By Xi Soy
An increasing number of wild, carnivorous animals are giving up meat and adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet, according to wildlife biologists and wilderness veterinarians.
“We’re noticing that some classic flesh-eaters — real hunters and scavengers such as wolves, lions and hyenas — are avoiding meat and turning to a plant-based diet,” said Carolyn Miso, a vegan survivalist and expert in edible soils at the University of Minnesota. “On a recent trip to the Serengeti we saw two hyenas ignore a fresh cheetah carcass and continue foraging for berries, leaves and whole grains.”
An American veterinarian who last year moved his practice to rural Borneo has witnessed a leopard chasing prey and then, upon catching it — in this case a jackal — patting it on the behind and letting it go.
“I’d never seen anything like it. The leopard then wandered off and ate a meal of twigs, various mosses, and some local vegetables,” said Dr. Alex Tofutti, whose wife and five children refused to move with him to the wilds of Borneo from their suburban home near Dallas. “Not only leopards but many of the big feline carnivores — lions, tigers, cougars — are changing their lifestyles and searching for a path to Total Health. This usually involves switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet.”