Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Lies are a popular subject for discussion these days—how badly the consequences of lies injure the gullible as well as those who simply can’t escape the results. Unfortunately, we eventually find out what “injury” can mean.
In the case of pet food—particularly packaged foods for dogs or cats—we may have to watch our beloved animals die painfully before we fully comprehend that profit is far more important to large corporations than ethics. Most don’t care about human emotion. PERIOD.
My husband and I have adopted some eight dogs, two horses, and three cats over the years. For us, pets are family, and the death of each one was excruciatingly painful—especially the deaths that seemed odd or ill-timed. Recently, we adopted a new puppy—a little guy who already has a powerful tug-hold on our hearts. We don’t want to kill him, but sorting through puppy food advice made me feel dizzy and doomed.
Kohl Harrington is a filmmaker who began by wanting to feed his dog healthy food. He wasn’t afraid to do a little research—particularly since he knew too well about the melamine contamination in commercial food that murdered so many pets. All he had to do was find out how to avoid that. Right? Wrong. With the help of integrative veterinarians and other dog food researchers, he ended up compiling a documentary guaranteed to give you pause if you love your pets: PET FOOLED: A LOOK INSIDE A QUESTIONABLE INDUSTRY (now available from Amazon.com). His findings reveal that even many veterinarians have been parroting feeding advice that is questionable at best, and outright lies, at worst—not because they don’t care or aren’t responsible. Because that’s what they’ve been taught.
No one insures that pet food is safe—not the manufacturers and not the FDA. Because the food is meant for animals, the FDA itself allows all sorts of contaminants (the list of which is nauseating to read). Famous dog food manufacturers can disseminate outright lies on their packages—such as the inherent danger of feeding your dog or cat raw meat. They don’t sell raw meat. So they sell corn, wheat, and soy as healthy options for animals that are carnivores—meat-eaters internally unchanged from when they were wild.
The corporations spend their money (they make billions) on beautiful packaging and appealing ad campaigns—not research into what kinds of food keep pets healthy. They’re more concerned with the salable “shelf life” of bagged dog food—reportedly 25 years. When dogs die from packaged “treats,” they throw up their hands and deny blame. The packages may stay on the shelf.
Recently, I’ve learned that many people would rather feel right than be right. They would rather carry on with self-defeating behaviors than question authorities they like. If that description fits you, please feel free to ignore this post. But if your animal is anywhere near as dear to you as our boisterous puppy is to us, you might want to watch the DVD or at least pay attention to the food you’re serving. Make your choices carefully.
As one veterinarian on the video advises, feed the best you can afford—human quality meat, if possible; kibble devoid of corn, wheat, or soy if you must. Small dog food manufacturers may offer better choices than famous brands and often do. (Remember there are no rules about what constitutes “meat by-products.” Anything goes—including rotting carcasses of animals that might have died from questionable circumstances or even road kill.)
We know now that when our cat Pookie died horribly from kidney failure, we were at least partially to blame. We believed the manufacturers.