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In 2014, I decided to start sharing my journey as a raw feeder. I had been feeding my dogs a raw food diet for a year and wrote about what I had learned as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Looking back, I cringe at how little I knew about raw feeding and decided to update each of those blog posts in 2018-19.
When I did my first A to Z challenge, I failed to write a blog post about Z or maybe I deleted it, I don't remember. When I came up with this title, I'm sure I was planning on writing a passive aggressive post about people on social media that are being asshats about raw feeding, but today, I have a different message for you.
What is a Zealot?
According to Google, a zealot is a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
We've come across people in raw feeding groups who are passionately against feeding dogs vegetables, dairy, and green tripe. We've seen it with people who demand that we feed Prey Model, BARF Model, or based on NRC Standards.
What I find fascinating, is that no one is wrong.
When you take a step back and recognize that all dogs are different, then it makes sense that some dogs will thrive on a Prey Model diet while others do better on a BARF Model. And while NRC Standards may be a great place to start when learning how to feed a balanced diet, it isn't the only way to achieve balance.
Should We Shut Down the Raw Feeding Zealots?
It depends on how you learn and retain information. There are people out there who have a lot of great knowledge to share, for some of us, their delivery blows. I don't learn through public shaming. But I have to admit that the thrashings I've received in raw feeding groups, comments on my blog, and private messages have stayed with me and once I got over my hurt pride, I realized that I was challenged to learn more.
Does that mean that this is how we should treat each other? In my opinion, Nope. Others may feel that the In Your Face, My Way or the Highway approach is the best way to push people into doing better for their pets.
Only you know what's right for you or not.
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Friendly Raw Feeding Groups
For those of us who don't have skin as think as dragons, trying to learn about dog nutrition and health in some of the hardcore raw feeding groups is nearly impossible. There are a few groups that are fantastic. I'm not very active in raw feeding groups, but the ones I speak up in are:
No group is perfect and all of us have moments of zealotry from time to time. The trick, for me, is to avoid social media when I'm in a pissy mood or lack patience. I've also learned that I'm not cut out to be an admin of a raw feeding group – know your strengths and weaknesses.
Every community is going to have its zealots. I think I've learned to appreciate them from afar. Their passion is going to keep me going when I feel like giving up.