We love working with like-minded individuals with a passion for animals, which is why Chris at The Vegan Zombie and his pup Indy are two of our fave social media partners. Check out the interview below to learn about Chris's path to veganism and why he chose a vegan diet for Indy.
What made you go vegan?
When I was 14 I was really into martial arts and one of my best friends had a family friend that practiced the art of ninjutsu. He was in town and decided to talk to me about it. Over the next year or so a couple friends and I would train with him when he was in town. One day before we went out for training, he told us about the ancient Buddhists who were predominantly vegetarian. He had with him some green tea and two things I had never heard of before. Tabbouleh and tofu. I was excited to try them because if this is how the ancient ninjas lived, I wanted to do the same. I stopped eating meat overnight and began the journey. Not knowing any other vegetarians other than those two friends, we began reading labels and learning to cook our own meals. I had always been an animal lover and over the next few years I learned enough about the dairy industry to not want anything to do with it. At that point, I no longer considered any animal products to be food and chose a vegan lifestyle.
How did The Vegan Zombie start?
I was a special investigator and I hated my job. I was driving the back-roads of upstate New York for work and started thinking about how bad it sounded to me to continue my job until retirement. So I began thinking of all the things I loved and then how I could create something out of them. I have loved making videos and little movies with my friends and family since I was little. I especially loved horror movies and I have been vegan for over half my life. It didn't take long to come up with the concept of The Vegan Zombie. My idea was for a zombie movie with a vegan twist. The meat and dairy that people were eating was the cause of the zombie infection. I went home and took a pencil and paper and wrote a script. To practice video editing and visual effects i decided to start a vegan cooking show that was set in the zombie apocalypse. At the time there were no vegan cooking shows on YouTube so I made one. My goal was to make it fun, exciting and entertaining all while promoting my vegan recipes. I recruited my good friend Jon to be the host of the show and the rest is history.
What first prompted you to switch Indy the pup to a vegan diet?
Indy had parvo virus when I adopted him. If he stayed where he was he wouldn't be with us today. I took him to the vet hours after I got him and the vet told me that we had two options. He could go home with me and I could try and make his as comfortable as possible and he would die within a few days or we could put him in intensive care 24/7 and they could do their best but that he still didn't have a very good chance to survive. They said it would be pretty expensive. I only just met Indy less than 24 hours earlier but I wanted him to have the best chance at life that he could get. He went and stayed at the IC. A week and thousands of dollars later he pulled through. He survived the killer virus but it did some major damage to his digestive system so I had to continue to bring him to the vet 2-3 times a week for about a month and then about twice a month after that for the next year. The vets had him on several medicines and vet prescribed formulas. There was no change in his digestion. Lets just say that when he went to the bathroom it was never solid. When he turned one, I transitioned him to a vegan formula and he got better immediately. His digestion was better but he would get rashes regularly that he would bite at. We tried a few different vegan formulas over the next few years before we tried V-dog. Once he started on the premium, hypo-allergenic kibble, everything cleared up. He was the healthiest he had ever been. No more rashes, he didn't smell bad, as far as dogs go, and his digestion was perfect. The vets agreed that he is now super healthy and to continue with his routine. He loves his food and his breathbones and treats. He is a little over 100lbs and he's very energetic, smart and happy.
What has been the best part of feeding Indy vegan?
The best part is knowing that everything Indy is eating is cruelty-free and of course vegan. I love that Indy is very happy, healthy pup and not sick anymore.
What would you say to people who are unsure about feeding their dog a diet like v-dog?
I always say that a proper plant based diet is a very nutritional and healthy diet for a dog. One of the oldest living dogs in the world lived to 25 years on a vegan diet. V-dog is a premium food that has all the nutrients that a dog need to thrive. There are a lot of scientific facts to support this, and of course I tell them about Indy.
All photos credited to @TheVeganZombie on Insta. Follow him for amazing vegan food and dog pics!
V-dog is proud to be vegan owned & operated. Our team is full pet parents who want the best for our pups. Learn more.