Ellen DeGeneres went vegan back in 2008, but it's 2011 that will be remembered as the year she decided to expand her love for the lifestyle. 


Over the past several months, the 53-year-old has launched a website catering to people interested in embracing veganism, as well as making official plans to open a high-end vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. Now, some sites are reporting that Ellen and wife, actress Portia de Rossi, are launching a new line of vegan pet food.


"The couple also are developing a line of vegan pet foods — after discovering a void in the market for people looking to feed their dogs and cats vegan vittles," said the Chicago Sun-Times.


Reaction to the news was tepid, with many outraged simply because putting a cat on a purely vegan diet is fraught with health risks. Even the website VeganCats.com recommends that some owners supplement the vegan cat food they sell with meat varieties from time to time. 


"Unless you are very committed to following the advice outlined on our site by feeding your cat a properly balanced diet as per the information below, we recommend that you mitigate the risk of urinary tract problems by feeding males cats only a 25-75% vegan diet and females a 50-100% vegan diet. Of course, many cats (both make and female) will thrive on a simple vegan diet and never have any complications from urinary tract infections or crystal formations, you need to be prepared to adjust the diet accordingly for cats who may be prone to such issues."

The other interesting bit about this news is that DeGeneres is already the co-owner of an all-natural pet foods brand called Halo. “I can’t tell you how honored I am to be a part of a company that believes in treating your pets as well as you treat yourself,” she said after making the investment announcement in 2008. “Everything about Halo is great. I’ve been using all of their products long before I decided to invest in the company. I attribute my shiny coat to their all-natural supplements.”


Some bloggers wondered if it was Halo that might be releasing the vegan cat food line — and the company instantly tweeted back that it was not involved. “Just to set things straight, Halo is NOT introducing a vegan cat food!," the company wrote. "Cats need animal protein and we are advocates for optimal nutrition for all pets.”


Interestingly, however, the company IS planning to release a vegan dog food, since man's best friend appears to adapt to a plant-based diet reasonably well. So, this may be the scoop that the Chicago Sun-Times was referencing. 


Either way, it appears that for vegan humans and dogs at least, Ellen DeGeneres and Co. will likely have you covered in 2012. Keep those taste buds ready. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Ellen DeGeneres launching vegan pet food brand?
Comedian and wife, Portia de Rossi, reportedly working on venture after discovering a 'void in the market.'