Sir Lewis Hamilton has been ridiculed for taking his dog, Roscoe, on a private jet.
Hamilton is a strong advocate for animal welfare and the environment, and as such put his dog, Roscoe, on a vegan diet.
Good Morning Britain (GMB) presenter Richard Bacon poked fun at Hamilton during the show.
He presented a photo of Roscoe with a plate of fruit – indicating the vegan diet he is currently on – and he jovially described the fact that the picture was taken on a private jet.
“Lewis Hamilton I’m sure you’ll agree has set a wonderful example his dog is vegan,” he said, mockingly.
“He’s taken a photo of his dog with a plate of fruit on a private jet. On a private jet. Doing an enormous amount for the environment,” said an amused Bacon.
“Maybe they cancel each other somehow,” he joked.
Bacon and co-presenter Susanna Reid invited dog trainer Jamie Penrith onto the show, and asked him for his thoughts on Roscoe’s meatless eating routine.
“The first thing you need to ask yourself when you’re considering anything for your dog that involves a significant change, your title is whether or not it’s cruel, the question is whether it’s necessary,” explained Penrith.
He questioned whether putting a dog on a vegan diet really serves any purpose.
“When you’re determining the necessity of a thing in relation to animal welfare then what you’re asking yourself is, does what I’m about to do enhance the state of affairs for this animal?” he added.
Richard replied: “Animal welfare works two ways. There are those people who are vegan for the environment and there are those who are vegan because they don’t want animals to be killed.
“You’ve got to kill a cow or a pig to feed a dog a meat diet so which version of animal welfare are we looking at?”
Penrith responded: “If we’re talking about a dog, a dog is a predator. My entire professional life is about assisting people with controlling predation in dogs.”
He commented that a dog’s natural instinct is to eat meat, not vegetables, and he is therefore uneasy with the idea of completely removing meat from a dog’s diet.
“Dogs go out every year and attack 15 to 30,000 sheep plus other animals they don’t chase after broccoli or root vegetables.”
Dog owner Charlene McQuoid-Guess is a vegan herself, and, speaking on the show, she explained that she has put her three dogs on a new vegan diet.
While she was keen to improve their eating habits, she assures that she would have reverted back to the original plan had it started to adversely affect their health.
“I’m vegan myself and I researched if I could feed my dogs a vegan diet. Their health is the number one priority for me if I felt they weren’t thriving in anyway or didn’t like it I would have swapped it immediately.
“But they all thrived and after research I found dogs are omnivores like us,” she added.
McQuoid-Guess then highlighted the main improvement she has noted since she switched up her dogs’ diet.
“One of my dogs his coat has really improved. With any change in diet it’s important to do it slowly I did it over the course of a couple of weeks.”
CBBC vet Rory Cowlam also chimed in on the debate, and is totally unconvinced by the idea of putting a dog on a meat-free diet.
“I don’t think there’s enough evidence to support a full vegan diet for a dog.
“However, if we are wanting dogs to be better for the environment we know eating meat is bad for the environment so why don’t we reduce the amount of meat in their diet?” suggested Cowlam.
Hamilton finished runner-up in the Formula 1 championship in 2021 after Max Verstappen claimed his first title at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in controversial fashion.