I wasn't going to watch Pet Fooled because “I know all this already,” and “I don't want to see how animals are treated in our food industry.” But I can't continue writing about raw feeding without discussing this important step that has been taken to hold the pet food industry accountable for what they're selling.
A 60 Billion Dollar Industry
Pet Fooled starts off with images of popular pet food brands and the marketing claims made on their packaging. Eventually landing on a screen that shows the annual revenues for the Year 2013:
- MARS: $17,215,800,000
- Nestle (that's Purina): $11,722,000,000
- P&G: $3,100,000,000
- Hill's: $2,211,000,000
- Big Heart Pet Brands: $1,989,000,000
It's surprising to see that there are 5 giants in the pet food industry, but half the pet store and two aisles of our grocery store are dominated by pet food bags and cats.
Loved seeing the beautiful Karen Becker feeding raw from Northwest Naturals by hand – you go, Karen!!!
“Once you start digging, the evidence becomes overwhelming that the pet food industry has significant issues.” This statement is exactly what happens to many raw feeders and this is why I write about raw feeding, promote raw feeding as an option, and don't want to return to feeding kibble.
You can't unsee what you see; you can't unlearn what you learn. And this became most evident in 2007 when a commercial fertilizer, melamine, made its way into the pet food chain, killing thousands of pets. This raised one question, what do we feed our pets.
Dr. Barbara Royal shared that “the pet food industry is telling us what to feed our pets really more based on what they want to sell us than what's necessarily good for our pet.”
History of Kibble
Kibble was brought about during the war because we weren't allowed to use the metal cans, so kibble was created and put in a bag. Some will tell you that there hundred of years of science beyond kibble; this is incorrect.
Loved seeing Darwin's Pet Food being fed by Barbara Royal!!!
About Karen Becker and Barbara Royal
There is an amazing segment about how Karen Becker and Barbara Royal learned about what our dogs could eat. Dr. Becker has training in wild animal rehabilitation and Dr. Royal has zoological training.
When Someone Says “Where's the Research?”
Thanks to kibble we are seeing a rise in obesity, diabetes, and related health issues. Kidney disease is the number one killer in cats. So why are veterinarians still recommending this food? Because, some claim, that there isn't any evidence that raw based diets are healthier for pets.
Well, there's no evidence that kibble based diets are healthier either.
Did You Know?
The rules of the pet food industry are set up to benefit the corporations; not our pets.
- Any product containing the words “dinner,” “nugget”, “formula,” only have to contain 25% actual meat.
- Any product labeled “with…,” only has to contain 3% actual meat.
- A bag that contains “flavor” – i.e. flavored with beef, or chicken flavor – may contain little to no meat although there may be an image of a steak or chicken on the packaging.
- Natural and organic in pet food is highly processed and doesn't mean what the average person thinks when they see “natural” and “organic.”
- The government isn't interested in holding pet food giants accountable for what they're producing.
Around the minute 26-28 point, there is a tough part to watch. Dead animals are loaded up to put into the pet food industry. Ingredients in pet food come from several sources:
- Leftovers from the human food processing plants
- Leftovers from the slaughterhouses
- Ranchers and farmers that have had animals die
These animals are collected by rendering facilities and pet food companies blend all parts of these animals together in their processing of “complete and balanced” pet food.
We should know what are dogs and cats are eating.
My Thoughts on Pet Fooled
This is a movie every pet lover should watch.
There was a part at the 26 minute part that I burst into tears when I realized that I participated in the Hill's Science Diet rebranding campaign that they launched when their profits began to decline. They created the Hill's Ideal Balance line, which I promoted in exchange for $1,500. My integrity was cheap back then.
I've learned a lot back then and I'm reminded that so many people have a lot to learn because it's hard to believe that the pet food industry is so deceptive, it's hard to believe that we're participating in the poor health of our dogs by feeding a kibble diet, and it's challenging to throw away everything we thought we knew and accept a new truth.
This movie is a good start.
I thought using the Oceans 11 music towards the ending was a nice touch.
I don't knock people who feed kibble. Many people get the impression that I'm anti-kibble, and I am – for my dogs. I don't sit in judgment of others who feed kibble because I don't know their story. It does make me sad when I see people buying low-quality kibble, I do find it disappointing when a raw brand starts making a kibble, but this is based on my own experience feeding kibble to Rodrigo and what I know about the pet food industry.
In the past, I've written blog posts sharing top grain free foods because I respect that many people aren't able or ready to switch to raw or home cooked. However, after watching this movie, I can't bring myself to promote feeding a kibble diet to others.
So What Do We Feed to Our Dogs
Feed Raw: I think dogs should be fed a species appropriate raw food diet of 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% offal (pancreas, kidneys, spleen, etc.). If you're unable to feed a full diet of raw, then a partial diet of raw (raw in the morning, kibble in the evening – or vice versa)
Feed Partial Raw: If you're unable to feed a full diet of raw, then a partial diet of raw (raw in the morning, kibble in the evening – or vice versa).
Improve the Kibble: Or you can improve your dog's current diet by feeding the best kibble you can afford and add fresh foods and a digestive supplement along with:
- vegetable mix
- bone broth (soak the kibble in bone broth for at least 5-10 minutes)
- muscles and sardines.
Videos by Pet Fooled