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~Thoughts for Thinking People~
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Feeding Pets as Nature Intended–Part 1

(Dr. W.) In this two-part article you will learn more about pet feeding than most nutritionists, veterinarians, regulators and manufacturers know. Unlike any other information you might read on nutrition, this will not be about percentages of nutrients. You also won’t read the same tired old stories about how calcium is good for teeth and bones, vitamin A is good for vision and essential fatty acids make a smooth and glossy coat.

Why play into the hands of the 'nutrition is about percentages’ game? It hasn’t worked to prevent all the degenerative diseases plaguing man and animal, so why give it credence or pretend as though it does?

Instead, let’s look at pet feeding as if thinking matters.

Most premium pet foods appear polished, official and regulated in their enticing packages. It would appear there must be good science and know-how behind them. Appearances are deceiving.

Let’s start our examination of the high tech world of pet feeding with this fact. Anybody off the street (even you) with some money and ambition can go to any of dozens of manufacturers across the country and have them make a ‘new improved’ pet food for you in short order. You need no special license or credentials. The only delay in getting to market is that necessary for you to spin your ‘new improved’ tale on packages and brochures and get them printed.

You see, private label manufacturers have all kinds of standard formulas on the ‘shelf’ for you to use. These stock formulations have already been tweaked for palatability and balanced with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals to make them ‘100% complete.’

If you want the label to say filet mignon, rack of lamb and caviar, no problem. Just sprinkle a tiny bit in (carefully metering so that it will not be so much as to cut into profits). Heck, you’re not lying. Gullible consumers will not even do the math and discover that there is a slight problem with your product selling at 50 cents per pound and filet mignon selling at $20 per pound. If they discover it, it will just be more reason for them to marvel at the magic that pet food manufacturers perform.

To lend credibility to your pet food company you can pay veterinarians to say they love the food and helped you create it. Ask the veterinarians a couple of questions and give them samples to feed. Now you can say, “approved and fed by veterinarians.” No fibbing there. You can also talk about how bad other products with the bad ingredients you don’t have in yours are, or how bad all of them are that don’t contain filet mignon.

You are on your way to becoming yet another pet food mogul. The truth is, you don’t know much of anything other than how to take advantage of an opportunity. The unthinking consumer doesn’t mind so long as you get and keep their attention with some clever marketing and advertising pizzazz.

The pet food industry abounds with such companies. A new brand is on the shelf almost every week. Even movie stars are now creating their own brands (do you think it is because they are experts at animal nutrition, food processing and health?) and the star-struck public lines up.

This is not to suggest you (or the movie stars) are not sincere in your love for animals or that you don’t have every right to enter where there may be profit. But nutrition is a serious health business. On the other hand, consumers concerned about health need to know the true credentials of those at the helm of companies claiming to be able to make ‘100% complete’ foods. Don’t trust brain surgery to MBAs and actors. Don’t trust pet food feeding to MBAs and actors.

Processed pet foods have been proven to cause serious disease. Aside from the fact that feeding any one particular diet day in and day out is asking for disaster, what is there about modern processed foods that could sow the seeds of disease? What feature is held in common?

The answer is so glaringly apparent it is missed because it is an enigmatic quirk of human nature that we overlook the obvious. Here's the universal problem with modern pet (and, as I have previously explained, human) foods:


Fire may create flavor, may sterilize, may make digestible that which is not, but it is the consummate enemy of nutrition. Food is made up of infinitely complex and fragile biological elements, not stone and ore needing a blast furnace to yield its contained bounty. Light a fire to anything biological (food, by definition is biological) and it is destroyed, not improved. You or your pet cannot survive for any length of time at temperatures above 118º F, neither can pet foods. All conventionally processed pet foods are subjected to fire and temperatures far above this threshold.

Pet foods are baked, extruded, retorted, fried and dried, often repeatedly so. Ingredients are precooked, mixed product is cooked, and final product is cooked/dried – before reaching your pet's dinner bowl.

If producers want to make money selling pet foods all over the world – which they understandably do – the cheap and easy way to do it is with fire. Fire turns perishable food into nonperishable cardboard-like food artifacts. It destroys germs present in contaminated and rotten ingredients, permits fabrication and shaping into every manner of cute shape, and enables production at the rate of tons per hour. Nutrition and health are not the true objective in these processed food torture chambers.

Food, by rightful definition, is naturally fresh, not torched. Pets in the wild eat everything raw and would never think of cooking it...even if they could.

Do we really think we can reinvent nature without her noticing and calling account? The Faustian bargain must be paid. Commercial deception and the desire of consumers for ease and to shift responsibility to ‘experts’ have a price: loss of vitality and resultant disease. Pets and humans pay that price with the panoply of modern degenerative diseases already cited in previous chapters: cancer, heart and vascular disease, adult-onset diabetes, obesity, dental disease, autoimmunities, arthritis, skin and hair disorders, loss of sight, digestive dysfunction, susceptibility to infection, reproductive and sexual disorders, and early loss of youthful health, energy and vigor.

Part two of this article will follow in the next issue.

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