Most conventional pet food contains an ingredient called “meat meal,” an undesirable mix of who-knows-what from a range of different mammals—the specifics are not disclosed, but it’s a blend of things that are not allowed to be sold for human consumption. If our pets are looked at as members of the family, why are they dining on food that is not rendered safe for consumption? And if we’re demanding 100% transparency in the food that humans are eating, why wouldn’t we demand the same for our pets?
It didn’t take long for Amanda Rolat to ask these questions and more after adopting a vegan diet herself. She began experimenting in her kitchen and brought on board-certified veterinary nutritionists to help develop the recipes that would set the groundwork for her plant-based dog food company Bramble (named after the border collie, Bramble, who lived until 25 years old on a fresh vegan diet). Yes, studies have been done to demonstrate the health benefits, and with more vegan pet foods hitting the market, the research is only expected to continue. From an environmental perspective, the vision is quite clear: we’ve been talking about the harmful effects of industrial animal agriculture in relation to the meals that make up our dinner plate; the same is true for what’s going into our pet’s bowls.
What first inspired you to move toward plant-based living?
Animals! I think people first become drawn to plant-based living for one of three reasons: health, environment or animals. For me, it was very much because of my love for animals, and when I finally stopped ignoring what animals experience for our food, I could no longer eat the same way. It was still a rather gradual process for me, where I stopped eating some animal foods, but I truly believe that once the shift begins, you see how great it is. I love eating and cooking now more than ever. I can also eat more and feel great afterwards. I wish more people would reduce their consumption of animal foods, and see what a difference it makes.
How did you develop your recipes for Bramble?
I began crafting plant-based recipes for my dogs in my own kitchen, researching what foods dogs find appealing. Then I worked with board-certified veterinary nutritionists to bring them to life. It was important to me that Bramble’s plant-based protein blend was made to provide all the same savory tastes and textures that are found in traditional fresh dog food, while providing optimal nutrients and protein levels.
We conducted a feeding trial with the leading animal health department at the University of Illinois. The results, which were peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Animal Science, determined Bramble’s protein is just as highly digestible as animal protein. And, dogs fed Bramble had lower cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as healthier microbiomes!
Can you tell us about the breakdown of your product regarding protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids—what is the source for each?
- Protein source: Organic Pea Protein, Lentil
- Vitamins, Minerals, and Essential Fatty Acids from various organic and natural sources including flax oil, sweet potato, carrots and more
- Full ingredient list: Organic Pea Protein, Lentil, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Flax Oil, Peas, Apples, Malt Extract, Potato Starch, Nutrient Mix [Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, L-Methionine, Tricalcium Phosphate, Taurine] Vitamins [D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin E Supplement, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D2 Supplement], Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Selenium Yeast], Nutritional Yeast, Caramel Color, Tricalcium Phophate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Magnesium, Salt
- Protein Source: Organic Pea Protein, Garbanzo Beans
- Vitamins, Minerals, and Essential Fatty Acids from sources such as brown rice, blueberries, butternut squash and more
- Full ingredient list: Organic Pea Protein, Long Grain Brown Rice, Potato, Garbanzo Beans, Carrots, Organic Sunflower Oil, Peas, Butternut Squash, Blueberries, Malt Extract, Potato Starch, Nutrient Mix [Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, L-Methionine, Tricalcium Phosphate, Taurine] Vitamins [D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin E Supplement, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D2 Supplement], Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Selenium Yeast], Nutritional Yeast, Tricalcium Phophate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Magnesium, Salt
Where do you get your ingredients from?
All of our human-grade ingredients are carefully sourced in the U.S., ensuring top quality and traceability.
What are the proven health benefits of feeding dogs a vegan diet? Have you noticed a difference in your own pets?
Fresh, non-processed food is extremely beneficial for pets. Bramble’s protein is as digestible as animal protein, while our fat content is even more digestible (94%, which is very high). Our feeding trial showed that dogs on a Bramble diet had lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, as well as healthier microbiomes compared to those fed traditional meat-based food.
As for my own dogs, the reason I believe in Bramble so wholeheartedly is because I truly see the difference in my dogs. I have two large dogs that are now 12 and 13 years old, and their vets always remark how healthy they are. At our last appointment, my primary vet said that my older dog “is not what you typically see at 13.” I completely credit this to their diet.
How strict are the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials?
The standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials are quite rigorous and serve as a benchmark for pet food quality and safety.
Do you plan on making food for other pets like cats?
We’re focused on expanding our offerings in the dog food space, introducing new recipes, and launching some exciting new products soon!
What makes Bramble different from other vegan pet foods on the market?
Bramble proudly stands as the first and only 100% plant-based, fresh food for dogs and the only vegan pet food company to have done a feeding trial measuring the digestibility of plant-based protein vs. animal-based protein. Bramble is setting a new standard in pet nourishment and care.