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by Susan Hubble Pitcairn
Sedona news (Jul 14, 2021) Did you know that changing the way you feed your dog (and yourself) is possibly the most important thing you can do to save our planet?
That’s because it takes a tremendous amount of meat and other animal products to meet Americans’ current needs and, amazingly, roughly 25% of it is fed to our dogs and cats. In fact, if our pets were a nation, they would be number 5 in the amount of animal products they eat.
Unfortunately, this is only possible (for now) because almost everything is based on the cruel and dismal efficiency of factory farming and fishing. There is simply not enough pasture to produce meat, eggs and dairy products in a more humane way. Yet even with this harsh reality, animal diets still use 10 to 20 times more water, land, fertilizer and fuel than getting the same nutrients directly from plants.
Partly because of our growing numbers, but mostly because of our thoughtless daily food choices, we are rapidly consuming the abundance of the earth. If we continue like this, experts warn that we:
- lose important aquifers and the Amazon rainforest within 10 to 30 years,
- see fishless oceans by 2048 and
- destroy all of our topsoil by 2100.
In addition, methane from farm animals is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, but is quickly reversible, while runoff from factory farms and farmland creates huge dead zones in the ocean.
Over a billion people now suffer or die from a lack of food.
Okay, that’s the bad news. But the good news is amazing. Together we can save our beautiful gem of a planet and each other, not just through recycling, less driving and solar energy, but much more by simply choosing healthy, tasty plant-based food, both for our dogs and for ourselves. It costs nothing and the benefits are enormous and immediate:
Let’s look at some numbers, starting with what people eat. Based on numbers from the movie Cowspiracy and elsewhere, if you or I eat all plant-based foods every day instead of the standard American Diet, we each save about:
- 1100 gallons of water from shrinking aquifers
- 30 square meters of rainforest from destruction for animal breeding
- 45 pounds of grain for hungry people (1 billion or more)
- enough fossil fuel to drive more than 76 miles
- 20 pounds of CO2 equivalents
- and the life of an innocent animal, mostly raised in cramped, dirty cages
This is huge, it adds up tremendously over time (do the math) and I can tell you it feels great.
Now, compare what you would save if a 70-pound dog passed the popular all-raw meat diet. He eats about 1500 calories a day, similar to ours, but about twice as many calories are from animal sources. So if you switched him to a healthy vegan diet, you could save double what was said above. Multiply the savings over a lifetime and it’s a tremendous benefit to our planet and our future.
If you think dogs are carnivores and it just wouldn’t work, hear this. When wolves evolved into domestic dogs long ago, their genes adapted to produce 4-5 times more amylase to digest the starchy grains and beans from which they were first eaten and later fed by early human farmers. Look up Wikipedia (History of Dog Food) and it turns out the ancient Greeks advised that the optimal diet for dogs was mostly beans and barley with some leftovers from the stew. Likewise, many people today find that their beloved dogs not only get along, but actually improve their health significantly when switched to a well-planned, 100% plant-based diet, much like Bramble, a Welsh border collie, who is 26 years old has been.
Why? Probably because of its much lower exposure to environmental toxins, which accumulate much more in the fats of animals in meat, eggs and dairy products, which are also naturally more flammable.
Such a shift is also a new way of understanding the meanings of “holistic” and “natural” in order to consider the greatest good of all and nature. That means all life in its interconnected beauty. So let’s sit down with our animal friends and join forces for a brighter and better world.
To see how Bramble was fed and to download a number of sample recipes from our classic bestselling dog and cat natural health bestseller, simply search for the term “Susan Pitcairn Diet Handouts.” There you will find this PDF as well as a great two-page handout with expert tips and recipes for choosing a whole plant-based diet for you and your family:
Susan Pitcairn is an expert on canine health and alternative healing practices.
- Co-author of Rodale’s classic Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
- Award-winning Sedona painter in Sedona’s Best Artists by Louise MacDonald
- Environmental, social and spiritual activist and educator
- Blog and Art at SusanPitcairn.com
- Susan Pitcairn’s channel on YouTube and Rumble.com