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Commercial Pet Food: Fast Food For Dogs and Cats
While many have written and talk about the dangers of commercial pet food, I propose that we begin thinking of commercial pet food as nothing more than
fast food for pets.
Commercial pet food was created for the convenience of humans, not for the benefits of our pets.
As illustrated in the 2004 documentary
Just as fast food companies use slogans like 100% pure, 100% fresh and so on — we should not be fooled by the claims of pet food companies that say
100% nutritionally complete.
Pet foods are 100% nutritionally complete; it's just that they meet 100% of the minimum standards and not the optimal standards. Furthermore, although a food can be a source of nutrition, it does not mean the body can utilize the nutrition within the food.
Pets eating a commercially prepared diet will suffer from nutritionally related health problems — and since 90% of disease is said to be diet related, you can imagine just how many problems our pets needlessly suffer from.
If you look at the label of commercially prepared pet foods you will often see artificial flavours in the ingredient list. This is done because without artificial flavours, most pets simply won't eat the food.
Additionally, if you look at the ingredients you will often see salt as an ingredient — not good. The salt content is usually far more salt than what our pets need.
Furthermore, if you look at the ingredients of pet food you will often see grain derived ingredients in the top 5 ingredients. Grains are used because they are cheap, not because they are beneficial to our pets. Additionally, pet food companies trick us into thinking that more meat is used by separating the grain ingredients into parts such as wheat bran, wheat germ, etc. rather than grouping all wheat or grain ingredients together. If labeled properly then you would more than likely see that grains would be the #1 ingredient in pet food, not meat. Commercial pet food companies are very sneaky in what they are doing.
Now when a vet tells you,
oh if you feed raw meat then the diet will not be balanced leading to health problems then don't be fooled by their statement. The reality is that vets want you to buy the fast food they sell — first they make money selling the food and second, I cannot help but feel that many vets realize that sick pets mean more money for them and what better way to keep a pet sick than to feed it a poor diet. The reason why I feel this way is simple — day in and day out — vets see the same problems occurring in increasing numbers and the common denominator is the fast food the pets are eating. Surely, by now you would think, or at least hope, that vets would wake up and smell the coffee — and begin encouraging the people to feed their pets a wholesome diet so the dogs and cats can wake up and smell the beef.
Of course, there are vets who genuinely care for pets and encourage people to feed a wholesome diet and we, as concerned guardians, must support these vets wholeheartedly.
A vet who tells you that a wholesome raw meat diet is not balanced is partially correct — if you feed meat without enough calcium, then yes, the diet will not be balanced. Calcium in our pet's diet is very important.
Without enough calcium in the diet, then there will be an imbalance in the calcium to phosphorus ratio. But ultimately, using scare tactics to scare people from feeding a wholesome raw meat diet is ridiculous. In the 1930's, when my grandmother's dog was sick, her vet used to tell my grandmother to feed the dog some raw lungs and all would be fine — now the vet says
let's put your pet on antibiotics, a little cortisone and while we're at it, how about some prednisone too?
Commercial pet food is fast food for our pets and just like your children or family members; they deserve to eat wholesome foods. The reality is that just as there is an epidemic of obesity and other health problems in many countries now due to fast food diets and junk foods, our pets are falling victim to the same lifestyle.
Ironically, the amazing thing about wholesome homemade pet food is that it is fast to make - it's just that it's wholesome.
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