Sonia Sae, the prominent Barcelona-based vlogger, has a successful career rooted in portraying herself as an animal right activist with a passion for vegan living. Her videos encourage her followers to make a change and embrace the forward-thinking lifestyle, but recently she's come under fire for her own treatment of her pet fennec fox Jumanji. Jumanji was apparently rescued from a breeder back in 2014 and has lives with Sonia ever since, where she feeds him a careful diet of vegan cat food. Fennec foxes, which are classified as mostly carnivorous and in the wild they would live on a diet of small animals and insects, supplemented with eggs or fruit. Sonia's decision to raise Jumanji with a vegan diet, therefore, could potentially be very harmful for the animal's growth.
Sonia recently admitted her noticeably thin pet suffered from hair loss and partial blindness, and fans were quick to suggest his diet could be the source of his troubles. She posts regular photos of the animal, and includes him in her video blogs, which has caused a major backlash over his treatment. A Facebook user named Alice Natanya Moore shared a post with several photos of Jumanji, explaining the situation and accused Sonia of animal abuse.
Moore also included photos of concerned correspondence she had with animal rights groups such as Faithful Foxes and Ears.org. According to Faithful Foxes, a site dedicated to educating prospective fox owners, a domesticated fennec fox's diet should reflect their natural wild diet which includes: “High quality meat-rich dog food, wild canine food brands, cat food, meats, insects, mealworms, custom dietary mixtures, or any combination. Remember, if the ingredients don't have an actual meat listed as the first ingredient, don't buy it." After the post went viral, Sae’s social media accounts have since been bombarded with angry animal advocates who believe she is killing her pet with his 'unnatural' diet.
Sonia has since took to Facebook to say that Jumanji's malnourished appearance is down to “a skin allergy due to plant pollen”, with the effects felt more strongly in spring and summer. She also shared a number of photos of Jumanji before and after being put on his current vegan diet, saying that his food includes all the needed amino acids for a carnivore animal such as taurine and lysine. Her statement reads: “Thank you for being concerned about his health on this subject. He is in good shape, his blood tests are fine, he’s healthy, playful and hasn’t shown any signs of malnutrition for around three years.” She went on to argue that feeding an animal a meat-based diet is actually animal abuse in and of itself, because it comes from other dead animals: "They use the word ‘abuse’ to describe the act of feeding him food that no animal had to die for. Despite the obvious oxymoron, any other non-vegan alternative does involve abuse by default."
Sonia Sae is planning to upload a video including updated blood tests and the full story behind Jumanji. Her fans are waiting.