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.