Vegan Dogs: Where's the Research? (Part 1)
Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Previously, we explored the ONE question to ask with regards to research in the emerging field of plant-based canine nutrition. The key to finding pioneering, sustainable solutions is to ask NEW questions, not the usual status quo questions.
However, we also know it’s important to share the research and some of the promising studies that have been done in the field of vegan diets for dogs and it is important to address this first.
Where's the Research?
I have heard or read this question dozens and dozens of times: Why is there not more research for vegan dogs?
As we shared in our last post, we can liken this to human nutrition research. It’s unfortunate, but most research is industry-driven. Massive corporate funding and conflict of interest can taint the results of the research.
However, it’s a double edged sword. If corporations and industry lobbying groups did not fund research studies, we’d not have most of the solutions we have today that have potentially saved millions of lives. So at some level, it’s actually been good for human nutrition research.
The Pet Food Industry is Complicit
So, you can imagine the standards in an animal-based diet, the pet food industry will be the same story, but worse. Industry-driven research accounts for almost all research. And the results are most often not published. Also, the pet food industry's influence in veterinary colleges has gone so far beyond a conflict of interest, the lines between science and corporate shareholder interests have been blurred. It’s just business and education as usual. (Even some professionals from the pet food industry seem to agree.)
The messiness of the pet food industry is worsened by “proprietary” ownership and an unfortunate, ‘dog eat dog’ paradigm that’s existed for decades. Therefore, false claims by huge corporations can, and have been, made. With millions of dollars behind their marketing campaigns (and massive reserves for potential lawsuits), paw parents have been manipulated to believe the industry instead of their veterinarian.
Lastly, I’ve not yet mentioned another huge reason we don't have more plant-based research of any kind, let alone for our dogs: animal agriculture. Companies that purchase from the meat and dairy industries and sell animal-based products are the same companies that produce animal-based pet foods. The rabbit hole is very, very deep. Billions of dollars, deep.
This is not good. Not good for our dogs. Not good for our earth. Not good for our hearts.
So here’s the ONE question I want to ask you to consider today?
How do we produce research studies in the emerging field of plant-based canine nutrition through the collaboration of; veterinary, scientific and food industry professionals, while sharing the science for the good of all?
Sign-up and order your dog's free sample - simply visit www.virchew.com/freesample
Peace, love, dogs,
Laura Simonson, Seva (Top Dog!) and the Virchew Crew