Sir David Attenborough’s latest series on a Sunday night grabbed my attention as he made a stark warning about species extinction, but I felt it would be too upsetting to watch. I know though that I am not alone.
When you choose to change your way of life completely to eat no animal products, wear no animal products and accept no cruelty (as I did very late in my life – the day I turned 53!), it brings about a whole new set of worries.
I must firstly add though that I absolutely love the change I made to becoming vegan as I love all the food that I eat and wish that I had done it years ago. My vegan son was my inspiration as I watched him change from a very normal teenager who used to eat bucketloads of chicken nuggets with his friends, to a sensitive university student who showed me that this new way of life was the way for our future.
Once we embrace this way of life however, we become acutely aware of the harm that man has inflicted on animals and with most of us being empaths, this becomes an enormous worry. We are by no means a perfect family – 3 of us are vegan, one is vegetarian and 2 of us still eat meat so I do have to still buy and prepare animal products, but I feel we are as a family at least making a small difference.
Having Ruff vegan and knowing how much he loves his food; and by promoting plant-based feeding in dogs, I do feel at peace that I am doing my best as a vet in promoting the health of so many dogs, but equally in promoting the health of the planet. Being a Mum gives me an overwhelming drive to protect and cherish what we have as nature is what nurtures all of us.
I worry about the decline in insects and birds and every morning, I wake up and listen out for the morning chorus and just hope that it never diminishes. The overuse of flea and worming treatment as a vet worries me more than anything as corporatisation takes hold of veterinary practices and these rolling ‘machines’ run on the profit that is made from the sale of medication and flea prevention with most practices having practice health plans that hand out monthly ‘blanket’ flea and worm treatment.
For years and years I have dispensed and recommended flea drops and various flea treatments as they become available without a thought to the natural world and how devastating it is to our insects just so that we can satisfy our worry that our pets may be carrying fleas. Rosemary Perkins has written such a comprehensive and needed article highlighting the need for us to change as vets and pet owners. Fipronil is the active ingredient in Frontline (which is used without a thought and advertised blatantly on our screens); and Imidacloprid is the active ingredient in spot-one such as Advocate and Bob Martin flea drops and it is so damaging to our natural environment.
So without even including the worry I feel about industrial animal farming causing the next major pandemic with the overuse of antibiotics and squalid living conditions of these poor animals passing on the viruses that they are most likely to catch; I do worry as a vegan vet!
The only way that I find peace and happiness is like all of us; to concentrate on what we can control and just do our best. We need to look after our health and protect ourselves as best we can with sustainable plant-based food that is known to be best for our gut flora and our immunity and the same goes for our pets.
Nature is my ‘mindfulness’ that eases the burden of worry and my morning runs on the edge of our little town that take me past fields and animals and trees nourishes my soul. I used to share in my runs with our darling Labrador who was passed away last year, and I still see her running ahead of me and turning to check I am still there as she used to before sniffing in the hedgerows – such happy memories. Our mental health is as important as our physical health and that is where our dogs come in to fill this role and provide us with a daily routine, a reason to get up and share in their love of life and their love of us.
We asked the top vet oncologist in the country and owner of gorgeous labrador Jumble for her opinion on whether a vegan diet could protect our dogs from cancer
Owners deserve to be treated too, so any orders placed during September will receive a free pack of our NO WHEY PROTEIN SHAKE POWDER!
Here is a day in my life to share what it is like to be a vet coping with the changes of how the pandemic has shaped a new way of being a small animal vet
We are so proud to say that our little unit that we hire to hold all the wonderful VEGDOG food and supplement that we import, is owned by none other than the wonderful and very dignified Gary Wilks
Only by convincing vets that it is the way forward, will we together have any success as plant-based feeders of ensuring that it becomes a very viable and superior option to feeding our dogs
We have a simple solution when home-cooking for giant breed dogs
What can I add to my dog’s food to encourage him to eat a plant-based diet?
We recommend these Omega 3 capsules above the other brands as they …..
Gradual changes allow the appropriate changes of digestive enzymes and intestinal microbiome
The advice given by our vet nutritionist is NOT to use apple cider vinegar as once it is cooked…
Itchy, painful ears can affect your dog’s quality of life quite significantly
For the first time in the UK, personalised plant-based balanced homemade recipes specific to your dog