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Let's start with why I felt shaken and shocked as a result of reading this book. Having learned quite a bit about commercial pet foods through my shelter work, I didn't expect to be horrified by the contents of Food Pets Die For. What did I find horrifying? Well, would it make you sick to know that the furry members of your family have eaten euthanized dogs and cats? I'll never get over that ugly reality. Are you up to hearing more about the "ingredients" in Fifi's so-called premium pet food? I hope you haven't just eaten.
For starters, it is not unusual for pet food (and not just the cheapest brands) to be made up of: fecal matter, decomposing garbage, road kill, poisons, known carcinogens (herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides), the ingested stomach contents of dead animals, drugs used to kill animals, diseased animals, chicken pen shavings, blood, toxins, feathers, additives not approved for dogs and cats, and unregulated levels of supplemental vitamins that can kill our animals.
You may be wondering how this is possible. Largely, this is the result of a self-regulated, multi-billion dollar industry. The author has meticulously researched the commercial pet food industry for nearly 30 years. Though it seems too shocking to be true, and though many pet food manufacturers have attempted to block the release of damaging information, the evidence is compelling. What pet-lover could ignore these facts? To do so is to be an accomplice to crimes against animals.
And speaking of crimes, I found it beyond disheartening to learn of the animal experimentation supported by well-known pet food companies. I would never have purchased food from these companies had I known about the extreme pain, and premature deaths, inflicted upon the subjects of their so-called nutritional research. I will continue to be haunted by the barbaric experiments documented by undercover employees.
At this point, you may be wondering if you have the stomach to read this book. If we care about animals, we can't afford not to. How can we justify supporting practices that hurt innocent creatures who depend on us for their safety and well-being?
There is much to be learned from Food Pets Die For that can move us to making a positive difference (whether you currently have companion animals or not). In addition to enlightenment about the lesser known inner workings of the pet food industry, you will also be introduced to options for feeding your pets homemade meals and treats. Key considerations, including the nutritional needs of dogs and cats, are presented.
While reading this book, I found myself standing in the pet food aisle of my neighborhood big box store. I have to admit that I could not bring myself to purchase a single can or bag of food from their pet food offerings. I knew too much to be able to do that to the animals I treasure. I am making the commitment to cook meals for my animal family. It is impossible for me to fill the stomachs of my pups and kittens with lethal substances given what I now know. I just hope I can forgive myself for not knowing sooner. Ignorance is no excuse and with knowledge comes new responsibility.
What can you do starting today? Please read and share this book widely. You will likely save lives. Also, please consider doing something for shelter animals. Many of the animals arriving at shelters are already in a greatly depleted state (suffering from malnutrition and starvation). Shelters are often dependent on donations of pet food. One powerful thing you can do is to provide a gift of high quality pet food for the animals awaiting adoption. There are few things more satisfying than filling the empty tank of a beautiful companion animal with what that creature needs, and deserves, most.
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