Raw feeding is still an uphill battle
January 4, 2012 9 Comments
sells raw food for dogs and cats. They’ve been in business for four years and started their venture in response to the pet food recall of 2007. Better yet, they’re sourcing their meats locally.
For those whose heads have been buried in a bag of kibble, the pet food recall of 2007 caused many pet guardians to rethink their pets’ diets. Although 8,500 complaints were reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, only 14 were verified due to the lack of a centralized database. Kidney failure was the commonly cited cause of death. Analysis pointed to the presence of melamine found in wheat gluten imported from China, which was used to boost the food’s protein analysis. A resolution of sorts was reached in 2009.
Many additional recalls have taken place since then, most recently ones in which the mold, aflatoxin, was found in dog foods.
All the while, veterinarians are still throwing up their hands and warning pet guardians about the hazards of feeding raw food. However, a growing number of people, fed up with the litany of recalls and mumbo-jumbo of marketing mavens, are taking the plunge. Suppliers and science-based information, through websites such as the Feline Nutrition Education Society (since this site is geared toward cats) are becoming more accessible.
What is striking about this article about a couple who left the rat race to pursue their passion is the virulent and ambiguous response from a local veterinarian, Chris Collis.
He says, “All pet foods are made from the discarded waste of the human food industry, including those contaminated with salmonella, e.coli and campylobacter. Commercial diet “cooking” destroys the infectious diseases and additional testing ensures the freedom of foreign material, mould and chemical toxins.”
But then he says: “The use of commercial diets are the safest, most complete and balanced way to feed 99 per cent of our pets.”
He concludes his tirade by describing raw diets as a fad, and hopes “that the catalyst for its inevitable demise is not the death of a toddler from a raw food feeding pet owner who thought they were doing the right thing.”
On their website the Croppers politely respond to Collins, saying that even though his office is close to their store, he has never stopped by. They point out, as many who have been following the recalls know, “that kibble is a far more likely cause of a pet shedding salmonella than any food you recognize when you open that package as simply meat, fat, bone and organ…” And as those of us who feed raw know, safe handling rules are a given. I lose track of the number of times I wash my hands while preparing my own cat’s food.
Unfortunately, exchanges like this make it difficult to separate fact from fiction. With a little effort, pet guardians can find all the information they need to make the best choices for their pets. Hint: it’s not on the back of a bag of kibble.
Click here for a comprehensive list of resources I have compiled.