Veterinary Alternative Can Help Your Pet
From the May 1998 issue of ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE magazine
The Poisons in Pet Food
By John Anderson
A homeopath of our acquaintance, who specializes in animal health, recently reported that nearly all of her
new cases are dogs and cats with cancer. This is a most unusual and alarming trend, she told us. One of the reasons American
dogs and cats are getting very sick can be found in the pet foods they eat every day. The realities of animal health aren’t
much different than human health: if you consume a diet of toxins, eventually you will get terribly sick.
Despite the appealing blandishments of pet food advertisements with their claims of providing "complete and
balanced nutrition," if you’re not exceedingly circumspect, you may end up feeding your pet chicken heads, road kills,
spoiled or moldy grains, cancerous material cut from slaughterhouse animals, tissue high in hormone or pesticide residues,
and even shredded Styrofoam packaging, metal ID tags and minced flea collars.
Don’t expect the food label to be any true guide to the product’s contents. The list of ingredients
on that bag of dry pet food or can of "meat" can mask the toxic horrors behind innocuous-sounding phrases such as "meat meal,"
"bone meal," and "meat by-products." It’s the substances you don’t know about in that can of pet food that may
sicken or even kill your pet.
Rendering Garbage Into Pet Food—Rendering is the process of grinding up and then melting down or
cooking scrap material from animals. The final products of this process—meat and bone meal and squeezed-out-fats—are
sold primarily to pet food companies.
The list of materials that go into the rendering process is extensive and horrific. When cattle, sheep and poultry
are slaughtered for human consumption, the parts deemed unsuitable for eating—heads (including growth hormone implants
in cattle), skin, fat containing pesticide residues, toenails, hair or feathers, joints, hooves, stomach and bowels—are
Other animal parts sent to rendering plants include cancerous tissues, worm-infested organs, contaminated blood
and blood clots. Compounding these toxins, slaughterhouses add carbolic acid and fuel oil to these remnants as a way of marking
these foods as unfit for human consumption.
Slaughterhouses aren’t the only source for animals that end up rendered. Animals classified as "4-D" (dead,
diseased, dying and disabled)—that is, too unhealthy for human consumption—are rendered. These include animals
with residues of antibiotics, such as chloramphenical and sulfamethazine, that are commonly used in meat production.
Road-kill animals and some deceased zoo animals are also sent to rendering plants. A report in the San Francisco
Chronicle (February 19, 1990) presented evidence that dead pets from animal clinics and shelters are carted away to be
rendered—with their name tags and flea collars intact. Other items tossed into the rendering "soup pot" are rancid grease
from restaurants and supermarket meats that are no longer fresh (including their Styrofoam and shrinkwrap packaging).
All of this material is slowly ground up at the rendering plant, then chipped or shredded, and cooked for up
to an hour at 220 degrees F to 270 degrees F. The fat or tallow separates during the cooking and is removed. What’s
left over is then pressed to remove all moisture and crushed into what is misleadingly called "bone meal" or "meat meal."
Meat and poultry by-products, another major category of pet food ingredients, are the unrendered parts of the
animal left over after slaughter, everything deemed unfit for human consumption. In cattle and sheep, this includes the brain,
liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, blood, bones, fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines. The items on this list that would normally
be consumed by humans, such as the liver, would have to be diseased or contaminated before they could be designated for pet
food. Poultry by-products include heads, feet, intestines, undeveloped eggs, chicken feathers and egg shells.
Other items counted as acceptable protein sources and included under "by-products" are dried animal blood and
hair, dehydrated stomach contents from cattle and dried pig and poultry excrement. As explicit as the facts about pet food
contents may be, you won’t find them listed on the label; the truth about these poisons is conveniently buried under
the rubric "by-products."
The primary ingredient in many dry commercial pet foods is not protein but cereal. Corn and wheat are the most
common grains used but, as with the meat sources, the nutritious parts of the grain are generally present only in trace amounts.
The corn gluten meal or wheat middlings added to pet foods are the leftovers after the grain has been processed for human
use, containing little nutritional value. Or they may be grain that is too moldy for humans to eat, so it’s incorporated
into pet food. Mycotoxins, potentially deadly fungal toxins that multiply in moldy grains, have been found in pet foods in
recent years. In 1995, Nature’s Recipe recalled tons of their dog food after dogs became ill from eating it. The food
was found to contain vomitoxin, a mycotoxin.
Perfecting the Contamination – The nutritional needs of pets are hardly the concern of most manufacturers.
Commercial pet foods are usually concocted with the profit margins in mind, and nothing else. A new food may be tested to
see whether animals like it (eat it in large quantities), but not whether it is good for them. For dry foods,
ingredients (meat meal, by-products, cereals) are mixed together with water or steam, pushed through a machine called an extruder
which gives the food its shape, then cooked at high temperatures and dried. To make the food palatable to your pet, fats—often
the tallow separated during the rendering process—is sprayed on after the food is dried. Wet foods are made from raw
ingredients ground up with additives and preservatives. "Chunky" canned foods are run through an extruder to produce the look
of natural meats.
Harmful chemicals and preservatives are added to both wet and dry food. For example, sodium nitrite, a coloring
agent and preservative and potential carcinogen, is a common additive. Other preservatives include ethoxyquin (an insecticide
that has been linked to liver cancer) and BHA and BHT, chemicals also suspected of causing cancer. The average dog can consume
as much as 26 pounds of preservatives every year from eating commercial dog foods.
