WYSONG COMPANION ANIMAL HEALTH LETTER
Dr. R. L. Wysong
February 1997



DEAR FRIEND
 
    If you took a cooking class and the teacher used certain types of pots and pans and ingredients, wouldn’t you likely use the same when you got home?  If you took a course in cabinet making and the instructor emphasized oak or maple, wouldn’t you likely use that when you built your kitchen?  If an aerobics instructor teaches a particular routine and advocates a certain brand of athletic shoe, wouldn't this likely be what you would use?
    We naturally defer to instructors.  After all, we are paying for their expertise.  If we’re novices, why would we not want to rely on their knowledge?  Some students do, however, continue to grow after the classwork ends and may ultimately end up disagreeing entirely with the teacher and doing something dramatically different.  But the majority stay in the rut. 
    Physicians and veterinarians fall into the same mold.  They think what they think and do what they do because it is what they have been taught in medical institutions.  Surgical techniques, favorite drugs, diagnostic regimens, suture materials, and general practice philosophy all vary from clinic to clinic depending upon where the practitioner went to school.
    In veterinary practices the same holds true for feeding recommendations.  But here there is more uniformity than in almost any other clinical area.  Clinics virtually across the country all recommend the same clinical diets and “prescribe” certain foods for certain disease conditions.  This bias did not come from critical thinking and a well rounded education in nutrition.  Significant nutrition classes are lacking in veterinary schools and in their place we have indoctrination by certain manufacturers who have maneuvered their way into schools by grants, funded chairs, and free or substantially discounted pet food products for students to use during their clinical courses.  Some of these diets are designed with the same allopathic bent (treat the symptom, not the cause) as most modern pharmaceutical oriented medicines.  Veterinary students are led to believe that such diets are “scientific” because they have fancy analyses attached to them, or have certain nutrients cleverly manipulated. 
    Thus are born low protein, high protein, low ash, high fiber, low purine, low magnesium, low calorie, etc. diets in an endless array of artificially manipulated foods "scientifically" designed to treat disease.
    You are going to be hard pressed to convince these folks that you can achieve better health and healing by converting your pet to more natural, whole Wysong foods supplemented with "table scraps" and raw foods.  But that's too simple.  It's a step backward.
    This is not to say there are not some veterinarians who have risen above the pack.  Through independent study and critical thinking some have rejected the notion that foods should be designed like drugs and have instead embraced our concept of returning animals to their archetypal genetic heritage.
    But in the main, medical people do what they were taught and take safety in conformity.  Changing is just not something humans find easy to do.  Being different than your professional colleagues may raise eyebrows and subject you to professional criticism.
    So, when you are faced with nutritional dogma from professionals who often now have the added incentive of remaining true to form because there is a vested interest in carrying the products they recommend in their clinic, don’t be surprised.
    If you want optimal health for yourself and your companion animals, continue to grow and be convinced in your understanding.  True health is Mother Nature obeyed, and does not come from a chemist’s lab or from edicts from professionals brainwashed by clever pet food marketers who have bought their way into veterinary schools.  You take control by being informed - and seek advice only from those who have grown in their knowledge and understanding of nutritional prevention and lifestyle beyond that which was learned during school.
 
