When the crowd thins, Whitney Lauritsen springs 1-year-old Evie, a Jack Russell Terrier, from her leash and watches the sprightly pup bounce across the sands of Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Her coat shines. Her legs fly. She greets new friends, and it's impossible for them to know that the spunky pup thrives on a diet that's never included meat.
"She's been very healthy," Lauritsen says. "I mean, nobody can tell she's a vegan dog."
A vegetarian diet excludes all red meat, pork, poultry, and fish. Some diets, known as lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, include eggs and dairy. Vegans avoid animal products entirely, including things like honey, leather, and gelatin. The proteins in vegan and vegetarian kibbles are derived from plant-based sources like wheat, soy, quinoa, com, oats, and legumes. "If I was going to have a dog, she needed to live the same lifestyle as I do, for ethical reasons and health reasons," Lauritsen says. Like many owners who choose a meatless diet for themselves, Lauritsen says it's also worth the expense of premium vegan kibble and the trouble of carefully monitoring the dog's health to raise her furry friend on plant-based food.