What is Purina thinking?
September 3, 2012 33 Comments
As a professional writer, I try to keep a lid on any really strong opinions and equally strong language. But a google alert I received just screams WTF!
Purina has just come out with a new Purina Be Happy Dog and Cat Food Brand.
Based on ingredients such as ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, meat and bone meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), animal liver flavor, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, turkey by-product meal, and salt (this is for the cat version), the food is “inspired by the enduring happiness pets share with owners.”
What’s pathetic is that the company has brainwashed 100,000 Facebook fans into believing that a food with these ingredients “celebrates happiness as a way of seeing the world.”
Excuse me, what happened to nutrition? What happened to a species-appropriate diet?
This is even more ironic since it comes on the heels of the American Veterinarian Medical Association’s condemnation of raw diets. It’s well known that Purina and its big bucks, in conjunction with the Delta Society, lobbied for the proposal, which was subsequently supported by the American Animal Hospital Association.
A happy cat is a well-nourished, healthy cat. The Happy Cat dry formula claims to “support strong bones and teeth, healthy vision, and healthy skin and coat.” Must I reiterate the problems associated with dry cat food?
The big pet food manufacturers already offer a so many different varieties of dry food, it’s enough to make your head spin. Royal Canin lists 19 dry varieties alone (at recent count). I haven’t had the patience to count Purina’s and the junk associated with Hill’s is the stuff of legends.
Amazingly they all have the same ugly corn-based ingredients shuffled around. They’d obviously prefer to put their marketing creativity into this:
The Be Happy fans create e-cards, customize their own T-shirts and upload photos from the Be Happy mobile photo app available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. The app enables people to customize photos with visual elements like dog ears, hearts, borders, the Be Happy characters and thought bubbles for happy messages.
Now I understand a bit more why the chicken-jerky-made-in China-feeding public still hasn’t got the message. They’re too busy playing games.
The good news is that my rage has been somewhat tempered by a post from Dr. Laurie Coger, “Update on AVMA’s Raw Food Policy” as part of her The Wholistic Vet’s Blog. I haven’t heard of Dr. Coger before now, but it’s comforting to hear the voice of another veterinarian amid the corporate whitewashing that is so much a part of business today.