THE BEST FOOD
    Everyone seems to have an opinion about what is best to feed their companion animal.  Some think canned foods are best, others dry.  Many think whichever food is most palatable is the best.
    There are a lot of “don’t feed” opinions.  Don’t feed soy, don’t feed corn, don’t give too much fat, don’t use pet foods with by-products in them, or wheat, or plant lectins, or yeast, or bone meal, etc.  There are an increasing number of pet owners who are troubled by ethical concerns about feeding any animal product to their pets and attempt to feed their captive carnivores vegetarian diets.
    The pet food industry by and large, along with animal nutritionists, attempts to argue that as long as certain analytical minimums are met for protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, it makes little difference what the source of these components are.  This sounds plausible on a theoretical basis, but it opens the door for manufacturers to throw together basically any concoction as long as it achieves certain percentages on the label.  It denies the natural complex nutritional needs of all creatures.  But manufacturers can argue with various studies on laboratory colonies of animals fed a certain food over a certain number of weeks.  They can also cite examples of animals who have become champions raised on their analytically based diets.
    Eating beliefs can take on an almost religious character.  Like in religion where hundreds of different sects can each claim to be The Truth, and you need not fear disproof since adjudication will not occur until the afterlife, eating beliefs may not bring consequences for decades or even generations into the future.
    The body is extremely adaptable and will attempt to survive on whatever it is provided with.  But if the food is incorrect, the body will ultimately be stressed beyond its ability to adapt with resultant loss of vitality, and then disease and degeneration.  Unfortunately, these consequences are so far removed from the eating cause that few make the connection and understand the relationship.
    So, how do we sort through all of these competing ideas?  I am going to describe for you a very simple picture that is so reasonable you need not even look for proofs.  Follow along with me and see if you don’t agree.
    Consider the logic of the following three premises:
    1.             Just like a tree is genetically adapted to absorb certain nutrients, and a lion is genetically adapted to thrive on prey, and a deer is genetically adapted to browse on vegetation, pets too must be genetically adapted to a certain kind of food.
    2.             The majority of foods we are presently exposed to are a product of the Industrial Revolution and occupy a small part of the genetic history of pets.  Here is the time line again.  The last 200 years during which humans and their companion animals have been exposed to most modern foods, if represented on a linear time line, would occupy only 1 inch on a line 276 miles long, the total length of which represents the estimated time for life on Earth.
    3.             The natural genetically-adapted-to food for pets must predate them.  In other words, how could animals exist before the food they needed to survive existed?
    If you consider these three premises, it becomes apparent that the best food is that food which animals would be able to eat as it is found in nature.
    Would tofu or pasta qualify?   No, because they are found nowhere in nature.  Would oatmeal porridge qualify?   No, because oatmeal porridge is found nowhere in nature.  Would sprouts qualify?  No, because nowhere in nature would sufficient sprouts be available to sustain pets.  Would beet pulp, brewer's yeast, hydrogenated soybean oil, or for that matter, looking at humans also, hamburgers, french fries, pop, breakfast cereals, canned foods, candy, sports drinks, muscle building powders, vitamins and minerals, mashed potatoes, carrot cake or fig newtons qualify?  No.  None of these are found as such in nature.
    Imagine yourself and your pet placed in nature in the total absence of modern technology.  Ask yourself the question, what would you eat... and what could you eat?  You could eat and digest fruits, nuts, insects, worms, eggs, and animal flesh.  These are about the only food substances in nature humans or pets are capable  of digesting without technological intervention.  These are in fact the very foods that are the mainstay of nomadic primitive societies and wild animals.  Only when these foods become scarce do unpalatable, inedible foods such as most grains and vegetables become cooked and processed to change their palatability and increase digestibility.
    This is an extremely simple nutritional principle that is not explained in any nutritional textbook.  It cuts through all the theory, belief and guess work.  It matches natural bodies with natural food.
    Our immersion in modern cookery and food processing has misled us.  Foods such as pasta, granola, tofu, cauliflower and lettuce - which are marketed as the ultimate health foods - are in fact not natural human or animal foods at all.  These products either do not exist in nature, or in their raw precooked form are unpalatable and even toxic.  For example, raw soybeans contain a variety of chemicals which can stunt growth and interfere with the body’s digestive enzymes.  Eat enough of them and you’ll die.  Modern grain products are a result of agriculture and in their raw form are unpalatable, indigestible and also toxic.      How in nature would one ever find enough kernels of rice or wheat or barley to even make up a meal, even if they were edible in their raw form?  Who, if they were really, really hungry, and had a choice, would eat raw broccoli, cauliflower or lettuce?  These vegetables are only now made palatable by cooking or doctoring with manufactured dressings.
    Now this creates somewhat of a dilemma.  Knowing what our natural diet is and consuming it are two different things.   We are so acclimated to the modern diet that the notion of eating or feeding raw meat, for example, is nauseating to most.  Nevertheless, as evidenced by primitive (but nutritionally advanced) peoples, raw meat and organs can be eaten with great nutritional benefit to humans and animals, and they are totally digestible and nontoxic.
    It would be very difficult to achieve this ideal quickly or easily.  But if you keep this principle in mind it helps you emphasize the appropriate, genetically-adapted-to foods.  This does not mean that you cannot or should not feed any processed or cooked foods.  It simply means that if you do, you will be stressing your pet’s genetic capabilities and will not be achieving optimal health.
    It is with this knowledge in hand that I cannot tell you to exclusively feed our processed pet food, much less anyone else's.      You simply must supplement raw, fresh, natural foods to the diet of your pet if you are hoping to achieve optimal health.
    In the meantime, we will continue to evolve our diets so that they reflect, in manufactured form, the closest thing we are able to produce to mimic the natural diet.  Thus by sprouting grains and using whole grains we are achieving better nutrition than using grain fractions or unsprouted grains.  We are also continuing to increase the amount of fresh meat and organ ingredients.      In essence, every innovation we make in our foods is an attempt to achieve as close to the ideal diet as possible in processed form, always recognizing and always reminding our customers that it is still at best only second best to the raw, whole, natural prey diet of pets.
    A combination of Wysong Diets and the supplements as recommended below in the Wysong Feeding-For-Health Program, along with fresh food feeding, is without doubt the very best diet that can be fed to achieve optimal health and require the least amount of compromise.
 
Soy For Cancer And Heart Disease
    Soy contains a variety of phytonutrients which are being studied for their beneficial effects.  I have talked previously of the value of the phytoestrogens in soy (see Wysong Health Letter Vol. 8, No. 3).  Now a class of phytonutrients called isoflavones is found to be related to a lower incidence of heart disease and to have a protective effect against cancer.  Soy is in tofu and also in Wysong Peanut Butter Plus and Whole Soy granules.
    Reference:
        Biochemical Society Transactions, 1996; 24: 795-800     
 
Aging And Vitamins
    As we get older we lose digestive efficiency and thus the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.   Unfortunately, at the same time increasing age requires more optimal levels of nutrients.  In one study it was found, for example, that 50% of geriatric outpatients had low blood levels of B vitamins.  When these B vitamins decrease, a whole range of degenerative conditions can ensue - including heart disease, cancer, strokes, and cognitive impairment.  Vitamin/mineral supplementation, at least at RDA levels such as in Wysong RDA, is certainly a wise course of action for any aging individual.
    Reference:
        Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1996;15;3:231-236