by Rebecca Carter
Categories: Animals, Contests, Print.

Celebrities are often fanatical about there pets – as we all are. These furry little bundles of energy and love are one of the family. So when you and your family decide to go eco-friendly, your pets should. too!

Animal activist Alicia Silverstone is a dog-lover, an takes her little babies everywhere, including the Genesis Awards. Alicia is a vegan and so are her pups. She told Redbook about her dog Samson, “Sometimes when I only give him salad, he gives me this longing look, so I cut up other stuff and mix it in.” Other stuff, however, still falls into the veggie realm.

Giving “human food” to pets now often seems like a strange idea, though we’ve only started giving cats and dogs commercially produced food in the last 100 years or so. And domesticated animals have been around for a long time: about 15,000 years for dogs and 4,000 years for cats. So this whole “buying pet food” thing is really just a drop in the bucket in terms of history.

That’s just one of the things that I learned through Pet Food Nation, a new book by Joan Weiskopf. She’ll tell you how to make your own pet food, or if you don’t have time, how to supplement commercial food with a little bit of homemade extras. She wouldn’t be happy with Alicia, however. Weiskopf isn’t a fan of vegan/vegetarian diets for pets. She writes, “It is not a good idea to impose your vegan ways on any carnivore; soy products are not well digested by dog and can cause bloating.” The author also does not recommend a raw food diet for pets.

Eco-Me Dog & Cat Kits

In addition to giving your pets delicious and nutritious food, you can help them go eco, too! We just received some kits from Eco-Me that are perfect for this. We always hear that we can clean our house with vinegar, that we can moisturize with olive oil, and more. But how often do we do it? Eco-Me has created “make it yourself” kits for Home, Body, Baby, and of course, Cats, and Dogs.

With the dog kit, you’ll be able to make a flea & bug spray, dry powder shampoo, and dog biscuits. You’ll also receive doggie wipes and biodegradable poo-poo bags. With the cat kit, you’ll be able to grow cat grass, make litter freshener, and flea & bug spray. Plus, an organic catnip pillow is included.

WIN IT

So, want to bring your pet to the top of the green class? We’ll get 2 readers started off right! We’ve got one copy of the book Pet Food Nation, one Eco-Me Dog Kit, and one Eco-Me Cat Kit. And we’re giving ‘em away!

This time we’re going to try something different! To enter to win, post a picture of your pet in our Pets of Ecorazzi.com Fans Flickr Group. Then, come back to this post and comment, letting us know why your pet is the best (and your Flickr username so we can check out the cutie)! We’ll run this contest through August 24, 2007…so make sure you add your best friend to our group soon! US Mailing address required for shipping. Must be 18 or older to enter.

About Rebecca Carter

Rebecca Carter is the Co-Founder of Ecorazzi. Rebecca was recently featured in the book Hot, Rich, and Green. She is one of 70 eco-achievers featured in Glamour magazine in April 2009, named Best of Green 2010 by Miami Magazine and Best Environmentalist by Miami New Times Best of 2008. She's raising a couple of little boys in Miami and speaks English & Spanish. Find out more at www.RebeccaCarter.net. Follow Rebecca on Twitter: @rebeccacarter

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  • http://www.ambrosiaempire.com/vegan/blogs.html Miami Vegan

    I love Alicia. Cool contest. Since I know you personally, I don’t think I should enter the contest …

    Oh well… ;-)

  • http://sustainablyraw.com Suzy Sikora

    Our vegan kids, both ten years old, were rescued when they were pups. :) Jordan (a Gordon Setter mix) and Israel (a Rott/Chow mix) are step-brother/sister, both vegan since coming home with us in ’97/’98, and they love raw veggie treats! Jordan prefers raw yam chips, while Israel’s favorite is raw broccoli.
    Our wonderful doggy-nanny says people can’t believe her when she tells them our kids love to eat their veggies!

  • J

    “It is not a good idea to impose your vegan ways on any carnivore”…

    I’ve felt this way too. Even humans, as omnivores have trouble digesting some veggies (ex. gas). I can’t justify feeding a cat all vegan food- I mean, they’ve evolved this digestive system for thousands of years and we’re gonna mess with it- Could this be human arrogance?

    But I totally understand wanting your pet to be vegan, it’d be great if no one had to kill someone for their diet. It’s just not fair to an animal to go against his/her evolution.

