Should I Feed My Dog A Vegan Diet?
Published date: 13 January 2023
Veganuary is once again well underway. Over 629,000 people joined the campaign last year and research indicates that more people than ever, are turning to a sustainable vegan lifestyle.
At a time when many of us are looking closely at our own foods and finding areas of change, it seems inevitable that many are considering vegan diets for their dogs. At Yora we understand more than most the need to act and do what is right for our future.
However even with the best of intentions, it is important to acknowledge there are downsides to feeding a vegan diet, both for your furry friend and the planet.
The Impact of a Vegan Diet on the Environment
One of the biggest reasons why owners choose to switch their pets over to a vegan brand, is the assumption that this diet will be less harmful to the environment. It is well known that food production, in particular traditional livestock farming contributes heavily to greenhouse emissions.
However vegan protein alternatives are not without their pitfalls. In fact, insect protein has a lower environmental impact than soy based vegan alternatives.
Just last year, leading insect manufacturer Protix released sustainability comparison figures, following an LCA (Lifecycle Assessment) conducted by the German Institute of Food Technologies.
Life Cycle Assessments measure the environmental impact of a product. This incredible peer reviewed research shows:
• Our amazing grubs (3.28 lbs CO2 equivalent) have almost a seven times lower CO2 footprint than soy protein concentrate (at 16.5 lbs CO2 equivalent).
• 87 gallons of water are saved by using a kilo of our grubs vs soy protein (that’s almost 3x less water use!) Essentially insect has a considerably lower carbon footprint compared with many common alternatives.
If your resolution is to be more sustainable in your pet’s food choices this year, insect is truly leading the way.
Insects are better than plants!
Our goal has always been, first and foremost to make exceptionally nutritious pet food. Food should nourish our furry friends inside and out, promote their best health and of course be utterly delicious.
Vegan diets for dogs are now widely available and although dogs can survive on a plant-based diet, this doesn’t mean it gives them everything they need to really thrive.
Our dogs are best described as omnivorous carnivores and naturally would ingest both plant and animal proteins in the wild. The difficulty with using exclusively plant protein is that often these can be lacking in certain nutrients. With homemade vegan diets it is especially difficult to know you are giving your dog what they need.
Quite simply dogs on plant-based diets are less likely to flourish and meat proteins have long kept our dogs healthier and happier. However, this doesn’t mean all animal proteins are made equally.
Insects are the true superfood of the protein world. Our grubs contain all the essential amnio acids found in traditional meat alongside many many more benefits! Did you know Hermetia Illucens Larvae (our magic insects) have strong antioxidant properties? This means our insects support the immune system (particularly helpful for puppies) and have been shown to reduce the chance of inflammatory related conditions in our pets, such as heart disease.
Did you also know our grubs have anti-microbial properties? These kill off microorganisms and this alongside the natural chitin fiber found in our insect, helps promote heathy gut flora and encourage proper stool formation.
Don’t take our word for it, peek at some of the science behind our revolutionary grubs.
Cruelty Free Insect Farming
One of the reasons many people turn away from meat, is the pain and suffering that happens within the slaughter industry. This is why we use high welfare processing methods for our insect.
Our grubs are simple life forms that actually lack the sense receptors needed to feel pain. Despite not being complicated creatures, our grubs are still given same five farming freedoms as traditionally farmed animals.
Our insects are free from hunger, pain, fear, discomfort and able to express their normal grub behavior. To be used in our food the larvae are slowly chilled, enter a sleep state and then are blended up without any knowledge, fear or pain around what has happened.
Around 25% of our customers are either vegan or vegetarian and consider feeding Yora that perfect middle ground between less suitable vegan diets and crueler meat-based foods.
From giving less nutritionally to impacting the environment more, it seems avoiding the plant-based diets for your pets and sticking to insect really is the best resolution for 2023.
Let us know what ways you plan to be more sustainable this year by tagging us on social media and use #yoraexplorers to help spread the word! Looking for further reading?
Check out our other blogs here.
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