When I first reported on the breaking story of contamination in mass-produced pet foods that has so far sickened and killed thousands of our beloved American pets — dog and cats, specifically because it was so early on in the crisis, I had very little information to impart about exactly what was causing these casualties.
But I did have some recommendations on how to safeguard your kitties and pups against this fate: To feed them ONLY raw liver, chicken necks, hamburger, and any other uncooked meats and animal organs. This should include at least one daily raw egg — including the shell — rounding out their diet with cut vegetables put on top.
This advice of mine directly contradicts not only everything you'll hear down at your local PetSmart store (or Petco, whatever), but also what several mainstream books recently published in wide release have to say about canine and feline diets. Believe me, though — I'm right and they're wrong.
Today, there's even more proof of this. More information has surfaced about exactly WHY our precious pets are dying. And as usual when it comes to nutrition — human or animal — one thing lies at the root of all the evil…
In case you haven't heard, the U.S. FDA is all but certain the source of the contamination that's sickening and killing our cats and dogs is melamine, a toxic chemical used in the manufacture of plastics, pesticides, and as a fertilizer. Melamine is high in nitrogen. Now stay with me here, this last little factoid is the heart of this whole insidious issue…
Though deemed safe in low concentrations — like what might be found in vegetables grown in fields fertilized or insect-controlled with melamine — direct ingestion of the substance can be deadly. Yet according to the FDA, melamine poisoning is likely what's sickening and killing so many of our pets nowadays. This kind of contamination would be VERY DIFFICULT without somebody adding melamine directly to pet foods, or to their ingredients.
Why would anyone do this?
Despite the fact that it's horrible for pets, most brands of modern pet foods — especially the dry varieties — are made almost entirely of vegetable ingredients. There are several reasons for this, foremost among them being cost. It's far cheaper to make pet foods from soy this and wheat gluten that than it is to use real meats (which is impossible in the dry foods anyway)…
But since the average pet owner is at least aware of the fact that animals, like people, need PROTEIN to survive, pet food makers are big on adding things to their food to boost the appearance of nutrition. And in this case, that "additive" was very likely poisonous melamine.
Remember I said that nitrogen was the key here? According to a recent USA Today article, the agricultural industry typically gauges a raw grain's protein content by measuring its nitrogen content. Nitrogen levels generally correspond quite closely with protein levels…
Are you starting to see how this shakes out?
That's right. The FDA and other groups strongly suspect that nitrogen-rich melamine fertilizer was added in raw form to large quantities of ALREADY HARVESTED wheat and rice earmarked for pet foods in order to create the illusion that these worthless grains were higher in protein than they actually are. And please note this is vegetable protein, not animal protein which is what your pets require.
But this is only part of the story.
To sell more pet food, pet owners were deceived into believing the dry vegetable junk food they're feeding their cats and dogs is protein-rich and good for them (it's actually horrible for them, melamine-laced or not). I have now brought you up to speed on the sordid saga behind the plight of pets here in the U.S. — at least those whose owners don't know to ignore the advice of vets and pet-store employees when it comes to your cats' and dogs' diets. (Yes, tragically, most of the vets have gone on the vegetarian bandwagon and many sell this trash food from their offices — "Doctor-recommended," you know.) As I've said repeatedly, the ONLY foods your little kittens and pups of all breeds and ages should be eating are raw meats and raw eggs, topped with a few fresh-cut vegetables.
However, this isn't common knowledge to pet owners because of a vast vegetarian conspiracy (more on this later).
At the beginning of this article, I pointed the finger of blame for this pet-food conspiracy — and all its casualties — squarely at vegetarianism. In case you haven't put the big picture together, let me sum it up for you…
Not entirely surprisingly, the pet industry in this country has been infiltrated and taken over by a branch of the animal rights crowd. Not the most militant sliver, mind you. They believe that animal ownership by humans is as evil as animal slaughter for consumption. But these wackos are just a small percentage of the animal rights movement.
A great many mainstream "animal people" are enthusiastic pet owners who believe in bonding with and loving animals. Unfortunately, a lot of them don't believe in eating animals, or even allowing their animals to eat animals — even though it's exactly what their cats and dogs need to be healthy. A lot of them are vegetarians, and by default, their pets are, too. But not all of them are. Plenty of dog and cat owners are meat-eaters, but they still want to buy what's best for their pets.
So they buy their pet-food on the advice of the "experts" at the local Petco or PetSmart, despite the fact that these stores are largely staffed by young, idealistic folks — many of whom buy into the vegetarian dogma hook, line and sinker. The whole thing combines to become a snowball effect.
Pet owners and buyers of all types get care and feeding advice from misguided people who are convinced that eating meat is cruelty to animals. This creates more demand for meatless pet-food — which spurs pet-food makers to buy ever-larger quantities of the cheapest vegetable ingredients that are still high in protein (even if they've been spiked with poisonous additives and it is the wrong type of protein for cats and dogs in the first place). Naturally, the cheapest of these are outside the U.S. And as such, they're low-quality, un-regulated, and more likely to be hazardous.
Bottom line: If vegetarian dogma did not exist, pet owners, pet-store staffers, and veterinarians would wake up and take notice of what most animals eat naturally — each other. They'd also start allowing this knowledge to guide their dietary advice to pet owners, instead of allowing their own ignorance and prejudices to spur the death and sickening of countless numbers of the very pets they purport to be advocates of.
That's the very definition of tragic irony, isn't it?
May 4, 2007