The Real Reason People Are Criticizing Katy Perry's Announcement That She Is Going Vegan

Katy Perry is on the road to veganism. She announced her goal on Twitter a few days ago: "I'm about 95% ready to be 100% VEGAN." It's not clear why Perry is transitioning to a plant-based diet, whether it's for health reasons, or because she doesn't want to contribute to the animal cruelty or greenhouse-gas emissions found at factory farms (via EcoWatch). Perry did confess last year on Instagram live, early in her pregnancy, that she disliked red meat (via Delish). Whatever the reason, we say more power to Katy Perry in her journey to veganism. Her diet, her choice.

What has the Internet all up in arms about Perry's announcement is that she is bringing someone else with her on her vegan journey: her dog. As the rest of her tweet stated, "... [M]y dog Nugget has been joining me on this journey for the past 4 monthz. Pray for us ok." The tweet kindled a debate about whether dogs should or even could be vegan. Some people insisted it wasn't possible because dogs are omnivores, implying that they should be eating everything, including meat. Others claimed dogs are carnivores, meaning their bodies are only geared to consume meat. You can find compelling arguments on both sides of the carnivore/omnivore debate (via Dogs Naturally and The Wholesome Dog). PETA, of course, chimed in with a comment under Perry's tweet, congratulating her and Nugget both and recommending vegan dog foods.

More studies are needed on vegan diets for dogs

The bottom-line question for Perry and her critics to consider is this: Will a dog's quality of life be just as good, better, or worse if all animal products are kept out of its food dish? Most brands of vegan dog food don't meet the low minimum standards required to be labeled nutritionally adequate (via Wired). So an owner who wants to make their pet dog vegan will need to do some research. And while you can find examples of vegan dogs who stayed healthy and happy well into their old age, there's just not enough science yet on the pros and cons of a vegan canine diet compared to a more standard meat-heavy diet.

Dr. Lisa Freeman is a vegetarian herself, but as a veterinarian she says dogs should eat meat. "We want them to be eating a diet that is nutritionally balanced," she said. "It isn't easy to formulate a high-quality diet for dogs, and it's particularly difficult with a vegan diet" (via The New York Times).

Another veterinarian, Dr. Lorelie Wakefield, says she sees vegan dogs regularly in her practice, and they do fine. "We don't know yet what the healthiest diet is for them, but ethically, for someone who believes in vegan ideals, it makes sense," she told The New York Times.

With no clear answer on the vegan dog debate, Katy Perry's fans — and her dog — will just have to trust her.