Vegan Dog Lives to 189 Years
Have you heard about the veggie-eating dog who lived to the ripe age of 27? That's 189 dog years!
The dog, Bramble, a blue merle Collie, lived in the UK and held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living dog at the time.
She ate once a day and exercised a lot.
The owner of the dog, Anne Heritage, was a vegan herself. She just fed Bramble a big bowl of vegan dinner every evening. She explains that Bramble "is an inspiration and [he] just goes to show that if you eat the right things and keep on exercising you can extend your life".
Seven Human Years for Every One Dog Year
The age of 189 years comes from the common usage of counting 7 human years for every one dog year. This method is sometimes debated, but any way you count it - Bramble lived a long life.
There have been long living non-vegetarian dogs also. For example, an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey who lived to 29 years and five months old.
Aren't dogs carnivores?
Some experts say that dogs are scavenging carnivores, meaning they are naturally meat eaters but can sustain themselves on other protein sources.
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Other experts say that dogs are omnivores, animals that can live on a diet composed of meat, fruits and vegetables. Their systems are capable of digesting and combining various forms of proteins in just the same way a human's system can. Everyone agrees that cats are different. Cats really are complete carnivores.
Experts say if you are thinking of switching your dog's diet to vegetarian, it's best for their health if you start young. That way, there's no need for their bodies to adjust. The people who do this are usually vegetarians or vegans themselves. You might be a vegetarian for health reasons, for humane reasons or for environmental reasons. A medium sized meat-eating dog, for example, has more of an environmental impact than a gas guzzling SUV due to the amount of land and water that meat production requires.
I'm not an expert on dogs but I do know we have tested a small sampling of them with our Vital Health Testing. This testing, which normally tests humans, has also been used by concerned pet owners. Vegetarian dogs did NOT test as protein-deficient, even when tested alongside meat-eating dogs.
This story or information does not prove your dog SHOULD be vegetarian. It does show that dogs CAN thrive on such a diet.
What About Humans & Vegetarian Diets?
A major portion of the world population lives quite nicely on a vegetarian diet much like Bramble's, especially when you consider Bramble's dinners mostly consisted of rice, beans and vegetables. That's exactly what has sustained most Asian cultures for centuries.
RELATED: Can't Change the Facts: Cats Need Meat
At Real Food For Life, we don't say that everyone has to be vegetarian or vegan, but many people would be healthier eating less meat, or eating meat with better combinations of other foods. We TEACH people how to plan and prepare exactly such a meal as Bramble's in our weekend web BootCamps. Sometimes the focus is on alkaline balance, sometimes weight loss and sometimes gluten-free cooking.
Carnivores traditionally live the shortest lives across the board in nature. Vegetarians like whales, tortoises and clams outlive many of their meat-eating neighbors. If you look at a dog's teeth structure, the jaw structure and the digestion system of a dog, it's pretty clear that dogs are more physically adapted to eating meat than humans.
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If humans are more suited to a vegetarian diet, there is a very good possibility humans can live long and healthy lives eating LOTS of vegetables and fruits. We encourage you to do so!
If a dog can live 189 years, maybe you can too?
Are YOU a vegetarian? Is your dog?
Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington of Real Food For Life.