In the world of plant-based pet nutrition, we often say “Nutrients, not ingredients!” True indeed, but the right choice of ingredients can also play a big part for your vegan beast’s well-being. Many pet foods contain cheap fillers like GMO corn and meat unfit for human consumption, a.k.a. slaughterhouse waste. (Yuck!) These base ingredients may contain minerals and macros like protein and fibre, but are they really ideal for your kitty or doggo? Not sure.
We’d like to say props to brands like Benevo and Evolution for creating vegan pet foods that not only contain essential nutrients like taurine, iron and L-carnitine, but are also made from high-quality and sustainable base ingredients. We’re vegan, so we can’t help it but carefully read each ingredient label before choosing a product… even if it’s for our pets!
This month, we’d like to do a deep dive on our favourite ingredients used in Benevo, Evolution and VGRRR pet foods. Since they’re full of proteins, healthy fats and essential vitamins, these ingredients tick all our boxes for optimal pet nutrition! And they’re all planet-friendly. According to a study by UCLA, pets are responsible for 25-30% of America’s carbon footprint… this is mostly due to meat-based diets! (1)
- Whole peas. Ah, the humble green pea. It’s been a staple food for centuries, and now we’re discovering its benefits as little protein powerhouses for humans. But did you know peas are just as beneficial for pets? They’re an excellent source of carbohydrates, fibre, protein, and many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids required by dogs. They’re also a sustainable crop—bonus points for reducing carbon emissions! (2)
- Flax seeds. A vegan must-have for omega 3 intake, flax seeds are also quite beneficial for our furry friends. If your pet has dandruff, a dull coat or is prone to shedding, he or she may be lacking omega 3. Try feeding your little beast a kibble with added flax seeds, such as VGRRR Melange Gourmet. Flax seeds also have immune-boosting properties and support canines’ mental health. (3) Sustainability note: flax seeds are often grown in Canada, close to home, which reduces transport-related carbon emissions.
- Corn. It gets a bad rap for being a cheap filler in commercial pet foods, but high-quality and non-GMO corn is a whole other story. This digestible and readily available grain contains essential fatty acids, which help with the health of the skin and coat. It also provides carotene (vitamin A), vitamin E, and lutein for eye sight. Also, by choosing a kibble with non-GMO corn for your cat or dog, you vote with your dollar for a world without dangerous herbicides like RoundUp. (4)
- Duckweed. We saved the best for last! Also known as water lentil, duckweed is the new plant superfood in town. It’s an aquatic plant that easily rivals kale, spirulina and moringa in terms of nutritional value. Did you also know duckweed is one of the only proven plant sources of vitamin B12? It’s also composed of 45% protein, which makes it ideal for omnivore or carnivore pets. (5)
Please let us know in the comments if you enjoyed reading about the ingredients used in VGRRR’s plant-based kibbles. As always, we’d like to remind you to always choose a veterinarian-formulated pet food, rather than feeding your cat or dog peas and corn.
Stay healthy, VGRRR family!