Y’all do know that what humans have fed to their canine companions hasn’t always come in a bag or a can, right?
Did you know that before about 1920, there was no such thing as “pet food”? Until then, the only thing marketed exclusively for pets was dog biscuits, which only came about in the late 1800s.
The Industrial Revolution of the mid-1800’s spurred the economic growth of the middle class, and brought “luxury” and “leisure” items to everyday people. Veterinary medicine was officially established in the US in 1895. The shift from country to city living caused a shift in attitudes about what was appropriate for dogs. “Uncivilized” dogs ate raw meat; “civilized” dogs ate table scraps. (Because there have always been snobs).
But that’s only a couple hundred years ago. A couple thousand years ago, Romans fed their canine companions barley bread soaked in milk, and bones from dead livestock. In the middle ages, the Royal kennel cooks would keep the King’s dogs fat with stews of leftover livestock organ meats, vegetables and some grains. Those less royal had to scavenge from their less royal humans.
Processed food, both for people and their pets, became popular in the post-WWII era. Increased opportunity and wealth of the US consumer–who wanted more food that was quicker and easier to prepare–brought increased waste from food processing plants and slaughterhouses, which in turn gave birth to the pet food industry.
We have literally been feeding our beloved pets (our family members) NOT leftovers –WASTE. Pet food manufacturers, by and large, obtain their meat sources from slaughterhouses that have to do something with the animal products that are not fit for human consumption.
All of you need to read an article by Dr. Karen Becker at http://www.healthypets.mercola.com entitled, “The Best “Pet” Food Money Can Buy…And the Absolute Worst.” In it, she discusses the history of the development of pet food. And it’s not pretty.
I am pretty sure Mike Rowe did a Dirty Jobs episode at a meat processing plant where they sent the rejects next door to the pet food manufacturer, who dumped them into a big “extruder” and cooked it all together to make dog food.
Let’s feed it to the dogs! YUM! It’s all natural! Meat is the first ingredient! Vets recommend!
Marketing ploys anger me. They assume that people are too busy, lazy, or stupid to investigate to learn whether what they say is true — and for the most part, that is the case. We don’t WANT to know. So we let them do our thinking for us.
Because of the resiliency and adaptability of our domesticated cats and dogs, the impact of feeding a nutritionally inappropriate diet to them is slow to reveal. Those two elements-marketing deceptions and resiliency of pets- combine to lull us into a comfort zone.
SNAP OUT OF IT!