Monday, March 19, 2007

Taste And See That The Food Is Bad!

By now every one has heard about the massive recall of dog and cat foods. I am thrilled that the media has done such a good job of continually updating the information and making available on their websites the list of recalled brands. However, I was greatly disturbed by tonight's report on the 10 o'clock news (probably NBC but I am not sure). They reported that the manufacturer had tested the suspect product on 50 dogs and cats and that seven of the animals had died and they expected more as the testing process continues. Why was it necessary to feed the food to more animals?

Consumers had been reporting concerns to the food manufacturer since February 20th. At that time, the manufacturer had received ingredients from a new supplier. From the end of February into early March, Menu Foods, a Canada-based company, had been notifued of the deaths of 10 animals who had eaten their food. They were quick to take notice; for that I am thankful.

I am furious, however, that in the testing process dogs and cats were intentionally fed the food. There seems to have been no question that there was a problem. The problem had bee traced to wet varieties of food, and possibly to a specific ingredient. Why then risk the lives of more animals? This is criminal.

During the peanut butter scare a few months ago mothers across the country did not invite all the neighborhood kids in for a nice PB&J "to see what happens". And, there was not a call for all those whose fantasy it was to be Popeye to come feast on all the spinach they could eat during the in the name of science during the recall of the contaminated greens.

Why is okay to test on animals? It seems to me between the animals who had already lost their lives and the ones who were eating the suspect food unknowinly, there were enough case studies out there that it was not necessary to create new subjects. I realize absolute control is important so that the studies are not flawed but to intentionally jeopardize the lives of dogs and cats seems like a last desparate step, not a first.

I will freely admit that I am not a scientist and therefore am speaking from my heart and not my head. Sometimes that is where the thoughts are formed best.

Below are some recipes for natural dog and cat foods that appeared in the June/July 2006 issue of Mother Earth News. I will admit that in the next issue of the magazine a reader wrote in saying that these recipes did not provide balanced nutrition for dogs and cats. They do sound good and for a little while, until the current pet food scare is over, I don't think that any dogs or cats will complain or starve.

2 Cups cooked oatmeal or Cream of Wheat
2 Cups cooked ground beef
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 small apple cut or sliced into small pieces

2 Cups cooked chicken
1/4 Cup grated carrots
1 Cup brown rice, cooked

Again, I am not a scientist but at least if you make your pets food, you will know what is in it.

I have always felt a little "cheap" because our two dogs and three cats eat nothing but dry food. In the current situation, I am thanksful for this.