You’ve seen the ads, Fluffy and Fido frolicking happily, scampering in for a delicious bowl of colorful pet food in pretty shapes, while the smiling pet parent beams lovingly at her beloved fur babies about to eat the pet food she so carefully chose.
But, what the ads don’t show you are the horrors of rendering plants, where barrels stuffed with the lifeless bodies of cats and dogs, swarming with flies and crawling with maggots are dumped into vast grinders, collars still attached, to be ground into a bloody pulp and made into pet food.
This is the story behind the glossy advertisements and colorful packaging, the ugly truth behind the pet food industry, one that will forever change the way you look at pet food again.
Journey to consumer advocate
My search for the truth about commercial pet food began, as it has for so many others, with a tragedy that forced me to examine the choices I had been making every day with regard to care of my cats. One of those critical choices was the food I purchased and fed to them.
My choices, as a consumer, may have ultimately led to the premature illness and death of my dear feline companion Blackie Jr., whose premature deaths was possibly linked to commercial pet food. I can’t be sure of that, but I do know that Blackie Jr.’s illness was a direct result of an improper diet: kibble.
I began my research into the pet food industries products and practices, after my dear, sweet Blackie Jr. near fatal episode of uremic poisoning.
One night, six years ago, my precious baby Blackie Jr. straggled in and flopped down in front of me, unable to walk. After rushing him to a local small town vet on call, the vet was able to drain is bladder through a catheter.
What I saw, that night in the vet’s office, was horrifying, what oozed out into the cold metal sink was a sickening mixture of blood, urine, puss and crystals that slowly drained from Blackie’s lifeless body.
The veterinarian informed me that Blackie Jr. would die if I did not rush him to the animal hospital 75 miles away, the only one equipped to deal with serious cases like Blackie’s. The veterinarian hung an IV from my car window, which was attached to Blackie, with the instructions not to stop for any reason, and with that – my journey began.
What began initially as research into Blackie’s diagnosis of chronic Feline Urological Syndrome, ultimately led to information about the critical role pet nutrition plays in this and other diseases. At the time of his illness, I had been led to believe by the pet food industry that I was feeding him the best commercial pet food that money could buy.
What I learned about commercial pet food and the pet food industry changed forever the trust I once had for pet food manufacturers. My emergence from a loving, but clueless consumer to informed pet parent compelled me to, one day; share what I had learned with other pet parents.
Angelica and the Almighty Ceiling Cat
My lofty goal never materialized, until one day the newest member of my family, an orphaned kitten I named Angelica, lapsed mysteriously into a coma when she was only three weeks old. Hysterical with grief, I gave her mouth to kitty mouth resuscitation and kitty CPR, but nothing seemed to be working.
As I held her lifeless body in my hand, her little head drooping, I started to pray (or rather I screamed), “God, if you let her live I promise to devote my life to helping animals”. And, at that very moment, she came back to life.
That single event so completely altered my life, not because I was an atheist up until that point, but that the direction it was to take would be something I never would have imagined or planned for myself.
To understand the profound change it helps to understand the world I came from. I had spent my entire professional life in the fashion and advertising industries, as a commercial illustrator, graphic designer, and jewelry designer. I will never stop being an artist, but I certainly have given up living in that superficial world, where my concerns were primarily occupied by material acquisitions and gains.
Now my life is filled with a greater purpose, to help animals. And with that, I am fulfilling the promise I made that day to the Almighty Ceiling Cat.
The focus of my research is about commercial pet food and the industry that manufactures it. Because of the narrow focus of my research, I will not make recommendations of a pet food or endorse any company. Instead, my role is to act as a guide for consumers, to empower them with the confidence to ask questions, and for consumers to expect a higher standard of the pet food industry.
As a precaution, I would like to remind the reader that formulas can change, companies change hands, and are bought out by larger corporations, in short, companies change. Always ask questions and check with the manufacturers to confirm any information. Never, ever, assume that what you are reading or seeing on the package is the truth. As a consumer, it is your right to know.
My goal is to provide information to help consumers make informed choices about the food they are feeding their pets. My hope is that the reader will be inspired to examine the truth behind the pretty package, to glimpse a view into the dark side of the pet food industry and to be a source of inspiration to change the way we care for our beloved pets.
Be sure to sign up for my newsletter, as I will do my best to update the research to include current news and information. And if there ever is an animal story too cute, funny or heartwarming to pass up, I’ll share that with you as well.
Oh, and one last thing, please feel free to write me, I love to hear from my readers.