I know crap when I see it.
There are days when I completely agree with Prime: the internet is both the greatest thing and the worst thing that has happened to humanity. Thanks to the internet, I can learn about prehistoric creatures–Shameless plug: watch Eons by PBS!–and what our planet was like billions of years ago. Thanks to the internet, I can double check what manufacturer produces which pet food. Thanks to the internet, I can learn more about Transformers. Thanks to the internet, I have, quite literally, the sum total of human knowledge in the palm of my hand.
However, the internet also contains the sum total of human stupidity. I do not kid.
As you may or may not know, I am currently cat-less. But I am prepping for the possibility of a future feline in my life. I’ve been checking out different pet foods, at different life stages, just in case I end up spotting a kitten by the side of the road or taking in an abandoned adult. Both are cats, but they have very different nutritional needs and I want to make an informed choice.
But on the information superhighway, that can be difficult. Especially when you run into webshites like the Truth About Pet Food.
The owner of the site is a “consumer advocate” who seems to be at war with the pet food industry. It’s the industry’s fault that one of her dogs died; she places the blame on a preservative. To read the site, you would think that commercial pet foods are little more than poison, that they cause cancer and will kill your pet. Vaccines aren’t necessary; they’ll just ruin your pet’s immune system. The only way you should feed your companion animals is to go raw or BARF (bones and raw food or biologically appropriate raw food, whichever you prefer). Or you can pay to get her super-secret pet food list, which is only available if you pay for it and you can’t share it with anyone or post it anywhere, which can tell you what’s safe to feed your pets.
Call me crazy, but I’m a little leery when someone hides information behind a paywall.
There’s also a slight problem with the raw food movement: my mother did the exact thing before it became popular. Back in the 1990s, the raw food movement was getting started and she switched her dogs from kibble to raw, since all the “experts” said that was healthier. She still had to euthanize one of her dogs because he had cancer; it was bad enough that he would chew on food that he was offered, but would spit it out and refuse to swallow. The raw food diet didn’t prevent or cure it. It was the same with the others as well, since they both died before they turned ten.
Do we need stricter rules for pet food? Yes, we do. Back in 2007, I came dangerously close to feeding Sammy a package of Iams wet food that was laced with melamine, a substance that could have destroyed his kidneys. This was one of those times when profits were placed over common sense and decency; because of this, I didn’t feed Sammy anything from Iams for a very long time. My trust in them was broken.
Sammy lived. He was lucky because Prime and I caught the problem in time. However, I did continue to purchase commercial pet food for him; he lived eleven more years until he was seemingly felled by cancer, which happens to be breed specific in his case. Siamese cats are genetically more prone to the disease; nothing I could have fed him would have saved him, just like in the case of my mother’s dogs.
Will I purchase commercial pet food for a future feline in my life? Yes, I will. It’ll be Fromm Four-Star for kibble–I’m leaning towards both Game Bird and Hasen Duckenpfeffer® and maybe Duck A La Veg–while canned and wet varieties will be rotated with Fromm, Tiki Cat, Open Farm, Soulistic, Weruva, and Earthborn Holistic. There will be others as well–Whole Hearted from Petco seems like a good brand, as does Fussie Cat and Petite Cuisine–but they will all be commercially available. Anything home cooked is an occasional treat.
There are good pet foods out there; you can find them if you fact check. Just go with reputable sources. And remember, not everything is a conspiracy; it’s a cool plot point on the X-Files, but ridiculous in reality. And be wary of “experts” on the internet, especially if they want to sell you something, because fools and money. You know.