This article is published on the website for the Ethical Consumer. So why has it appeared as a post on my site? Well….I recently changed my diet from vegetarian to vegan. When I was vegetarian I pondered over feeding my cat vegetarian cat food but decided against it becuase they were ‘old’ rescued cats. Through fear of upsetting their diet resulting in illness or discomfort; I decided against it. Also, I had been told that dogs can raised on a vegetarian diet but cats cannot. However, now that I’m vegan I’ve found myself thinking about it again!
How can I follow this diet and feed meat to my cat? (If you’ve noticed the change from ‘cats’ to ‘cat’; I now have one cat rather than two). So anyway, I researched it and found that many animal lovers have given their dogs and cats vegetarian and/or vegan dry food AND wet food. I’ll tell you all about how ‘the change’ went in another post. Regarding, the snippet below; I came across this site and thought it was important to share.
A nation of animal lovers?
Half of all households in the UK own some kind of pet. Lindsay Whalen looks at the environmental and animal issues in the pet food bowl
Despite lots of brands on the supermarket shelves in the UK, the market is dominated by two companies: Mars and Nestlé.
Nestlé’s irresponsible marketing of breast milk substitutes in the Third World is the primary reason for the longstanding international boycott of its products. The World Health Organisation notes that 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breast-fed.(28) According to the Food Magazine, in February this year, Nestlé had promoted formula milk to young Hispanic mothers in America.(29) It had provided free samples, posters and leaflets claiming the benefits of its products in Spanish.(29) The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes states that the “manufacturers and distributors should not distribute to pregnant women or mothers of infants and young children any gifts of articles or utensils which may promote the use of breastmilk substitutes or bottle feeding”. Although America was one of the few countries to have failed to enact laws to enforce the Code, Nestlé’s promotion coincided with the government’s first campaign in a century to encourage breastfeeding among low income mothers from ethnic minorities.(29)
Most mainstream pet foods are appealing and addictive for the pets, but an environmental and nutritional horror story. They are packaged in tins, which are inefficient to produce and transport; and contain lots of fat, sugar, salt and fillers. One alternative is to feed your pets fresh, raw food, that is not dried or chemically preserved.
The website www.animalsnaturally.com provides information on ways to feed pets a natural diet. Another sustainable option is buying dry food in bulk that is packaged in cardboard or paper.