A CAN of Whiskas and a cuddle aren’t all that’s expected of the new-age pet owner these days. A growing number of cat and dog owners are extending their ideological food preferences to their pets and raising their four-legged friends as vegans.
Founder and owner of Australia’s first vegan pet-food company, Sandy Anderson, said her customer base had grown by at least 30 per cent a year since she started Veganpet in 2007, despite never having advertised.
“These are people who really care about the environment and their own wellbeing and their cats’ wellbeing too and they are willing to try alternatives,” she said.
This is, not to put too fine a point on it, insane. As the article points out, cats and dogs are “obligate carnivores” who, much like The Prick, need meat to survive. That’s certainly the case with Maggie the Iron Terrier, who subsists on a varied diet of pensioner’s pate, ruinously expensive gourmet doggy treats from the growers’ markets, and all the trimmings and off-cuts she can cadge when we’re cooking.
Yet despite the science, vegan pet owners won’t be swayed:
Filmmaker, spiritual teacher and author of Secret Animal Business Billie Dean feeds the product to her 14 cats and seven dogs on her property in the NSW Southern Tablelands.
“Sandy’s done her research; I feed Veganpet to my cats like a vitamin pill.”
Ms Dean believed commercial pet food was the source of a range of animal illnesses and domestic animals were becoming “intolerant” to meat products.
“I do animal telepathy and I actually tune in and I’ve had cats say to me ‘I’m addicted to this stuff and it’s bad for me and I feel sick’,” she said.
I suspect what the cats are actually saying is, “Give me some damn chicken or I’ll shred more endangered birds than a Hebrides wind farm.”