Now, the pet's gone vegan too!

Published: 20 December, 2013 07:54 IST | Rithika Ramesh |

In a new, surprising trend that seems to have caught the fancy of Mumbai's pet parents, vegan diets are now being recommended for adopted and rescued canines and felines

Veganism is a lifestyle devoid of all animal-derived products from milk, meat, honey and eggs to leather, wool and silk and even avoids products tested on animals. With an increasing number of people turning vegan for ethical reasons, a new surprising trend, however, is the number of people willing to put their adopted and rescued pets on vegan diets too.

Rohini and her pet Angel are both vegans

Most choose to be vegan for ethical reasons, and that remains one of the driving factors to put their pets on vegan diets. “For me, it’s not fair to abuse one animal to feed another rescued one,” says Sneha Poojary, pet parent who rescued Liber, a big grey tabby and Nephele, an Indian breed. Sharing the same sentiment is Monika Siriya from Mumbai who rescued Rapchik who was 12 by then and managed to reverse her arthritis by changing her diet.

Rohini Fernandes, a clinical psychologist and animal-assisted therapy specialist behind Animal Angel Foundation put her then five-year old overweight Golden Retriever, Angel, on a vegan diet when she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and kidney failure. Doctors had told her that Angel did not have more than a year. Fernandes having turned vegan herself a month before decided to put Angel on a diet of millets, brown rice, fruits, coconut water and steamed vegetables. Within months, Angel’s creatnine levels came down, her kidney function improved, she lost the excess weight and she was taken off medication.

Angel, now nine, is a healthy and active therapy dog.

Typically, vets don’t endorse vegan diets for animals, but they don’t mind it if animals do well on it. Nandita Kalra from Delhi, parent to a two-year-old Lhasa Terrier was surprised when the vet encouraged her to keep the dog vegan and also told her about an Indian breed dog who lived until the ripe age of 18 on a vegan diet.

A vegan birthday cake for a dog by Green Stove

With cats, managing the diet can prove tricky, since cats need Taurine, a vitamin that comes for the liver of other animals in their diet. So, commercial vegan pet foods like Benevo have been specifically formulated to meet nutritional requirements of cats.

While this might sound as an extreme step to many, as long as pets are healthy and like their food, the challenge is in changing one’s mindset. 

Vegan pet food check list

Where to buy?
Benevo (by Vegeco India Pvt. Ltd.)
CALL 917498244844

The Green Stove (for Home-made Vegan Dog treats & vegan dog birthday cakes)
CALL 9819955320

What to buy?
Benevo Vegetarian Original Dog Food
Benevo Vegetarian Cat Food
Benevo Organic Vegetarian Dog Food
Benevo Vegetarian Puppy Food
Benevo Rumble Strips Vegetarian Dog Treats 

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