by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Lifestyle, Vegan
Tags: , .

Ellen DeGeneres has been making it even easier to go vegan, from her website Going Vegan With Ellen to an upcoming Los Angeles vegan restaurant. Soon, she may be helping your dog and cat go veg too.

DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi are reportedly planning to launch a line of vegan pet foods. According to The West Australian, it’s still unknown when the foods will hit stores and if they will include food for animals other than dogs and cats. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “The couple also are developing a line of vegan pet foods – after discovering a void in the market for people looking to feed their dogs and cats vegan vittles.”

More details as they come!

[Update: It looks like the food will be for dogs only.]

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Caryn

    I am a fan of Ellen’s but this proposal is totally ridiculous if it is true. She needs to talk to animal experts before she embarks on this and she will be told that cats are obligate carnivores and NEED meat in their diets to survive. A cat CANNOT survive on a vegan diet.

    • robin-godfellow

      Dear Caryn,

      what cats and dogs need are nutrients from the animals..if they would live in the wild and would not be cared for by humans.

      Taurin, fatty acids,amino acids, vitamin B12 and D and everything else cats get from animals(not just meat),humans can obtain from non animal sources and add to the food which is adapted to be digested by the short intestines of a carnivore animal.
      Yes, surprisingly humans can derive concentrated protein from plants that is easily digestable because there are no longer hard cell walls around the protein,therefor carnivore animals have no problem digesting it.

      Several protein sources are mixed to get an amino acid profil like the one the choosen animal needs.

      For your information, just look at the ingredientslist of a commercial animal based cat food and you will find a dozen or more things like TAURIN, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are supplemented in the animal based cat food.

      This is done because cats eat normally mice as primary food source and those contain 10 times more taurin than cows or chickens contain.

      Without supplementing the animal based cat food the cats would get blind, get heart problems and die on a MEAT diet because it would be lacking the nutrient profile that mice have.

      Taurin for example that is used by the tons in baby food(because taurin is essential for human babies and cow milk is lacking it) and pet food is won on a purely synthetic way and most other things that are supplemented in animal based pet food are also from non animal sources.

      So is there even one reason why the same supplements that are used for animal based pet food can not also be used in plant based pet foods?

      And yes, those supplements work or millions of animal based foods feed cats would have gone ill and died since the beginning of commercial pet food.

      • Caryn

        Oh and cats are “obligate carnivores” and if you are not familiar with the meaning of this here is the definition for you:-

        “Obligate or true carnivores depend solely on the nutrients found in animal flesh for their survival. While they may consume small amounts of plant material, they lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter and, in fact, some carnivorous mammals eat vegetation specifically as an emetic.

        All felids including the domestic cat are obligate carnivores requiring a diet of primarily animal flesh and organs”.

  • robin-godfellow

    For your information, just look at the ingredientslist of a commercial animal based cat food and you will find a dozen or more things like TAURIN, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are supplemented in the animal based cat food.

    This is done because cats eat normally mice as primary food source and those contain 10 times more taurin than cows or chickens contain.

    Without supplementing the animal based cat food the cats would get blind, get heart problems and die on a MEAT diet because it would be lacking the nutrient profile that mice have.

    Taurin for example that is used by the tons in baby food(because taurin is essential for human babies and cow milk is lacking it) and pet food is won on a purely synthetic way and most other things that are supplemented in animal based pet food are also from non animal sources.

    So is there even one reason why the same supplements that are used for animal based pet food can not also be used in plant based pet foods?

    And yes, those supplements work or millions of animal based foods feed cats would have gone ill and died since the beginning of commercial pet food.

    For anyone who is really interested in getting knowledge about vegan cat food that is on the market since ~30 years, go here

    http://www.vegepet.com/vegetarian_cats.html

    All the horror stories about cats dying on a vegan diet,are cats dying because of stupid owners that didn´t supplement the food the cats got.

    I bet those people either neglected their cats like it happened with the cases of dead(neglected) vegan children whose parents wanted to wriggle out of punishment by blaming the diet.

