections. He's a male tabby, so he's very prone to them.
So, here's what I do: I mix 1 1/2 parts kibble with 1 part water and store it in the fridge. When it's time for him to eat, I add some of the food to his bowl and combine with Green Mush and Enzymes pH. Enzymes pH is made by a company called All the Best Pet Care, located here in Seattle. The product is not currently sold anywhere online, but you can order directly from them via phone. I know Vegan Essentials is currently working on getting the product, so hopefully we can expect it to be online in the near future. If you can't come across Enzymes pH, see my prior post on preventing urinary tract infections for a homemade substitute you can use instead.
The youngest in the family is Delilah. She's about four months old and still very much a kitten. I spoke with a vegan veterinarian about her diet, who recommended I feed her Vegekit, made by Harbingers of a New Age, at least until she is one. Vegekit is properly formulated for kittens and is better for cats under one year of age than Evolution. When she turns one, I'll be switching her to Evolution.
Delilah's food regimen
Delilah is fed twice a day. As I mentioned above, I feed her Vegekit. Just like Owen, she goes crazy when it's time to eat. The combination of two cats whining hysterically sometimes drives me a little crazy. She's just so cute, so she's gets away with murder. So, here's how I feed her: I used to follow the standard recipe in the Vegekit instructions for making kibble, but after doing that twice it proved to be a major hassle. So, I now make her food using the Chickpea Tofu recipe, also available in the Vegekit instructions. The ingredients are basically chickpeas, tofu, yeast powder, oil, and Vegekit. I add everything into the food processor and blend. It's much easier. When serving her food, I sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top, which she really loves.
The importance of water
It's very important to give your pets fresh, clean water. I give them only steam-distilled water, made by my Waterwise 8800. This is also what I exclusively drink, as our tap water is full of contaminants and Brita filters don't remove much. I use the Drinkwell Pet Fountain and small bowls as water sources for my cats.
Products I recommend
Below is a list of products I mentioned above and highly recommend.
Trusted companies I order from
Below is a list of trusted companies I order from.
- Evolution Diet
- Sidecar for Pigs Peace
- For those of you who live in the Seattle area
- Vegan Cats
- Vegan Essentials
Do any of your pets follow vegan diets? Do you have any questions about switching them to vegan diets? Please feel free to comment. I'm more than happy to help you in any way I can.