What does a bowl of kibble have in common with climate change? Everything! An important new book called “The Clean Pet Food Revolution” explains why, and proves that if we think differently about what goes into that bowl, our pets, people and the planet will be healthier and happier.
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It’s all about optimal protein. For pets, and the planet.
For thousands of years, humans believed that eating animal meat was necessary to thrive. But science has now proved that humans don’t need to get protein from animal meat. Instead, we need an optimal protein source for good health. And that protein can come from plants. Those of us who know this have already opted for a meat-free diet. But even the most dedicated plant-based diet enthusiasts like myself still haven’t made the same connection for our pets–until now. This book is the first step to get started.
Pick up a copy of The Clean Pet Food Revolution and it will everything you thought you knew about pet food upside down. There is so much important information between the covers that our review simply can’t discuss all of it. So today, we just want to highlight two mind-blowing facts at the heart of the book:
- Pets can thrive on a plant-based diet.
- Pet food meat consumption is killing the planet.
Think this sounds crazy? Keep reading.
Like most people, I was unaware that the same plant-based diet I follow can work for dogs. Then we had this conversation with the book’s co-author Dr. Ernie Ward. That’s when he explained why plant-based proteins can be just as nutritionally sound for dogs as animal-meat proteins. As this book’s co-author, he gets into even more detail:
Proteins are only useful to an animal if they can be digested and absorbed within the body. Whether animal or plant-based, the food must be proven to contain bioavailable nutrients. But does it matter where that protein comes from? When it comes to protein, we need to look at quality and composition, not just quantity. The total amount of protein in the food isn’t the most important issue; it’s whether those proteins contain all the amino acids and nutrients a dog needs for optimal health.
The Clean Pet Food Revolution digs into the nitty gritty of what animals need to eat in order to thrive. It even addresses how the nutritional needs of cats can be met with a non-animal meat diet. The result is a pet who has a lower risk of obesity, cancer and other diseases. As a bonus, we might save the planet too.
The Climate Change and Pet Food Connection
The book also explains in detail how better pet food choices can save our planet.
The impact pet food is having on climate change has received little attention. Yet pets eat an estimated one-quarter of all the meat consumed in the United States, equivalent to the meat devoured by twenty-six million Americans. That makes U.S. dogs and cats equal to the fifth largest country in the world in terms of animal protein consumption.
The authors are not trying to convert anyone into giving up animal meat. They simply lay out the facts: the amount of animal meat we feed to people and pets is staggering, and it is having dire consequences on the environment.
Over half of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to animal agriculture products.
So whether a human is eating a cow burger or a dog is diving into a marrow bone, meat-based diets are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change.
It’s no longer enough to evaluate only the human population and its food consumption when calculating environmental impacts: we must include pets in our dietary footprint. We won’t be able to save the planet if we ignore the climatological change our companion animals create. Because dogs and cats have become an integral part of human society, the way we care for them, specifically how we feed them, must also become part of the changes we make.
This is not a lighthearted topic, but the book helps to keep us from feeling overwhelmed and defeated. After smacking us sideways with the impact of our animal meat consumption for pets and people, Dr. Ward and his co-authors Alice Ovens and Ryan Bethencourt do a bang-up job sharing exiting information about animal meat-free pet food innovations that don’t harm the planet, such plant-based proteins, clean cellular meats, finless fish and mouse meats for cats, to fungal and yeast proteins.
We learn why and how to ditch the old-school pet food mindset and embrace a greater number of modern dietary choices that are so much better for all of us. Companies like Wild Earth (owned by Bethencourt and with Dr. Ward as Chief Veterinary Officer), are leading the way.
Choose Wisely, for the Planet and Our Pets
What we especially love is how this book doesn’t try to impose the authors’ beliefs or dogma on the reader. The authors simply illustrate the science behind the heart of the clean pet food revolution. We learn how making better choices for our pet’s meals really can make a difference for all of us.
The question for the next decade is whether we feed pets less animal meat, or feed fewer pets. We’re past the point where individual ideology and personal beliefs can be the main motivator. Changing our pets’ eating habits is a practical necessity for survival. The evidence is clear: if we continue consuming and feeding animal meat as we do currently, we’re not going to be able to sustain ourselves, much less our pets. It’s not science fiction to suggest that the dogs and cats snuggling in our beds will no longer be a viable expense in the looming climatological dystopia where our heated oceans are dead and our scorched fields bare. A world without pets? That’s not a scenario any dog or cat owner wants, so we need to radically rethink the way we produce our pet food. Scientists are calling for a “global shift” toward reducing meat in our diets, and this shift must include what we feed our dogs and cats.
This is powerful information, and should be required reading for every pet parent. Please pick up a copy of The Clean Pet Food Revolution and let us know what you think!