  • Andrew

    It really is not fair to a dog or cat to impose your dietary choices on them, especially when dog and cat livers produce all the vitamins they would need from sources outside of meat. A veggie treat isn’t bad, but dogs and cats need meat to live a healthy life. If you want to be more natural, buy organic, or give them the MOST natural diet by feeding them raw meat itself, but I know many veggies would get pretty squimish at that. :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/buttergood Rick [brand new eyes]

    HI! my name is rick, and i have 2 cool catz. I have an older, cat, kitty [a 12 year old russian blue] and a recent addition to my family is this tiny black kitten, baby. unfortunately, since this picture, my baby has gotten mange in her ears. although kitty and baby don’t really get along, it would be nice if they could both be pampered in style with this really nice kit. i, myself am a raw vegan, and though i try to not give much human or raw food to my cats, i would love for them to earn these treats!
    thank you very much for your time!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/buttergood/866694883/

  • http://cokanesbloggery.blogspot.com cokane

    Agreed that it just ain’t right to try to make a cat or dog vegan. I attempted this at the height of my vegan extremity; I made dry cat food for my cat and she was not having it at all. Why should she eat these bread-like pellets that don’t taste like anything cats eat? But I was still putting a vitamin supplement into a can of Tuno (soy tuna) and she seemed OK with that. Then my vet talked sense into me and now I just buy the natural cat food. Come on, don’t be ridiculous. Also think of the time/money/effort you spend making or obtaining this veggie pet food; it could be put to better use.

  • D.H.

    My recently adopted shelter pup has been vegan/vegetarian for roughly 6 months now. Before my months of research and consultations with holistic veterinarians and nutritionists, I would have NEVER thought to even THINK about putting my dog on a veggie diet. NEVER. Right after I got him, I put him on one of the best(and slightly costly) high-protein, organic diet. I thought he was getting the best diet–no by products, lots of meat, no grain, all organic, etc. BUT, after days of eating, he began losing hair(not excessively but more than usual), his breath STUNK, he had horrible gas, and he had large volumes of stool. So, after months of research, I’ve placed him on an organic, veggie diet. He rotates around 3 brands of veggie, dry kibble and is also supplemented with nutritional yeast, baby food(no onion flavoring), fruits, and ofcourse veggies. His coat is now breathtakingly soft and shiny, his mouth no longer smells AT ALL, and his stool volume has decreased. He is happy, and most of all, healthy. He enjoys playing with his 18 year old vegan Labrador friend, and 16 year old, vegan Basset Hound friend.

  • http://none Pat

    I buy “Nature’s Recipe” vegetarian dog food.

  • Pingback: Man’s best green friend? at Green Girls Global Blog

  • http://www.veggiepets.com Darrell

    We have sold vegetarian pet food to 1000′s of customers in Europe since 2003 and have nothing but good feedback.
    Meeting the animals full nutritional profile is the only requirement and that can be sourced from vegetable, synthetic and mineral sources. But only buy professionally made products.
    As every owner knows, if they don’t like it, they wont eat it, you can’t force them.

  • http://myspace.com/peacelovevegan Gail

    My little guy Thelonious is such a great cat. My sweet dog Cicely died last week, and he has been such a lover boy since then. He has made sure that I receive lots of extra love and affection. It’s as if he knows how deeply my heart is aching, and he’s trying so hard to fill the emptiness there. He’s truly the best! And he thrives on Evolution vegan cat food, supplemented with all the melon, rice, spinach, peas, and other fruits and veggies his heart desires. See his flickr photo from healthyndelicious

  • Bill

    My girlfriend and I are both vegan, but we made the choice to feed our cat all natural cat food that we buy at a local all natural pet food store. We felt it was selfish of us to impose our vegan lifestyle onto an animal that has no choice in the matter and is evolved to be a carnivore. The grains that are in many vegan cat foods are not good for cats and they have trouble digesting them. All natural canned food is the best route to take.

  • http://www.mypet-memorial.net Pet Memorial

    Enjoyed the read! Have bookmarked your site and plan to check back often!

  • Crystal

    I posted a picture of my kitten, Kali! (username vegan-love)
    Then I realized this contest is for U.S citizens only (live in Canada) Opps! But her picture is too cute not to share, hehe :p