Raw Pet Food x "Own Research"

Raw Pet Food x "Own Research"


Today's launchpad topic is RAW PET FOOD.

This is a cliff I've approached many times but never ever jumped fully off (more like rappelled down halfway and then back up). This uncharacteristic hesitancy is because there are two precious babies are at stake here, and I wouldn't want them to suffer because I'm on a relentless "improvement pilgrimage" (this is what I call it- others sigh deeply or roll their eyes at me).

For those who are unfamiliar with raw pet food and related terms like the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), it is largely a rejection of the by default social acceptance of the hyper-processed pet food industry and taking a much more active role in giving one's pets the best nutrition available given the state of current knowledge.

However well intended, the grass is not always greener in this "uncharted" territory. While trying to navigate brand sales pitches and making sense of meat, bone, organ and calcium:phosphorous ratios, one inevitably starts to question the motives behind the initiative: Is this really going to help them live better? Will this cause them more harm? What am I getting us all into? Am I just making something simple more complicated just cause? No wonder jumbo bags of shelf stable kibble are so enticing- so convenient! Bulk pricing! No meat grinders needed!

This junctures to the other half of this thought-rant which is DOING ONE'S OWN "RESEARCH". Since the raw pet food movement is young (your pets eating raw things is opposite of new, but the current version of it focused around recipes, nutritional composition, and an increasing market interest is), the burden of seeking knowledge is heavily on the interested party. At every turn there will be a pet food brand ad, concerned friend, or even a study that dissuades. While it's nice to have enablers, these voices should all be considered seriously, even if they haven't spent as much time researching. It bears reminding that however tempting it may be, DOING ONE'S OWN "RESEARCH" should not be a filter to only find things that confirm what one may want to believe is true.

Personally, I would love it if raw food is cheaper, healthier, more convenient, more sustainable, and more ethical. Whether it is or not is up for further discussion, but more importantly such a desire sets an unreasonable expectation and pre-coats the glasses so the rose tint goes on nicely later. That desire, while completely understandable human to human, fatally undermines the whole initiative. The ultimate goal of BARF is not to be more convenient or be hip/alt to impress your social circles, it's to find the best diet one can get for their beloved pets. That mission can result in simultaneous truths I think this concept extends far beyond pet food and bears consideration from us all.

Oh, what did I end up doing? I got a trial pack from Darwin's (#notanad) and will see how the kitties respond to it. If positive, I'm thinking to go with a product from a local farm around Chicago like Farm 2 Bowl. I'm not ready to make my own grinds and adding EZComplete or Alnutrin. In the meantime, let's see how the market continues to respond.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to email comments and thoughts to heyvincelee@gmail.com

Additional reading

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849757/ (2019)
- https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/get-facts-raw-pet-food-diets-can-be-dangerous-you-and-your-pet
- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_feeding#

Vincent Lee

Vincent Lee

Too many words, even more thoughts.