    Also I think that those horror stories about cats are often sourceless and in the rare cases where people did feed an unsupplemented,lacking diet, the people just wanted to feed their cats cheap and the veterinary approved ready made kibble is not a cheap food, neither is the supplement from vegepets.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000803325223 ChrisnSheila Gredzinski

      That is just rude, Robin! You don’t even know those people, yet you call them stupid? They bought a vegan cat food, and their cat died, but they are stupid for not giving them proper supplement? Supplements that are supposed to be in the food already? Really?

    • Caryn

      It’s dangerous and probably futile to try to feed a cat a vegetarian diet. If denied meat at home cats likely will go hunting for mice and birds and so on. If unsuccessful, they may suffer serious health problems.

      Cats require specialized micronutrients abundant in meat but not readily available from other sources. For example, cats that don’t get enough of the amino acid taurine (only good source: meat) will suffer retinal degeneration and eventual blindness. Other nutrients they obtain primarily or solely from meat include arachidonic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B12, niacin, and thiamine. Cats also require more protein and less fibre than a typical vegetarian diet provides.

      My cats are too important to me to risk their lives by forcing them to adhere to a dietary regime that I may choose for myself, but which they have no say in. I have consulted vets on this matter and they agree on the necessity for a cat to have to have meat in their diets.

      I think I would rather believe the word of a TRAINED veterinarian than that of someone who can’t even spell “taurine”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000803325223 ChrisnSheila Gredzinski

        very informative, Caryn, thank you. most articles and studies I have read have been against veganism for carnivores.
        some animals have survived, and that’s wonderful! too many have died as a result of people pushing their own rights and beliefs on their animals. completely a non-vegan attitude!

  • PIB

    I am vegan and a vegan friend of mine fed her cat a vegan diet, which led to such urinary problems he had to have his penis surgically removed. Not kidding. She runs a sanctuary, so I am sure she was doing all she could to feed the cat a proper vegan diet, but it did not work. They are carnivores, and you cannot change their biology because of your own personal beliefs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000803325223 ChrisnSheila Gredzinski

    Is she still a spokesperson for Cover Girl? not vegan… she needs to make a change or two and learn something about how a vegan diet can harm an animal greatly!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522614371 Holly Meyer-Roberson

      I thought the same thing. She is a vegan, and Covergirl tests on animals. I even made a comment about that on her facebook page, and nothing was ever said to it. I commend her for her work that she does for all the animals, but Covergirl? Really?

  • Trose

    I have to agree with some of the post below. Cats and dog are NOT vegans. They require animal protein. If we feed them strictly veggies, they can develop skin issues such as hot spots, dry flaky skin , dull coat etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000803325223 ChrisnSheila Gredzinski

      and sometimes, they die from a vegan diet. dogs and cats both are carnivorous. look at their teeth. how do some people not get this? thank you Trose :)

  • Carrie M

    my pit bull has been eating vegan food for 7 years now. she’s doing great! there was a vegan dog in the UK i think who was in the guinness book of world records. i think she was 27 years old.

    anyway, my dog eats dick van patten’s natural balance (along with most of the veggies that i cut up for my own dinner.). she’s quite happy with it, and is very healthy.

  • Jess

    Dogs do wonderfully on vegan diets and even thrive, but our cat is not vegan and would never be. Cats are carnivores and need animal flesh. I wonder why Ellen doesn’t just make vegan dog food?

  • JB

    Cats and dogs are designed to eat meat – preferablu raw. Their stomachs are highly acidic and need bones and fats too. their carnivorous teeth and intestines cannot deal with cereals and vegetables in large quantities – This Vegan diet will be a killer…as is convenience kibble…my cat nearly died, so we switched to raw meat and bones, now he is fine and has no unrinary problems

  • WES

    Please note — CATS ARE OBLIGATE CARNIVORES. That means that cats really don’t have any choice about needing to eat meat, and trying to feed your cat veggies in place of meat will kill or disable your cat. Cats quickly develop fatal heart disease and blindness if they don’t get enough raw meat (or cooked meat and amino acid supplements) in their diet. Getting away from standard commercial-fare cat food IS a good idea, since most of it is crap. But do your homework and go slowly. And forget about turning your cat into a vegetarian — it just isn’t possible. Unlike dogs and humans, cats are unable to produce taurine (which is available in raw heart and muscle meats) and a deficiency of taurine will kill or blind your cat quickly. The heart condition is reversible if caught in time, but the blindness is not.