Good for our Dogs. Good for our Earth. Good for our Hearts.
For all of us here at Virchew, these three statements are not just nice, virtuous thoughts.
Over the next few posts and blogs, we’re going to explore these 3 areas in more detail and do our best to share fresh, new perspectives. And as usual, we ask new, poignant questions.
Here’s a hint of what to expect over the coming weeks (and months and years!) to come:
Good for our Dogs: When we choose plant-based, vegan foods for ourselves, the health and longevity benefits are enormous. The research is indisputable. We know, without a doubt, not only based on recent studies and anecdotal vegan dog stories world-wide, the same could be the case for our dogs.
"A significant and growing body of population studies and cases suggest that dogs may be successfully maintained on nutritionally sound vegetarian diets long-term, and indeed, may thrive. ...with benefits such as improved coat condition, allergy control, weight control, increased overall health and vitality, arthritis regression, diabetes regression, cataract resolution, and decreased incidences of cancer, infections, hypothyroidism and more."
- Dr. Andrew Knight, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, and Founding Director of the Centre for Animal Welfare, at the University of Winchester (among many other credentials)
Just like we hoomans are recognizing that nutrition, and more importantly plant-based nutrition, plays a key role in attaining and maintaining health, for the love of “dog”, why would we ever want to deny our pooch pals that same benefit?
Good for our Earth: When we grow more plant-based foods that are undeniably sustainable at every level, rather than burn rain forests or use valuable land for feed to support more animal agriculture, we’re doing the right thing for our shared home - our Mother Earth.
The carbon pawprint from pet food alone is considerable. In 2017 it was estimated the carbon emitted from meat consumed by animals was responsible for dumping the equivalent of around 64 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air every year – the equivalent of driving 13 million cars for a year. We can breathe a sigh of relief knowing we’re taking “big steps” to not be a part of that heavy footprint. Wouldn’t that feel good to walk alongside us every day?
Good for our Hearts: In our modern world, we no longer need to harm other animals for food or for our dog’s food. When we treat all animals, domestic or wild, as equal to humans, the positive impact it has on hearts is not only emotional but physical. A growing body of evidence suggests that loving and caring for animals (dogs especially) can lower the risk of heart disease. Did you also know that research shows that simply gazing into your canine companion’s eyes increases the level of oxytocin (the “love” hormone) in both of you, and studies show that oxytocin positively impacts social behaviors which in turn improves mental and physical health. Take a minute now to gaze into your fur baby’s baby blues. Can you feel the love they have for you and more importantly, can they feel the love you have for them?
In summary, when we choose a plant-based lifestyle and extend the same to our dogs, it’s just the right thing to do: for our dog’s health, for our earth and for our hearts.
Virchew and plant-based foods for dogs: A one-stop shop to make a woof of difference.
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This post was contributed by Virchew crew member,
Shannon Rose, Certified Holistic Nutritionist