• Laura Simonson

Virchew’s Stand (or sit!) to Celebrate Earth Day

Updated: Apr 21

Let’s stop to consider the “paws and effect”.


The Earth Day theme this year is: Restore Our Earth.


Climate change and other environmental degradations have devastated our natural systems, leading to new and fatal diseases as well as a breakdown of the global economy. But just as climate change and coronavirus painfully remind us of the harm we’ve caused, Restore Our Earth reminds us of the opportunities that lay ahead.

We must Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our livelihoods, jobs, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.

Earth Day is a vital opportunity to appreciate the planet and all it has done for us. A chance to reflect on what it means to us and how we can individually and collectively protect its and OUR future…


Let’s face it, this is the only home we have, and we need to look after it! There is no Planet “B”.


Let’s consider the “paws and effect” that some of our common daily choices when it comes to our foodprint and our pets’ foodprints, have on our “home”.

A foodprint measures the environmental impacts associated with the growing, producing, transporting, and storing of our food — from the natural resources consumed to the pollution produced to the greenhouse gases emitted.

While we should all be working to reduce our foodprints, there are many factors, including access, affordability, health and culture that help shape our decisions about what we eat - we want to highlight the different ways individuals and institutions can make an impact on their foodprints. https://www.earthday.org/campaign/foodprints-for-future/

It may well be that you have started to tread more lightly, but what if you could have your canine companions’ lighter paw-print walking right beside you as you take steps to Restore our Earth?

If you are hungry for the truth, here are some facts about pet foods and their environmental impact that you may not have considered.


Fact: It's estimated that dogs and cats are responsible for about 25%-30% of the environmental impact contained in meat production https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181301


Fact: A UCLA study has found that feeding pets creates the equivalent of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year (https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/the-truth-about-cats-and-dogs-environmental-impact)


Fact: A medium size dog could have the “footprint” of a large SUV (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4331978/A-medium-sized-dog-carbon-footprint-SUV.html)


Fact: To produce 1 kg of protein from kidney beans required approximately eighteen times less land, ten times less water, nine times less fuel, twelve times less fertilizer, and ten times less pesticide in comparison to producing 1 kg of protein from beef. Compared to producing 1 kg of protein from chicken and eggs, beef generated five to six times more waste (manure) to produce 1 kg of protein. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267932856_The_Environmental_Cost_of_Protein_Food_Choices_-_CORRIGENDUM)


Fact: If animal-derived energy was converted to its plant equivalent, one-quarter of the animal-derived energy in US dogs' and cats' food would support ~35 million humans. If even only 5% of the animal-derived energy in pet food could be eaten by humans, this would be equivalent to the animal-product consumption of more than 5 million Americans, and the total energy consumption of 1 million Americans about the population of Montana. (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181301)


Fact: By chews-ing a plant-based diet from Virchew, for one dog for just one day, you could:

  • Save 2.24 kg of C02 Emissions

  • Save 2.32 sq mi of Forest

  • Save 125.17 kg of Grain (which would feed approx. 1252 people)

  • Save 2268 litres of Water

  • Save 1 Animal from having to sacrifice their lives

Knowing all of the above, and learning that *The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates that there were 77.8 million dog and 85.6 million cats owned as pets in the United States alone in 2015 (and that number has grown exponentially worldwide especially within the past year with Covid-19 inspiring more and more people to acquire canine and feline companions) can you see the impact it has on our planet when it comes to choosing what we put in our furiend's bowl?


We want to inspire you make changes that count this Earth Day, and EVERY day!


We have no desire to be part of the traditional 'dog food industry'. Virchew is creating entirely new ways to nourish and live with our dogs. We're asking new questions to bring new solutions. The old paradigm of raising animals for our food or our dog's food is dying. Yes, it's a long slow death, but there is no way for these unsustainable, dangerous industries to survive. We know too much. We've seen too much. We can no longer turn away from the atrocities of factory farming and the burning impact on our earth's well being.

Do you believe it's time for a new paradigm? One that includes sustainable, healthy, plant-based foods that nourish our dogs (and humanity)? Especially now, in 2020 where viruses and climate catastrophes are holding us hostage, in not only physical but emotional ways? Allow yourself to think about these:

  • In our modern world, there is not one reason to feed other animals to our domesticated dogs. Not one.

  • In our modern world, there is not one reason to harm the environment and our soils to feed our dogs. Not one.

  • In our modern world, there is not one reason to harm and kill other animals to feed our dogs. Not one.

There are only compelling, powerful, life-giving reasons to nourish our dogs (and ourselves) with healthy, plant-strong foods that naturally provide astonishing solutions. Yes, there are traditions. Yes, there are beliefs. Yes, there are debates. But there's no evidence. There's no science. None. We've been searching for over three decades.


Join us this Earth Day, join us this month and join us this year as we do all we can to serve up a powerful, plant-based paradigm for the world. For more information on how you can impact restoration and inspire others to join you, check out our Earth Day Stand:


Ask 5 friends with 5 furiends to join you by taking meat off their plates and out of their dog’s bowl for Earth Day!


6 People + 6 Pooches = A Healthy, Happy Planet. :)


It starts with us to take this stand, on Earth Day and every day. Easy peasy.


Learn more about Virchew's story here.

New to Virchew? We'll send your pooch a FREE delicious sample!

This post was contributed by Virchew crew member,

Shannon Rose, NC

(We love her.)


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