Most pet owners only want the best of the best for their furry friends and that includes their daily dietary needs, but pet food recalls have become commonplace.
After a massive recall in 2007 of commercially produced, clinically tainted pet food from China, many pet owners have started to seriously rethink their choices. Maybe commercial pet food just might NOT be the safest choice after all.
Commercial pet food is loaded with chemicals, preservatives and too many additives to count.
So exactly what ingredients are in pet food?
Bone meal is a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughterhouse waste products. Most times, bone meal is contaminated with lead and other toxic chemicals. It is touted by the industry as healthy and a great source of calcium, but it is really a danger to animals and humans alike.
This may sound shocking to most people, but Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) may pass through bone meal if you inhale the product. Yes, folks, that’s Mad Cow Disease! Wow. This doesn’t sound like anything too healthy for anyone.
Another popular product used in pet food is meat meal. Sounds harmless enough.
This stuff has to be healthier than bone meal, right? Not so fast! Meat meal is a dried end product of the cooking process known as rendering. Rendering cooks away the water and ends up with a highly concentrated protein powder. Sounds innocent enough, but that isn’t the whole story.
Low-grade meat meals can come from many sources like slaughterhouse waste, spoiled supermarket meat, diseased and dying cattle, euthanized cats and dogs and even dead zoo animals.
Skin, muscle, fat, tissues and bones are shredded and cooked with all the moisture squeezed out and hair and large bones screened out. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? It gets better.
The raw product can be carcasses of pets, livestock, poultry waste and spoiled food products. This lovely conglomerate of dried protein becomes a base source of food for livestock feed, farms and pet food manufacturers. Look at the ingredient list on your usual pet food products. Vague names that fail to clearly identify the source animal are on most labels.
4-D Meat: Dying, Diseased, Disabled and Dead Livestock
So you decide to do “other” meat products for your pets. Well, these production houses have lots of secrets. They are a pit for toxic waste that they want you to feed to your pets.
Dead animals come with a price; a heavy price to be paid by all. Their decomposing bodies are littered with problems.
- Heavy Metals
- Flea Collars
- Euthanizing Drugs Given to Animals
- Pet Collars
- Out of Date Supermarket Meat
- Spoiled Fish and Poultry
- Road Kill
- Restaurant Grease
- Contaminated Grains
- Disabled and Diseased Farm Animals
All of these are unfit for human consumption, even dangerous and deadly, but are deemed ok and legal for animal consumption.
Chemicals and Preservatives
Next, let’s add all the chemicals and preservatives we legally can.
First up is the ever-flexible Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA). This waxy solid is used as a food additive, a preservative in cosmetics, rubber, petroleum products, and yes, surprise, surprise in animal feed.
Funny how this “ingredient” as generally recognized as safe while it is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.
The pet food industry doesn’t stop there. Another popular “ingredient” is Ethoxyquin. It is used as a preservative in fish meal that is added to dog foods. It is not fit for human consumption and is a known cause of liver damage.
Rounding out the list of additives is propylene glycol, a potent cause of acute toxicity in humans but somehow still recognized as generally safe! What?
Propylene glycol helps to preserve moisture content in commercial dog foods, basically, just another extension of shelf life to make what you’re feeding your pets seem fresher and healthier.
This can’t be farther from the truth. Repeatedly feeding of these diseased, chemically infused products to your pets can be detrimental.
Raw Meat Diet for Pets
Kidney disease, digestive issues and even a multitude of cancers are a growing concern for pet owners.
Because of this many are turning towards a raw diet of meat for their dogs and cats. The intention is to feed a diet that most resembles what the ancestors of dogs and cats eat in the wild.
This raw meat movement comes with its own set of problems.
Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli, botulism and a whole host of other contaminants become a real possibility to you and your pets when you make the decision to feed raw meat to your pets.
Check out all the latest pet food recalls from the American Veterinary Medical Association to see a long list of tainted raw meat pet products.
The Alternative – Vegan Pet Food
It may sound crazy at first, but it is the rational choice for your animals without worrying about the pathogens, disease and additives found in most pet food.
The biggest misconception people have is animals need specific ingredients to survive and thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth. All animals need specific nutrients to survive and thrive.
Therefore, it matters not what ingredient you use as long as it provides all of the essential nutrients an animal needs.
There are numerous vegan pet food companies that provide all the essential nutrients your pets need though non-animal ingredients.
Dogs are omnivores and can easily adapt to vegan dog food as long as their daily nutritional requirements are met. There is even vegan cat food with added synthetic taurine and arginine (necessary for health) to meet all of a cat’s nutritional needs.
We now possess the knowledge and technology to create cruelty-free pet food for our pets. The question then becomes, “Why choose cruelty when you don’t need to anymore?”.