Study Shows That a Whole Lot of People Are Putting Their Pets on Vegan Diets

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I don’t know if you’re with me on this one, but this just sounds like a terrible idea. I mean, obviously there’s nothing wrong with a vegan diet – FOR HUMANS.

A study from the University of Guelph in Canada shows that 35% of people are interested in putting their pets on a vegan diet, and 27% have already done it. Seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

The survey was completed by 3,670 dog and cat owners from around the globe. Of those who took part, 55% said “that certain measures would need to be met in order for them to commit to changing their pet’s diets, such as gaining veterinarian approval and ensuring their animal’s nutritional needs are met.”

One of the interesting things about the study was that, even though 27% of subjects said they’ve already started their pets on a vegan diet, only 6% of the people themselves are vegans.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Sarah Dodd, said the trend is likely to grow:

“People have been hearing about how vegan diets are linked to lowered risks of cancer and other health benefits in humans. There is also growing concern about the environmental impact of animal agriculture. So, while only a small proportion of pet-owners are currently feeding plant-based diets to their pets, it is safe to say that interest in the diets is likely to grow.”

But, as IFL Science points out,

“Obviously, you won’t ever see a wolf or wildcat guzzling down a spinach smoothie. Their domesticated cousins, cats and dogs, are also widely referred to as carnivores, although dogs are sometimes described as omnivores as they do eat some vegetation. Unlike wolves, domestic dogs have evolved genetic variations that allow them to digest starch, found in crops such as potatoes, wheat, corn, and rice. Cats, however, are obligate carnivores, meaning they can’t survive without meat. A cat being fed a strict vegan diet will likely die of malnutrition. …”

IFL Science also said a study from 2015 found:

“The majority of plant-based dog foods were not compliant with accepted standards of pet foods and there were concerns regarding the adequacy of amino acid content. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, a survey of 86 vegetarian dogs in Europe found that over 50 percent of them were eating diets deficient in protein, essential amino acids, calcium, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. In particular, dogs require two amino acids, called L-carnitine and taurine, that are extremely hard to obtain from a plant-based diet unless it is supplemented.”

So there’s that…

Various people weighed in on how a vegan diet is not acceptable for pets.

Those poor pets…