Fake news has been the talk of the town these few weeks in Singapore. With the government reviewing its laws on the topic and how to tackle these issues. As this author puts it “Fake news hinders people’s ability to make informed decisions, potentially causing them to act on false information”
Today’s article is not so much about fake news, but mis-information available online and even on print media that could potentially influence pet owners to make wrong health decisions for their pets.
I came across an old copy of a local (Singapore) print pet magazine awhile back. Several pages in (page 20 of a total of 100 pages), I came across an article regarding feline core vaccinations and approx. 30% of the content in the article was not applicable to Singapore’s context and some components of the core feline vaccines were missed out in the article.
Several pages down, I came across an article that promoted Veganism in cats. This article sparked a rage in me. I immediately sent an email to the editor, took pictures of the article and had it sent to several of my vet friends (all of whom resulted in similar outrage).
This was on PRINT MEDIA. This magazine claimed to be the “Singapore’s best selling pets magazine” and yet it contained an article on how to make your cat vegan.
To ALL cat owners out there- Cats are OBLIGATE CARNIVORES. They MUST HAVE animal protein to survive and thrive. **
Let’s not talk about Dr Google and all the other online sites/forums that contain false information- it’s easy for people to hide behind a computer and blurt out a slew of rubbish. But this was a paid print magazine by a supposed reputable company and I personally think that it is extremely dangerous for a company that has such reach to the mass public to publish such unfounded information.
In this internet age where almost anything and everything (both fact, fiction, pseudo-facts) can be found online, clients/ consumers need to be extremely discerning of the content they are being provided with.
I do not deny that there MAY be some cats in this world that are on a vegan/ vegetarian diet that are doing alright. However please do not forget that this is just a small handful /percentage of cats in population of several billion cats. Long term research on these vegan cats have not yet been established.
In addition, there have been far more reports and cases of animals suffering from nutritional deficiencies and medical conditions that we vets see that aren’t documented in those research supporting such alternative diet choices.
Please do not get me wrong, I’m not telling YOU (human) how to lead your life. I’m all for YOU pursuing YOUR alternative lifestyle. In fact I AM trying to understand more (beyond commercial pet diet) and as such am doing my Natural Animal Nutrition continuing studies.
However it is my opinion that pet owners who are currently imposing these diets on their pets are taking unnecessary chances with the health and wellbeing of the animals they love.
P.S: the editor of the magazine never got back to me