The manufacturing process destroys most of whatever minimal nutritional content remained from the dubious list
of ingredients. Even when the companies include more healthy ingredients at the outset, manufacturing depletes the nutritional
value. "Processing is the wild card in nutritional value that is, by the large, simply ignored," states R L Wysong, DVM, a
veterinarian who founded Wysong Corporation to produce healthful pet foods. Proteins, enzymes, vitamins and minerals and fatty
acids present in the foods can all be altered or destroyed by the manufacturing process, leading to nutritional deficiencies
in the pets eating these foods.
Nobody’s Watching the Pet Bowl—No consumer agencies are looking out for your pet’s health
interests. The pet food industry is virtually unregulated regarding food composition. In fact, information about the poisons
in pet foods is not easily obtained; hence its shock-value when it’s finally revealed to the unsuspecting public.
The problem is that only the label, not content, of pet foods is regulated. The Association of American Feed
Control Officials (AAFCO), a group of federal and state bureaucrats, define the ingredients listed on the labels of pet foods,
but they do no testing on the foods themselves and have no enforcement authority. So don’t expect their semantics to
keep your pet healthy.
The United States Department of Agriculture, a government agency you might think would be watching the pet food
industry, only oversees food for human consumption, letting pet food makers off the leash. The Food and Drug Administration’s
Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA/CVM) concerns itself mainly with labeling: manufacturers must substantiate any health
claims they make for their pet food, but they aren’t asked to prove that their food is not quietly toxic to pets.
While the FDA/CVM can prohibit an ingredient’s use if it is proven detrimental to health, they do no ingredient quality
testing on pet foods, so how will they ever know? The claims of "complete and balanced nutrition" on many commercial pet foods
are based on AAFCO nutrient profiles.
What isn’t addressed on the label is the quality and bioavailablity of these nutrients. For instance,
the label may state that the food contains a "minimum of 65% protein," but is it clean and can it be absorbed? The labels
will never tell you. "Although the AAFCO profiles are better than nothing, they provide false securities," states Quinton
Rogers, DVM, a veterinarian with the Department of Molecular Biosciences, Veterinary School of Medicine, University of California
at Davis. "There is virtually no information on the bioavailability of nutrients for companion animals in many of the common
dietary ingredients used in pet foods."
110 Million Sick Pets?—There are an estimated 55 million dogs and 63 million cats living in American
households. Given the appalling condition of most commercial pet foods, it’s a wonder there are any healthy pets walking
around anymore. "Nature never designed canine or feline kidneys to handle the volume of impurities that come their way," states
veterinarian Al Plechner, DVM, author of Pet Allergies. "The result is fatigued, irritated, damaged and deteriorated
kidneys after several years of life. Left untreated, the toxic buildup leads to vomiting, loss of appetite, uremic poisoning
Recent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in increasing numbers of pets suffering from cancer,
arthritis, obesity, dental disease and heart disease, comments Dr Wysong. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with
cats and dogs and poor diet is usually the cause, according to many veterinarians and breeders. The AAFCO nutrient profiles
may play a role here, in the "balanced" nutritional levels they recommend may be inadequate for an individual animal.
It is estimated that up to two million companion animals suffer from food allergies. Dr Plechner believes that
the commercial pet foods are a primary cause and can contribute to a host of health problems. "Among pets, there is a widespread
intolerance of commercial foods," he states. "This rejection can show up either as violent sickness or chronic health problems.
It often triggers a hypersensitivity and overreaction to flea and insect bites, pollens, soaps, sprays and environmental contaminants."
Feline urological syndrome, a chronic condition similar to cystitis in humans (characterized by frequent urination
with blood in the urine), is an increasingly common and potentially fatal illness in cats. It has been linked to elevated
levels of ash and phosphorus, two substances commonly found in commercial pet foods. High iodine levels are seen as a contributing
factor for thyroid tumors in cats. "New diseases are being discovered that are linked to ‘100% complete’ diets,"
states Dr Wysong. These include "polymyopathy (a muscle disorder) from low potassium levels, dilated cardiomyopathy (heart
muscle disorder) from low taurine levels, arthritic and skin diseases from acid/base and zinc malnutrition and chronic eczema
from essential fatty acid malnutrition," he reports. Given the high possibility that your favorite pet foods may be slowly
poisoning your cat or dog, it’s crucial that you prepare your own foods.
Please see the other free E-books that tell
you how, what, and why to prepare your own food, find out how quick and easy it is to prepare, and how beneficial it is for
your dogs and cats.
Pat McKay RAW FOOD Basic Recipe
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Pat McKay Bio
Acknowledged pioneer and leader in the development of the raw and fresh food diet, animal nutritionist, classical homeopathic
practitioner, counselor, and author, Pat McKay is nationally recognized by animal health care professionals for her contribution
to the raw food revolution for cats and dogs.
She has devoted over 30 years researching and completing thousands of case studies where her findings consistently reveal
that a raw food program insures maximum health results from her animal clients.
Moving from the theoretical to the practical, McKay has spent the last 30 years synthesizing her findings to create
a complete nutritional guide, which offers the most up-to-date clinical information and quick-step menus that make raw, fresh-food
preparations both fun and easy.
In 2003 Pat McKay sold her business and retired. In 2008 Pat founded the Society for Animal Homeopathy, and started
practicing homeopathy again.
Her present companions are Bogie, Belgium shepherd/Golden retriever, who is 21 years old…yes, an 88-pound dog who is 21 years old; Jacques, a black standard poodle, 14 years old; Dutch, a Dutch shepherd,
who is 13 years old, and Pat’s latest rescue: Lena, a 7-year-old, dark chocolate mini Shar-pei. All of her
dogs are rescues.
Pat McKay is 76 years old, has no aches and pains, no ailments, follows the LIVE RIGHT 4 YOUR TYPE food program; takes absolutely no drugs of any kind, but does take
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is now providing a line of products by ESSENTIALS4ALL for people,
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