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.
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.
Can’t thank you enough as Billy is now 31.6kgs ( a loss of 6 kgs!)
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The most reassuring was to finish the TV clip with an interview with our wonderful Prof Andrew Knight
We are so passionate about plant-based feeding in dogs, that we want to support you and hopefully make it affordable for you