by Billie Dean
When a flash flood took out our electricity and flooded us in, I was so grateful for a garden and seven dogs who were vegan. I had plenty of nut butter and a variety of veges from the garden for their dinner, and rolled oats with coconut milk for breakfast. I also had lentils I could cook on the wood stove if I needed to.
Fortunately this is the diet they are used to so it was no big deal. Our dogs have glossy coats and loads of vitality, and eat a wide variety of foods such as lentils, sprouts, all kinds of vegetables and fruit, rolled oats and barley, nuts and seeds (normally pulped to a pate or butter) and coconut milk.
This is a vegan diet, completely meat and dairy free, and with added enzymes and omegas, and a couple of other supplements, they do very, very well. Digestive enzymes are important for those animals eating cooked foods and the senior animal.
Cats too can enjoy vegan diets, however they do need to have an acidic pH while dogs, like us, need to have an alkaline pH. Vegan animals will also need, currently, the extra supplements of taurine and L carnitine to keep them in tip top shape. Lentils, pumpkin, finely grated, chopped, or pulped greens, fruits, chickpea patties and Textured vegetable protein have all been cat favourites. Don’t make the transition sudden, just keep offering them different things. Some cats may find it hard to change their diet. But others may be completely ready, and thrive. Slowly, gently and with research is my rule of thumb!
Even if you start with just a couple of meat-free meals a week – favouring foods like pumpkin, lentils, avocado for example, with chia seeds, spirulina and yeast powder. (The latter helps the acidity).
Our dogs love bananas, berries and apples and I once heard about a cat who adored grapes!
Some animals, like humans, are allergic to different kinds of foods and beef, dairy, wheat, soy and corn are the most common culprits. So diet does tend to be an individual thing and you need to check your beloved’s coat and general vitality.
There are loads of on-line resources for vegan animals and people, veganism being the fastest growing trend because of the health benefits and the desire in people not to contribute to animal suffering. As farm animals suffer tremendously there can be no real peace on the planet until they too find peace. And fish are currently being farmed out of existence.
Your animal depends on you to keep them healthy, so make sure you do your research to fulfill their nutritional requirements on a meat-free diet. There are lots of recipes and resources for animals and people on www.billiedean.com under Veganism. Have fun learning about new ways of feeding yourself and your animals!!
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