Dog. Human’s best friend. Or only for some us.
Humans have such an interesting history. We have rationalized the weirdest little thing that is not rational at all. Did you know that many humans thought taking a bath or a shower was a repulsive thing to do and avoided it until they saw the Native Americans do it? Yeah. Weird.
The same weird thought process happened for pet food. When wolves were domesticated, people decided that they needed to be fed differently. Since dogs were not “wild” any more, they needed to have more ‘civilized’ food. This marked the beginning of moving away from their natural diet.
Fast forward to World War II. Aluminum was rationed so dog food producers were not allowed to use the cans any more. They had to come up with something quick. They also had to sell it well since 90% of canned pet food dominated the pet food industry.
Someone invented the kibble before this. But due to the demand and the urgency, they found a way to make it ‘prettier’ to appeal to the weird human rationing skills. Marketing… of course… came in the picture to manipulate the public and sway them to the most profitable product possible. The sad thing was the profit was for companies, not for the pets.
In 1964 the Pet Food Institute, a lobbying group for the now-gigantic pet food industry, began a campaign to get people to stop feeding their dogs anything but packaged dog food. They funded “reports” that appeared in magazines, detailing the benefits of processed dog food, and even produced a radio spot about “the dangers of table scraps.”
The dog food industry was spending an incredible $50 million a year on advertising. Commercials centered around the “beef wars,” with competing companies all claiming to have the most pure beef.
Over the years companies figured out how to maximize their profit: fillers. They added corn and grain to their pet food. Interestingly enough, when this began so did the growth of pet ailments including cancer and obesity. Companies even claimed that the food was nutritionally balanced for pets, even when pet guardians questioned the legitimacy of these ingredients.
It was not until recently they started to eliminate these fillers, thanks to the cries of consumers who started to realize something was wrong with the picture. NOW, these same companies are saying that their newest formula are grain free and more nutritionally balanced for dogs. If this year’s version is more nutritionally balanced than ever before, then why did you say the past ones were nutritionally appropriate?
Profit scheming, much?
This is why pet guardians should not rely on the word of companies who produce “pet food”. All they truly care about are profit, not your pets.
Another disgusting ingredients in many of those “pet food” products are byproducts. For those who don’t yet know, byproducts are pretty much the leftovers of a slaughter house. Yes, they are the parts we want to feed our pets, like brains or hearts or liver. However, byproducts are not kept to a high standard for pets. Sometimes these remains stick around for days, collecting flies and maggots, before being processed. Sometimes these remains came from animals that were sick and died before they were slaughtered. It’s the worst kind of leftovers you can give to your pet.
The unfortunate thing is that it is now harder for pet guardians to find veterinarian who can truly look past marketing and ‘brainwashing’ of those pet food companies. Why? Many veterinarian schools are funded by these pet food companies! So many veterinarians have been taught against raw food for pets to protect the interest of these companies. Is it the veterinarians’ fault? Not really. It’s mostly the system of corporate greed.
Now there are raw food activists that are trying to expose these weird thought processes that has brought us to today’s pet food industry. The pet food companies criticizes these activists because they have no concrete evidence of the benefits of a raw food diet for dogs.
Uhh… do you need evidence to show that bees pollinate flowers? Or that we need air to survive? I didn’t think so. Why do you need to prove that dogs, who are only barely 1% different than wolves, should eat like wolves?
In fact, why don’t the companies do research themselves to disprove the raw food diet?
Raw food diets have actually improved the lives of many pets. It may not be a conclusive fact one finds in a science lab, but it’s shown in the many testimonials of pet guardians around the world. Many pets who are on raw diet have less ailments, especially cancer and obesity.
So this began my foray into the raw food diet for dogs. I hope this will help you begin your journey as well.
Series: Raw Meat For Dogs
This blog post is part of a series on raw-meat for dogs. If you’ll like to read more about this topic, check out the other posts: