Vegan actor Paul Wesley and his plant-based dog "The Vampire Diaries" star Paul Wesley has invested in a plant-based dog food brand - Media Credit: Paul Wesley/Instagram

Vegan Actor Paul Wesley’s ‘Heart Broke’ After Learning The Truth About Dog Food

"The Vampire Diaries" star Paul Wesley invested in a vegan dog food brand after discovering how the traditional version is made


3 Minutes Read

Vegan actor Paul Wesley, best known for starring in The Vampire Diaries, has said that his “heart broke” after learning about how conventional meat-based dog food is made. 

During an appearance on the Plant Based News (PBN) podcast with Robbie Lockie, Wesley said that he first discovered the truth after seeing a statistic stating that one in two dogs over 10 will die of cancer. 

“I love my dog, he’s like my son,” he said. “What are dogs consuming? They’re consuming processed meat.”

The two then went on to discuss what’s in dog food, with Lockie pointing out that it’s “the worst” kind of meat that’s “scraped off the bottom of the slaughterhouse floor.”

“That to me was jarring,” Wesley said, “And I thought: ‘what can I do to help my dog?’”

Wesley then revealed that he decided to invest in a plant-based dog food company called Wild Earth. He added: “So that’s what I feed him. It just broke my heart, it’s awful.”

Wesley also discussed the issue of speciesism, saying: “My dog has a soul. I see him, he’s very sensitive, we have a connection, we communicate. And dogs. I don’t understand how I could be viewed as a psychopath if I were to eat a dog, and yet if I were to eat a pig I’m just a normal guy. I don’t understand the logic.”

How is dog food made?

Many proponents of “traditional” meat diets for dogs argue that they eat animals in the wild. While this is true, the argument rests on the assumption that pet food you buy in shops is similar to the prey that they catch themselves. 

Dog food, however, is often made from meat that’s deemed unfit for human consumption. 

According to reports, dog food is made from slaughterhouse “waste,” including organs, heads, hooves, beaks, and feet of livestock. 

It has also been claimed that dog food is often made from the “4Ds” of meat: from dead, dying, diseased, and disabled animals.

Some dog food is also said to contain roadkill, as well as grain and corn with high levels of pesticides

Is it safe to feed dogs a vegan diet?

Despite these claims, many people still believe that vegan diets are unsafe for dogs.

When you look at the science, however, it appears that dogs can thrive on plant-based food. 

Earlier this year, the largest study on dog diets to date found that being plant-based was healthier and safer for them than eating traditional meat dog food. 

The study, which was published in the Guardian, looked at the health of more than 2,500 companion dogs. It found that those following vegan diets had less health problems than those who ate meat. Plant-based dogs also visited the vet less. 

Almost half of the meat-eating dogs required non-routine medication, compared to a third of vegan dogs. 

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The Author

Polly Foreman

Polly is the Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. She has been vegan since 2014, and has written extensively on veganism, animal rights, and the environment.

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2 days ago

I do want to feed my dogs vegan as a vegan myself – the trouble is it is sooo expensive . I have tried to buy some for them but can’t afford just that – I have had dogs for decades and they have lived to grand old ages . I rescue cats, chickens and ducks too so I despise feeding the furred ones meat but vegan pet food is soo v expensive as say- make it affordable and I would not think twice

Karen Rubio
1 day ago
Reply to  Denise

My friends make food for their dogs just as they do for themselves. Sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, greens, tofu, other vegetables, the dogs love it all. They’re happy and healthy (and these are big ones – german shorthair pointers, rescued). I think most people can handle making food for their dogs because they’re already cooking for themselves. Good luck!

1 day ago
Reply to  Karen Rubio

Thanks for the info Karen. I’m sure Denise and I aren’t the only dog/pet owners who would like to transition to vegan food. I reluctantly buy Lily’s Kitchen for my dog and have looked into vegan dog food but so far haven’t made the change. One, as pointed out by Denise the cost and two, my dog is 13 years old and I’m worried about changing her diet at an old age. It would be great to have some more information of the best way to transition a dog from a ‘normal’ diet to a vegan one and also some vegan recipes that are cost effective suitable for small and large dogs.

1 day ago
Reply to  Jonas

I totally get it . But cleaning up his diet a little can give you a few years…You can start with adding in cooked peas’ corn meal ‘ …hunting dogs used to live on that stuff cornmeal and buts of meat. Potatoes and Peas carrots and tiny bits of meat…

Fallopia Tuba
Fallopia Tuba
18 hours ago
Reply to  Jonas

I’d say: just do it. I adopted my terrier Corky from a shelter when he was [they said] about two, and had been fed a meat-based diet: he had crusty eyes and stinky breath. I took him home and gave him vegan dog foods including the nationally-available Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance; they make a vegan formula.

I’ve actually never cooked for my dog, but I know there are tons of recipes out there. (As simple as “Rice. Beans. Some greens and supplements.”) I wish I had fed all my dogs a vegan diet!

1 day ago
Reply to  Denise

I have to Fashion vegan food myself cause even buying from farm to table the markets charge me the exact same price for veggies as if I was paying for pork chicken or cow. It’s revolting. And it’s total bs from conglomerates to subsidize the animal product industry. I don’t see any explanation for charging more fir vegan food or veggies shroom sprouts fruits.

Karen Rubio
1 day ago

Thanks for this article! This can go a long way toward helping people realize that feeding their dogs meat is only fueling the whole industrial ag machine. I’ve been dog sitting for 12 years and have had many dog friends die way too soon from cancer and other ailments. Dogs thrive on whole plant foods.

1 day ago

Bravo ..wish more people would be health proactive for all living creatures including themselves.

Veronica N.
Veronica N.
5 hours ago

We have been feeding our dogs human grade food prepared for them at home (not vegan) for many years. My oldest is 13 and she’s had almost no health issues. My youngest is a GSD and she’s had no health problems at all. Not even fleas. Dogs evolved to be our companions, but they are still very much hunters and their teeth and digestive system are set up for that. The reason they die of all these diseases is because they are given processed crap for “food”. Anyone who looks at kibble and thinks that’s ok to feed to a dog over a lifetime is deluding themselves. The key word here is “processed”. Animals, including humans, were not meant to be eating food out of boxes, period. Eating as close to nature as possible via unprocessed foods is best. That goes for dogs as well. While I advocate a plant based diet for humans as we clearly have the ability to thrive from it I am still not sold on it for dogs, and certainly not for cats. But I am open minded and hope to see some more research on this.

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